One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is that I have plenty of turkey or chicken leftovers to make this sumptuous stew. While I first discovered this recipe in the Low-Fat Living Cookbook by Leslie L. Cooper, I’ve tweaked it over the years to incorporate what I’ve eaten on my travels and the content of my pantry into a family favorite.
When we toured the Tanzanian town, Moshi, we saw similar dishes at local diners made with a wide variety of meats, so I’m assuming you can substitute anything you like for the main protein. (The appeal of what we saw is fodder for a different post!) I developed a love for quinoa while trekking in Peru, so I prefer that to the brown rice recommended by Cooper in the original recipe.
This quick and easy recipe has a long ingredient list, but the most difficult aspect of the recipe is dissolving the peanut butter!
1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (this is where I use the dark meat leftovers from the Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh ginger
2 red chili peppers or jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (I often substitute jalapeños from the jar in my fridge.)
14 mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 yellow or red bell pepper
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
4 cups (2 cans) fat-free chicken broth
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 can of corn
1 15 ounce can black-eyed peas, purple-hull peas, or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Chopped peanuts, if desired
This recipe comes together very quickly, I recommend chopping all the veggies and meat, opening cans, and dissolving the peanut butter before beginning.
If you’re not using pre-cooked poultry, warm 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers, ginger, peppers, and cilantro. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and turmeric.
In a medium bowl, combine the broth and peanut butter. Stir until blended. Add to the pot. Stir in the pumpkin. Bring to a boil, the reduce heat to medium-low. Add the chicken, rice, corn, peas, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with peanuts, if using.