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Venice’s African Chicken & Peanut Stew
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Watching Venice cook and listening to her instructions was a lot like cooking with my mom. There are no recipes. You use what you like and what’s fresh. A handful of this and a dash of that make up the stew until it ‘looks and feels right.’ Feel free to substitute winter squash for sweet potatoes or add white potatoes. Have extra green beans? Those would be good too. Don’t have black-eyed peas? Use kidney beans instead. You can even change up the seasoning to a Moroccan spice blend if you like or add more hot pepper if that’s your preference. Just be sure to add the greens at the end because Venice doesn’t like those greens overcooked. This savory, nutty stew is best served over rice with cornbread or biscuits on the side. 
serves 6


5 tablespoons Jamaican jerk seasoning plus more for spice

6 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs, rubbed with jerk seasoning and refrigerated at least 4 hours before cooking

oil for cooking

3–4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large white, sweet onion, halved and sliced into chunks

1 large red onion, halved and sliced into chunks

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunks

1 sweet banana pepper

1 small jalapeno pepper, minced – optional

2 sweet red or green peppers, seeded and cut into chunks

1½ cups corn or the kernels from 2 ears of corn

3 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, liquid included

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup chicken stock, or to taste

3 generous, large handfuls of chopped, fresh kale or collards

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Venice’s African Chicken & Peanut Stew
  • I'm a dairy free recipe!
  • I'm a gluten-free recipe!
  • I'm a heart healthy recipe!
  • I'm a low sodium recipe!
  • I'm a vegan recipe!
  • I'm a vegetarian recipe!


1.Add a little oil to a large, Dutch oven. Heat to medium and sauté chicken thighs until they are browned on all sides. Remove to plate and cool, reserving chicken fat in pot.

2.Add onions to hot oil along with sweet potatoes. Sauté until softened and add all varieties of peppers.

3.After peppers have cooked slightly add black-eyed peas, tomatoes and mix well. Then add peanut butter and chicken stock and mix again. Add seasoning. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes.

4.Remove skin from cooled, browned chicken thighs and add to the stew (keep chicken on bones) then add chicken stock

5.After stew has cooked down a bit and the flavors have combined, add chopped greens, mix well and cook until greens are softened but you haven’t cooked the life out them. Taste and adjust seasoning. Adjust liquid by adding more stock if needed.

Serve stew over rice and offer plenty of corn bread or biscuits to sop up the juices. Be sure everyone gets a chicken thigh in his or her bowl. If there’s any stew left it freezes well.

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