Is it just me of have I been on a bit of an Asian kick lately? Ah, Asian food! I just can’t seem to get enough of it… that, and peanut butter!
Well, if like me you’re in the mood for some goody good Oriental inspired food tonight, this Asian style Creamy Peanut Chicken is sure to hit the spot. This dish comes together pretty quickly and it’s much better and healthier than take out too. In fact, chances are you can get this on your table faster than any delivery guy ever could.
Now don’t ask me what the official name of this dish is, though, because it’s not something I’ve ever had in any restaurant before. It was simply my inspiration of the moment; one that all I can say about is I’m really glad it came to me!
You’re basically looking at juicy, tender morsels of chicken drowned in a rich and creamy, sweet and tangy peanut sauce.
Note that I chose to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this dish because I like how naturally moist and flavorful they are, but you could very well use breasts instead, if you preferred to.
As always when cooking dishes of Asian inspiration, I find it’s best to have all your ingredients prepped ahead of time. Mind you, in this case, the chicken will have to cook for a fair bit of time, but still, I like to make sure that I have everything ready the second I need to use it.
Start by prepping your veggies, and then make the sauce by combining all the ingredients for it in a large bowl or glass measuring cup; whisk until smooth and well combined and set aside.
Next, combine the pieces of chicken, tapioca starch, salt and pepper together in a large bowl and mix until the chicken is evenly coated.
Heat a few tablespoons of fat or oil in a large wok or skillet set over high heat. When your pan is scorching hot, add about half the pieces of chicken and cook them until they are nice and golden brown and cooked all the way through, which will take about 8 minutes.
Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and repeat with the rest of the raw chicken.
If you find that too much accumulated in the pan for your taste, get rid of the excess and then return your cooking vessel to the heat source; put the chicken back into it, add the bell peppers and sauté for about 30 seconds, until they’re just barely softened.
Time for the green onions to join the party and get tossed around for a few seconds…
Now add the chopped roasted peanuts and the yummy peanut sauce you made earlier.
Stir well and cook for about 1 minute, just until the sauce thickens.
Do not overcook or else your veggies will become soft and mushy. You want them to retain a bit of a crunch!
Remove the pan from the heat and serve with a side of white rice, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and a handful of roasted peanuts, if desired.
This dish is much better enjoyed fresh, but it does reheat fairly well in the microwave. Since the peanut butter is mostly responsible for the thickness and creaminess of the sauce, it will remain thick and creamy even when reheated and won’t turn all watery on you like sauces that get thickened mainly with starch.
- 2-3 tbsp healthy cooking fat or oil of your choice
- 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1kg | 2.2lb total), cut into bite size pieces
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 2 green onions, cut into 1" pieces
- ¼ cup (35g | 1.3oz) roasted salted peanuts, chopped
- ½ cup (130g | 4.5oz) all natural peanut butter (storebought or homemade)
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) coconut aminos
- 3 tbsp unpasteurized honey
- 2 tbsp sambal oelek
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- ½ tsp fish sauce
- 1-1/2 tbsp grated fresh gingerroot
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 cups cooked jasmine rice
- Fresh cilantro and roasted peanuts to garnish
- In a large bowl or glass measuring cup, combine all the ingredients for the sauce, whisk until well combined and set aside.
- In another large bowl, combine the pieces of chicken, tapioca starch, salt and pepper and mix until the chicken is evenly coated.
- Heat the fat or oil in a large wok or skillet set over high heat. When your pan is scorching hot, add about half the pieces of chicken and cook until nice and golden and cooked all the way through, about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- Drain excess fat from pan if necessary, then return the wok to the heat source; put the chicken back into the wok, add bell peppers and sauté for about 30 seconds, until just barely softened. Add green onions and sauté for a few seconds, then add the chopped roasted peanuts and the sauce you made earlier.
- Stir well and cook for about 1 minute, until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat and serve with a side of white rice, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and a handful of roasted peanuts, if desired.