Ghanaian Groundnut (Peanut) Chicken Stew

I’m not sure if any of you have ever tried to cook Ghanaian food before, but it’s not easy.  Not the cooking part, but finding recipes.

While French and Italian cookbooks each take up several bookcases of my local library, I couldn’t find a single Ghanaian cookbook.  The best I could do is a decades old West African cookbook whose recipe success rate has been significantly below 50%.

And while the Internet is generally an invaluable research tool, it seems as though Google’s multiple pages of recipe search results were just multiple copies of the exact same recipe of dubious authenticity.

Happily, groundnut (or peanut) stew seems to the exception and there are plenty of beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian versions floating around there in cyberspace.  The vegetables in the stew also vary widely,  so feel free to experiment with this one…


Groundnut Chicken Stew

Yield: 6-8 servings


* 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil, divided
* 2 pounds boneless chicken breast and thighs, cubed
* 2 medium onion, chopped
* 6 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve the tomato juice)
* 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
* 2 Serrano peppers, quartered lengthwise
* 2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
* 1 cup peanut butter
* 4 cups chicken stock
* 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
* salt and pepper to taste
* chopped peanuts for garnish


Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or stew pan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken cubes and remove to a bowl with the accumulated juices.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and fry the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion begins to turn golden. Add the diced tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are almost completely broken down. Add water, if necessary, to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.

Add the ginger, Serrano and bell peppers and cook, stirring, for several minutes. Add the reserved tomato juice, peanut butter and chicken stock and stir to mix. Return the chicken and its accumulated juices and stir.

Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately one hour. Stir in the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into individual bowls and top with extra cilantro and some chopped peanuts.

Final note: it seems as though a number of small Ghanaian cookbooks have been published recently, although reviews are hard to come by. Anybody know of a good, modern Ghanaian cookbook?

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4 Responses to “Ghanaian Groundnut (Peanut) Chicken Stew”

  1. #
    ellabella — March 23, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Just wanted to commiserate on how difficult it is to find Ghanaian recipes! I lived there for a few months, and while I learned some things by cooking with my family there, there are a few things I will never be able to perfect.


  2. #
    Jennifer — March 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    I've come to accept that there are no Ghanaian recipes recorded because Ghanaians do not cook by recipe! I'm planning to try to make a better record of how to prepare this soup on my new blog because I think people need to eat this soup! But in the meantime, here is a link to the story-form recipe I wrote at my previous blog: I also recommend for more African cooking recipes and tips, “A Taste of Africa: Traditional & Modern African Cooking” by Dorinda Hafner, which I discovered at my local library a few months back. Yum!


  3. #
    kjo — March 30, 2011 at 1:03 am

    made this tonight. just the smell reminded me a LOT of my time there. instead of chicken stock i used 2 maggi cubes and 4 cups of water. thanks for this!


  4. #
    Fanny — November 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I dont know where in Ghana you learned that it was a stew. It is a soup. Groundnut soup. I mean i like you twist and I am sure it is good but your version is no where near Ghanaian.


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