If the flavor of a sweet and spicy peanut sauce entices your tastebuds, then my peanut sauce chicken is definitely a dish for your recipe tin. Prepared with aromatic ingredients such as garlic, ginger, sweet red bell pepper, plus tender chunks of chicken coated in an easy homemade peanut sauce, this flavorful recipe is terrific spooned over rice or noodles!
A Sweet and Spicy Dish That Tickles the Tastebuds
I find Asian-fusion dishes a really fun treat to prepare. They’re so flavorful and aromatic, with seemingly endless options when it comes to getting creative with ingredients!
Combining “a little of this” and “a pinch of that” to create a flavor that’s reminiscent of a dish which I’ve enjoyed at a favorite restaurant is something that I love to do. It makes cooking incredibly creative and liberating, and gives me the opportunity to put my own spin on things, creating dishes according to my personal tastes.
Peanut sauce is one of those tasty morsels that I often find myself enjoying (and never quite getting enough of!) when we go out to eat at one of our local Asian-fusion restaurants. It’s such a delicious and flavorful sauce to dip spring rolls into or drizzle over little skewers of grilled chicken!
It has a bit of kick from its spicy notes, plus a touch of sweetness and acidity to round out the creaminess, which makes it the perfect contender for an Asian-fusion chicken dish brimming with lots of flavor.
My peanut sauce chicken recipe is prepared with juicy chunks of chicken along with aromatics such as garlic, ginger, vibrant red bell pepper, and a simple peanut sauce kissed with those sweet and mildly spicy notes.
Cooked up and on the table in no time, this chicken recipe is just the ticket if you’re a fan of the flavor of peanut sauce like I am, simply served spooned atop of hot rice with a sprinkle of green onion and cilantro!
How to Make Peanut Sauce Chicken with an Easy Homemade Peanut Sauce
While there are a variety of ingredients—coconut milk, tamari (a low-wheat or wheat-free variety of soy sauce), sambal, sugar and lime juice—that one could include as part of a traditional Thai peanut sauce, the peanut sauce that I make for this particular recipe is a bit more of a fusion.
I start with a base of peanut butter (natural and creamy is great here), then add some hoisin sauce for a sweet and savory note, some soy sauce for depth, some chili garlic sauce for a bit of heat, some honey for sweetness, and some rice vinegar for a hint of acidity.
I like the smooth, slightly glossy consistency that combination creates, and it brings a lot of that wonderful “umami” flavor to the rest of the ingredients in the pan.
I also opt for chicken thighs for this recipe, cut into chunks and dusted with a bit of cornstarch to create a little bit of a crust during the quick sear, for an extra flavorful result.
Here’s a peek at my peanut sauce chicken recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe…)
- To begin, I prepare my peanut sauce by adding all of my ingredients to the bowl of my food processor, processing everything until smooth and creamy, then set it aside.
- I season my chicken and then dust it with some cornstarch, then quickly cook it in a hot skillet for a few minutes until cooked through. Once cooked, I remove the chicken pieces from the pan and let them rest.
- Next, I add some aromatics to the pan such as my red bell pepper and saute that for a moment or two, just until crisp on the outside yet tender on the inside, and still vibrant; I stir in some garlic and ginger, and once that is aromatic, I add my chicken back to the pan, pour in my peanut sauce and stir to combine, allowing it to warm through for a moment.
- To finish the dish, I sprinkle in some peanuts and garnish with some green onions and cilantro leaves, then serve the peanut sauce chicken over rice or noodles.
Peanut Sauce Chicken
by Ingrid Beer
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 644 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons honey (or agave)
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (or your desired amount)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips/chunks
- Black pepper
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Peanut oil (or your preferred variety good for high heat)
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and sliced into medium strips
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 cup peanuts, crushed or roughly chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Prepare the peanut sauce by adding the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, honey (or agave), chili garlic sauce, soy sauce and water to the bowl of a food processor, and process the ingredients until completely smooth and creamy; pour into a large cup or bowl, and set aside.
- Add the chicken pieces into a bowl and season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat; sprinkle over the cornstarch, then toss once again to coat the chicken evenly.
- Place a large heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat, and add in about 1/2 cup of the oil; once the oil is hot and shimmering, work in batches adding some of the coated chicken pieces to the pan, and allow them to sit, undisturbed, for about 3-4 minutes until a pale golden color and slightly crisp; stir to allow the chicken to brown on the other side for another minute or two, until cooked through; remove the chicken from pan and repeat with remaining chicken.
- Next, turn the heat down under the pan to medium, and if needed, add a drizzle more oil; add in the red bell pepper strips, and quickly saute those until crisp yet still tender and vibrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and the ginger, and stir to incorporate; once aromatic (about 30 seconds), add the chicken pieces back into the pan, stir to incorporate them with the peppers/garlic/ginger, then pour in the peanut sauce; stir to combine allowing the sauce to gently warm through for just a moment.
- To finish the peanut sauce chicken, sprinkle in the peanuts and garnish with the green onions and cilantro leaves, and serve with rice or noodles.
Tips & Tidbits for my Peanut Sauce Chicken:
- Chicken thighs for juicy results: Chicken thighs are my pick for this recipe, as they stay nice and tender during the searing process. You can certainly use chicken breast cut into chunks if you prefer, just take care not to overcook it as it will become a bit dry.
- Natural peanut butter: While I use creamy peanut butter, either creamy or crunchy will work because the sauce is blended in the food processor. If possible, opt for natural peanut butter with minimal ingredients in order to control the sweetness and savoriness of the finished peanut sauce.
- Chili garlic sauce, for a spicy kick: I love chili garlic sauce because it is not only spicy, but has the addition of garlic in it. You could also use sambal, which is similar and also prepared with red chilis, or even sriracha in a pinch, if you have that on hand. Also, use more or less depending on your preferred level of spiciness!
- Sides to serve with peanut sauce chicken: I like fragrant jasmine or basmati rice with mine, but you can use plain white rice, or even serve noodles with this dish.