Easy Chicken Mafé
Senegalese Peanut Butter Chicken!
Mafé, also known as Peanut Butter Chicken, is a gift from West Africa!
This is a super easy, Spoonie friendly recipe, as well as an inexpensive one that's great as a freezer meal option. Just cook, let it cool, then divide it among a few freezer bags, depending on the size portions you want. That way, there will always be a healthy option to eat when you need it.
Although the Gambian/Senegalese dish is usually made w/lamb or beef, I chose to use chicken thighs instead. They're cheaper, easier to cook, and become fall-apart tender w/just a short time of simmering.
You'll need some smooth peanut butter🥜, chicken broth, and a few other pantry staples. Oh! And carrots!🥕 So again, it keeps the price tag low.
To keep it lower in carbs, I serve it over Cauliflower rice cooked w/a little chicken Better Than Bouillon paste (click link to learn more), rather than the traditional white rice or cassava.
Easy Mafe Chicken
(See Video Below)
1 1/2 cups onion, minced
1/2-1 small jalapeño, seeded & minced
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (5-7 thighs)
1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
5 large carrots or 6 med, peeled & cut into 1.5"-2" pieces, *See Chef's Note below
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp natural smooth peanut butter
1 cup cold water (from the tap is fine, no need to refrigerate)
1 cup chicken broth -Learn More: Better Than Bouillon, Always have broth on hand!
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tsp agave or honey
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Chef's Note*: Cut the carrots to 2" on thinner ends, and 1.5" on the fatter ends near the stem. Or if they're super skinny, cut to 3" pieces. Basically, you want them to all cook in the same length of time, rather than the thinner pieces overcooking to mush, or the big pieces still having a crunch to them. So, use your cooking judgment.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan over medium. Sautee onions for 3-5 mins, or until they begin to soften. Add in jalapeños and cook another 1-2 mins.
Push all the onions and jalapeños to the outsides of the pan. Lay in your chicken thighs and cook until browned on both sides, seasoning with 1/2 tsp salt.
While the chicken is browning, in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the cold water and peanut butter. Do the same with the tomato paste and broth. Set both aside.
When the chicken is browned on both sides, pour in the PB and tomato paste mixtures. Add in 3/4 tsp salt, cayenne, agave/honey, bay leaves, thyme, and carrots. To mix it all together I flip the chicken thighs again. It helps to make sure everything is combined and coated in the sauce with the least mess made.
Then lower heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 mins stirring after about 10 mins.
Uncover and increase heat to med-low and continue to simmer until the sauce thickens, about 20 mins. Be sure to flip the chicken as needed so one side doesn't get dried out.
Season with more salt if needed, it'll depend on if your PB had salt in it, or how salty your chicken broth is.
Serve over rice, or riced cauliflower.
Learn More: Better Than Bouillon, Always have broth on hand!