Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chicken Peanut Soup

Yeah, I know this sounds crazy, but it came out really nicely. Madame had been feeling under the weather a bit, so I wanted to make sure that she had something tasty, hearty and comforting for dinner when she came home yesterday - especially as I was out drinking good red wine and eating fantastic pizza!
I had recently watched an episode of "The Minimalist" - Mark Bittman's somewhat crazy cooking show. Crazy because it is about cooking more than it is about recipes. Also, I think he is certifiably mad (in a good way!). So as usual, I will tell you what I did. You can treat it as a recipe, but I suspect it is pretty forgiving. The only real thing to worry about is having it become too brothy. It wants to be the thickness of cream at the end. Luckily that thickness can be controlled by the amount of peanut butter added.


3T grapeseed oil
1 medium onion - finely diced
1" piece of ginger, grated
2 large garlic cloves, minced to a paste
4 chicken thighs - skinned, boned and cut into 3/4" chunks
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts roughly chopped
a pinch (or 2!) of cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken stock (home made preferably)
3 cups water
3 small sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/3" thick rounds
1 28 oz can plum tomatoes. Drained, tomatoes roughly chopped
1 bunch of curly kale - leaves only, stripped from the stalk. roughly chopped, large pieces.
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup chunky, unsweetened peanut butter (I used one of the "natural" varieties)


Heat the oil in a large skillet or dutch oven until shimmering. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add the chicken and continue to cook until the chicken is lightly colored on all sides. The chicken is NOT fully cooked at this stage. Add the peanuts and the cayenne and stir to combine. Add the stock/water combination and the sweet potatoe slices. Make sure the sweet potato slices are well distributed through the pot, and are immersed in liquid. Bring to a gentle boil, add the chopped tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the kale and simmer until the sweet potatoes are just tender.
Stir in the peanut butter until the desired thickness is reached. Check the seasonings, adding salt/pepper, to taste.

It did get the "we can serve this to people" accolade, so it must have been good! Thanks to Mark Bittman and the New York Times for the inspiration

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