Stuffed Sweet Plantains With Spicy Peanut Stewed Chicken and Vegetables
About the Recipe
These stuffed sweet plantain boats are absolutely delicious and are a perfect dish for a gathering or family celebration.
Recommended serving: Garnish with chilli flakes and peanuts and serve with ice cold mango juice!
10 ripe medium-large plantains
Honey/sugar roasted peanuts and/or cashews, chilli flakes (Optional. To Garnish)
Peanut stew base ingredients:
1 Can of plum tomatoes
½ Onion (Cut into small- medium chunks)
½ A scotch bonnet
5 Coves garlic (whole)
1 Heaped tablespoon tomato puree
1 Poblano pepper (cut into chunks)
For cooking the stew:
1 Onion (finely chopped)
4 heaped teaspoons crunchy peanut butter
1 Teaspoon stock powder
1 Teaspoon dried thyme
1 Teaspoon dried rosemary
1 Teaspoon brown sugar
2 bay leaves
100 millilitres red palm oil
¼ Teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (if needed)
Salt and black pepper (to taste)
½ A white cabbage (very thinly shredded)
3 Bell peppers (One of each colour: red, yellow and green. Cut into strips)
2 Teaspoons minced garlic or garlic paste
1 Teaspoon stock powder
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
To season/marinate the chicken:
4-5 Small to medium-sized chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 Teaspoon hot chilli powder
2 Teaspoons stock powder
1 Teaspoon curry powder or Caribbean curry seasoning
½ Teaspoon ground black pepper
½ Teaspoon ground white pepper
Place the chicken in a bowl, add the lemon juice, hot chilli powder, stock powder curry powder, black pepper and white pepper. Mix thoroughly until chicken is fully covered with seasoning. Pierce chicken with a fork to aid penetration of the seasoning. Set aside covered in the fridge.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan). Use a sharp knife to carefully slice open the skin of the plantains (i.e. make a shallow incision which is only as deep as the skin goes). Use your thumb to carefully separate the plantain skin from the plantain and then to remove the skin from the plantains, making sure to keep the plantains and the skins intact.
Place each plantain back inside of its skin. Divide the 'wrapped' plantains between two oven trays, and put into the oven to roast and set a timer for 30 minutes.
Using a blender, blend together the tinned tomato, onion chunks, poblano pepper, scotch bonnet, tomato puree and garlic cloves until thoroughly combined.
Heat the palm oil in a wide pot or pan. When hot, add the chopped onion and 1 teaspoon of stock powder.
Once the onions are slightly crispy and fragrant, add the tomato mixture from the blender and stir.
Add the dried thyme, bay leaves, dried rosemary and another teaspoon of stock powder. Stir and leave to simmer on a medium heat for approximately 15 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of palm oil and stir.
Add peanut butter and brown sugar and mix thoroughly. Leave to simmer on low-medium heat for approximately another 15 minutes, until the oil begins to separate and is visible at the edge of the pot/pan or 'marbles' through the stew. Add salt and black pepper to taste if desired. Then leave to simmer on the lowest heat setting.
In a different wide pot or pan, heat the vegetable oil and when sufficiently hot, add the spring onion, 1 teaspoon of stock powder and the minced garlic/garlic paste.
When the spring onion is fragrant, add the chicken thighs and brown on each side. Add just enough water to cover the chicken, then add the shredded cabbage. Cover the pot with a lid and leave for a few minutes until the cabbage has softened.
Add the sliced mixed bell peppers, cover the pot/pan with a lid and leave the chicken and vegetables to cook thoroughly on a low-medium heat. Mix thoroughly, and use a metal serving spoon or forks to shred/break apart any remaining large pieces of chicken.
When the chicken and vegetable is fully cooked (i.e. the chicken is no longer pink at all and the vegetable is only very slightly crunchy) use a slotted spoon to add the chicken and vegetable mix into the peanut stew. Mix the chicken and vegetable into the peanut stew thoroughly.
To stuff the plantain, remove it from its skin 'jacket' and put onto a plate. Use a knife to carefully make an incision in the centre of the plantain. Do not cut from the very end of the plantain, only the middle section, leaving a gap of 1-2cm on each end. Be careful not to cut all the way through the plantain, the incision should be around ½ to ⅔ deep.
Use a teaspoon to carefully place the peanut stew chicken and vegetable filling into and on top of the plantain. Sprinkle with the roasted nuts and chilli flakes and enjoy!
Recipe by Toyo Odetunde