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African-Style Braised Chicken in Peanut Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 pounds chicken pieces - skin on breasts, skinless legs and thighs
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to 1 long red or green chile pepper, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1/2 cup condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons sherry or lemon juice
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
Hot white rice

In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, in batches; brown on all sides. Transfer to a crock pot.

Reduce heat to medium. to skillet, add onions and cook, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, chile pepper, curry, oregano, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce and bay leaf; bring to a boil.

Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

In a bowl, combine peanut butter and sherry. Add a little cooking liquid; stir to blend. Add to crock pot along with bell pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes, until bell pepper is tender. Discard bay leaf.

Serve over rice.

Make ahead
This dish can be partially prepared the night before it is cooked. Complete Step 2, heating 1 tablespoon oil in a pan before softening onions. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, brown chicken. Continue cooking as directed.

Makes 6 servings.