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Peanut Butter Chicken

This easy Peanut Butter Chicken recipe is a QUICK one-skillet dinner that’s huge on flavor, low on effort and belongs in your easy weeknight dinner arsenal. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken swimming in the most intoxicating, lusciously creamy, wonderfully fragrant, comforting peanut sauce infused with garlic, ginger, basil, lime juice and coconut milk. This Peanut Sauce Chicken also earns major points because it’s made with 100% pantry friendly ingredients – even the aromatics are powders! You can enjoy this Peanut Butter Chicken plain or add in any desired veggies you have on hand. Serve Peanut Butter Chicken over rice, cauliflower rice, zoodles, sweet potatoes, etc. loaded with contrasting mangos or pineapple and let your eyes roll back with each sublimely satisfying bite.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

CHICKEN

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless thighs chopped into 1 1/2-2” pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH ground coriander, turmeric powder, pepper

SAUCE

ADD LATER

  • 1/3 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
  • crushed peanuts
  • cilantro
  • chopped mango or pineapple

Instructions

  • Add chicken seasonings to a large bowl and whisk to combine; add chicken and stir to evenly coat; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the Sauce ingredients together; set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot and rippling. Add chicken and cook until opaque (chicken will not be cooked through).
  • Add Sauce and simmer until chicken is cooked through and Sauce is thickened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in peanut butter until melted.
  • Taste and season with additional chili sauce or lime juice. Garnish with plenty of cilantro and crushed peanuts and serve with rice and refreshing fruit such as mango or pineapple.

Notes

TIPS and Tricks 

  • Coconut milkIf you want to instantly elevate your Thai food, use Chaokoh coconut milk – my absolute favorite brand (Not a paid endorsement)!   Chaokoh is creamier than any other brand I’ve tried by FAR and therefore results in the most lusciously creamy, comforting sauces ever
  • Full-fat coconut milk.  I recommend full fat coconut milk as light coconut milk simply isn’t as thick or flavorful so you’re missing out on both flavor and texture.  If you do use light coconut milk, I suggest adding an additional 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch to help thicken it up.
  • Don’t overcook chicken.  For the juiciest chicken, don’t overcook!  Brown it in the skillet but let it finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Use chicken thighs.  Are juicier and more flavorful than chicken thighs. If you use chicken breasts, marinate per tips in post. 
  • Use commercial peanut butter.  While natural peanut butter has a stronger peanut flavor, commercial peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy contain sugar and other additives that add more flavor and create a creamier, more cohesive sauce.
  • Add peanut butter to taste.  You can use 1/3-1/2 cup peanut butter depending on your personal preference.  
  • Serve with fruit.  I highly encourage you to serve Peanut Sauce Chicken with either chopped mangos or pineapple. The bright, refreshing fruit cuts through the rich, creamy, savory, salty chicken.
  • Prep ahead.  Chop the chicken and toss with seasonings and store in an airtight container.  Whisk the sauce ingredients together (aside from peanut butter) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Make sure to whisk the sauce again before using.
  • Storage.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

HOW TO FREEZE

This Thai Peanut Chicken freezes very well: 
  • Let the Peanut Butter Chicken cool.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air.
  • Label and freeze for 2 to 3 months. 
  • Defrost in the refrigerator before using.