Chris's nigerian stew

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 Ham hocks
1 Stewing chicken or
1 pack Chicken legs and thighs
1 pounds Beef short ribs
2 Bay leaves [optional]
Salt; to taste
28 ounces Can of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Cayenne
1 cup Raw peanuts; boiled
1 pack Fresh spinach
3 cups Rice
Salt; to taste

This dish is cooked in four parts and combined at the table.

This is not a firm recipe by any means; feel free to substitute meats and season each of the four dishes as you see fit. I learned the basic recipe years ago from a college roommate from Nigeria.

In the first pot slow simmer ham hocks for ½ hour, add the beef ribs and continue simmering another hour. Then add the chicken and simmer a final hour or longer if necessary. The meats should be ready to fall off the bone and swimming in a rich broth. It is the mixture of meats that creates the delicious gravy. The addition of bay leaves was my idea not Chris's. His original version had no seasonings except a little salt.

Meanwhile in a second pot boil the peanuts until softened. Remove from the heat and hold until a few minutes before serving. Pour off all the water but the last ¼ cup. Bring the pot back up to a boil; add the spinach and stew for a few minutes until cooked.

In the third pot simmer the tomato sauce and cayenne for an hour to mellow the pepper taste and blend it in with the tomato.

In the forth pot prepare rice. At the table, in each dish make a foundation of rice; ladle over the meat and pot liquor. Then top with a little spinach-peanut mixture and smother in tomato sauce.

The Nigerian version was quite bland with just a little cayenne. Some other students from Ghana made a similar dish that was totally fiery with loads of cayenne or chopped chiles with the seeds and veins included! When Muslim students visited us, the pork was of course omitted.

When I started making it, I seasoned the spinach with chopped onion or garlic and added Italian style herbs to the tomato sauce. Chris said it was good but not the way it was made back home. BTW in Nigeria it wouldn't have been spinach but other greens not available here.

Jim Weller

Submitted By JIM WELLER On 12-30-95

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