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Chicken, Plaintain and Peanut Stew (with or without Pretzel Dumplings)

Chicken, Plaintain and Peanut Stew
Another summer, another box of mystery ingredients's time for another mystery box reveal!  This year, I received a box of ingredients selected by Matt from Nomageddon that contained a bottle of Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, a package of Boardwalk Craft Beer Pretzel Mix, and a container of Aurora Natural Plantain Chips. These were all amazing ingredients and I couldn't wait to combine them to make one delicious dish.

First of all, next to homemade plantain chips, these are the best I've ever tried. I had to make an effort not to just snack them all away. Loved the beer on its own, as well. I couldn't get the idea of a Caribbean-inspired stew of sorts that featured plantains and peanuts, but the pretzel mix threw me for a loop there, so while that was the inspiration behind my dish, my finished dish wasn't very Caribbean.

I divided the beer between the pretzel mix and the stew, deciding to plop the pretzel dough on top of the stew in the form of a dumpling. The thing is, I wound up liking the stew better without the dumplings. While I love me some sort pretzels (like, a LOT), I thought this beer totally overpowered the pretzel mix and that both would be better served by not combining them. So, if you make this stew, I recommend just adding a whole bottle to the pot. If you want some pretzel dumplings, I'd use a less flavor-forward beer or just some carbonated water.
mystery box ingredients
I wasn't sure what would happen with the plantain chips, they wound up just sort of disintegrating into the stew after 4 hours in the slow cooker. They were visible when I removed the lid, but when I stirred the stew, they broke down and became a part of it. So, I used some extra to garnish for both a pop of color and texture, and to enhance the ones in the stew itself.

Overall, I was incredibly happy with what I created with my box of mystery ingredients and will definitely continue to make this stew (minus the dumplings) often.

Chicken, Plantain and Peanut Stew (with or without Pretzel Dumplings)
This delicious, hearty chicken stew is infused with unexpected ingredients like peanut butter, peanut butter porter, and plantain chips.
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Chicken, Plaintain and Peanut Stew
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes + time to marinate
Cook Time: 4 hours (unattended)
Keywords: slow-cooker entree soup/stew

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into large chunks or strips
  • 1 teaspoon toasted ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup roasted salted plantain chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 6 to 12 ounces Peanut Butter Porter - see notes
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
for the pretzel dumplings (OPTIONAL):
  • 1 (16 ounce) box Boardwalk Craft Beer Pretzel mix
  • 6 ounces Peanut Butter Porter
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda (preferably baked baking soda)
to garnish:
  • handful of spanish or chopped peanuts
  • handful of plantain chips
  • handful fresh chopped cilantro
Combine chicken, coriander, paprika, cayenne, a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a gallon-sized zippered baggie and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24.

make the stew (slow cooker):
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of your slow cooker crock. Scatter the onions, plantain chips, and red pepper flakes over the oil, then top with the marinated chicken and tomatoes. Stir the tomato paste, chicken broth, beer, and peanut butter together and pour over the chicken (or just dump it all in and stir it up on the side - that's what I do). Grind some black pepper over the top, put on the lid and cook on low for 4 hours.

prepare the pretzel dumpling mixture:
Wen the stew is almost done cooking, preheat oven to 425° F. Stir the baking soda into 4 cups of hot tap water.

Stir together the pretzel mix and the beer and knead for 5 minutes until you have a tacky dough.

Finishing the dish:
Taste your stew and adjust seasoning as necessary. Very carefully pour the hot stew into a 12-inch cast iron skillet (or similar oven proof dish). At this point you can serve in shallow bowls, scattering some of the peanuts, plantain chips, and cilantro over each portion.

Adding the dumplings (optional):
Rip off small pieces of the dough, dip them in the baking soda mixture and allow as much water to drip off as possible, then scatter over the still-hot stew. Add as many as you like (you will have extra dough - see notes). Slide into preheated oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through.

I'm probably the biggest pretzel lover around, but I actually prefer this dish without the pretzel dumplings. I added/used them because the mix was part of a mystery basket that I received and needed to include in my recipe creation. If you DO add them, I'd substitute a paler beer for the stout, which I really think overpowered the pretzel flavor (go ahead and add the entire bottle of stout to the stew mixture (since it originally calls for 6 ounces). If you do use them, there will be extra pretzel dough left. Transfer it to a greased baking sheet and slide into the oven alongside the stew, or after you remove it, for 13-15 minutes as a pretzel bite bonus!

Chicken, Plaintain and Peanut Stew
My mystery box picks were sent to Ashley from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen this time. I hope you'll drop by and check out what she made with the ingredients I chose...and also check out all of the other amazing dishes made by these F'ing Fabulous Food Bloggers in this round of our Mystery Box Challenge!

What's In the Box!?