This recipe was an idea that Logan, our modified meals specialist, came up with. He had wanted to do something like this for a while, and we were able to find a peanut butter we could use that did not exceed our allowed sodium levels for our clients. It turned out incredibly well! So well, in fact, that a client called us just three days after receiving her meal to let us know how much she enjoyed it. She said it made her feel as though she was eating in a restaurant. I’m happy to share this recipe and the story behind it, and I hope you enjoy it as much as our clients!
For The Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into half-inch pieces
- 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into half-inch pieces
- 3 onions, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons coriander, ground
- .25 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
- 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 quart chicken broth, low sodium
- .5 cup peanut butter
- .5 cup roasted peanuts, dry and unsalted
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- .25 cup cilantro, chopped
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
For The Potatoes
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, washed and cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place a large stockpot on the stove on medium high heat. When the stockpot is hot, add the olive oil and onions. Lightly saute the onions for one minute, then add the chicken and cook until it is browned on all sides. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir well, until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, then add the coriander and cayenne. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and stir.
Bring the stew to a simmer and add the peanut butter and toasted peanuts. You may need to use a whisk to incorporate the peanut butter so it becomes smooth and helps thicken the sauce. Let simmer on low.
Toss the sweet potatoes and olive oil into a mixing bowl and toss to coat. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast 30-45 minutes or until they are golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, continue stirring the stew. When it begins to thicken, remove it from the heat, fold in the cilantro, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if desired.
Brandon Foster began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado, almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need- a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016. Outside the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.