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Virginia Willis' West African Chicken Stew with Collard Greens and Peanuts

Serves: 6 to 8
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4 cups homemade chicken stock or reduced-fat low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups loosely packed chopped collard greens
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Combine the stock and tomato paste in a large measuring cup or bowl. Whisk or stir until no lumps of tomato paste remain. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot and sear it, in two batches if necessary to avoid crowding, until brown on all sides, 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Set aside.

Add the onion, carrots, and bell pepper to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger; cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the stock mixture, peanut butter, Scotch bonnet, bay leaf, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon; stir until smooth. Add the chicken, collard greens, and sweet potatoes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are tender, 25 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle into warm bowls and serve immediately.

Photo: Angie Mosier

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