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Chicken Palava

What a Chicken Palava! A delicious stew with a twist

Ali Ray reveals a family favourite – West African sweet potato, chicken, bean and peanut stew. It may sound unusual, but I guarantee this is a one-pot dish you’ll make time and again.

The sauce is fabulously rich and tasty, perfect for mopping up with a wedge of bread.

15 minutes prep
20 minutes to cook

Serves four generously
8 chicken thighs, skin off, bone out
300ml of vegetable stock (a cube is fine)
350g of sweet potato (1 medium potato) peeled and diced
½ tin tomatoes
1 tin borlotti beans
3 heaped teaspoons crunchy peanut butter
1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
1 red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
½ teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander.
Rapeseed or olive oil 
A big pinch salt


In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat one tablespoon of oil. 

Fry the chicken pieces to brown them all over. You may need to do this in batches. It should take around five to six minutes. 

Take the chicken out and put on a separate plate, cover to keep warm. 

Add a little more oil to the saucepan. Sweat the onion and garlic on a low heat for a few minutes.

Add the diced sweet potato and pinch of salt and cook for another two minutes. 

Add the cumin and coriander, tomatoes, peanut butter, beans and stock then stir well, before adding the chicken pieces.  

Pop a lid on and let it simmer for 20 minutes. 

About a minute before the end of cooking, stir in the handful of fresh spinach until it just wilts. 

Serve in bowls with a side of rustic bread and a satisfied grin.