I had chicken, a craving for the comfort of rice and half a jar of chunky peanut butter. Normally, this would take me in a sort of Thai direction, but I didn't have any coconut milk. And Paul isn't the biggest fan of satay anyway. Then I remembered the delicious peanut chicken served with jollof rice at the Spinach and Aguishi stall on Exmouth Market.
Because it was chicken breasts, I didn't want to stew them, so I decided to make jollof rice, a spinach and peanut stew-cum-sauce and grill the chicken to serve on top. I just went with things that I thought were tasty, so I make no claim to authenticity, but I hope that any West African readers wouldn't turn over their plates in horror.
I made a paste of ginger, garlic, onions and chillies, and sauteed it in a bit of olive oil, then added basmati rice (about 3/4 of a cup - it was what was left in the bag), a can of tomatoes, a vegetable stock cube and some water, covered the pot and stuck it in the oven until it was cooked (rice tender, liquid mostly absorbed), and I was ready for it, checking on it once and adding a bit more water when it looked a bit dry.
For the spinach and peanut stew, I cooked a chopped onion until quite translucent, then added frozen chopped spinach, 1/4 cup of peanut butter, a chopped chilli and some water and simmered it until it was saucy, correcting the seasoning with salt and a spoonful of tahini because I felt the peanut flavour needed some boosting. If I'd had some whole peanuts, I would have added them too.
Both the rice and the spinach were quite hot (only one of my frozen Twilight chillies in each dish, but they pack a punch) so I just kept the chicken really simple, sprinkling the skin with salt and pepper. When it was cooked, I gave it a few minutes rest before slicing it into chunks and serving it on top of the rice and spinach.