My Chicken Addiction

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I didn’t mean to get hooked. It happened accidentally. I don’t want therapy. I just want to keep making this dish, and to share it with you.

First there was a recipe in Sunset Magazine for Ghanaian Peanut and Spice Lamb Skewers. I didn’t quite love it, although the recipe had looked delicious. But it made a lot of spicy peanut powder, and the leftovers of that sat on my counter for a few days, awaiting inspiration.

And then, to use up that powder and a few other things in my fridge, I made this dish. And although it may have started out to be all about using stuff up, I’ve made it again and again, and have never felt like altering my first recipe in the slightest.

It’s rich and comforting, exotic and familiar, infinitely satisfying. And it does call for one unusual ingredient, which is powdered peanut butter. I found several different sorts of that here, but most had sugar added. However, the one made by Santa Cruz Organic is nothing more than a fine, fine powder of peanuts, peanut flour really.  You could probably substitute peanut butter here, but I haven’t tried. It’s perfect just the way it is, and I hope it will hook you just the way it did me.

Peanut Coconut Summer Chicken

1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
1 T paprika
1 T ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Mix this all together in a small bowl and set aside.

8 bone-in skin-on chicken legs – you can separate the thigh and drumstick or not, as you prefer
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 piece of ginger, about 2″ long, diced or julienned to taste
1 bunch green onions, sliced, white and green parts
1 can coconut milk
2 T neutral oil
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken thoroughly on both sides, salting it as you go. I like to cover the chicken, but not the entire pan, with a crumpled piece of foil to reduce spatters and help it cook more evenly. As pieces are browned remove them and place in a single layer in a  large, oven-proof casserole dish.

When all the chicken is browned remove most of the accumulated fat from the pan, leaving a couple of tablespoons. Toss in the red pepper, ginger, cilantro, and green onions and sauté until wilted. Add the spiced peanut powder to the pan and stir until well combined. Pour in the coconut milk gradually, stirring until you have a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.

Pour this sauce over and around the chicken pieces. Cover the dish loosely with foil and bake at 350° until cooked through, about 25-30 minutes, depending on how well you browned the chicken initially. That’s it. Serves 6-8.

I show it with a tangy, lime-juicy spaghetti squash salad, which I think was an excellent accompaniment. Quick pickled cucumbers would also be nice.

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8 Comments on “My Chicken Addiction”

  1. DianeKirkland Says:

    So nice to have a recipe from you again! I look forward to making it again and again….thanks!

  2. Patti A. Says:

    This sounds delicious. I’ll be hunting down some peanut powder so I can make it.

  3. Jan Harding Says:

    Just reading your recipe made my mouth water! Even the idea of the salad is mouth watering. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Barbara Jacquin Says:

    I’m going to try it but real peanut butter will have to do. Thanks for the idea.

  5. meditatewnc Says:

    Funny, I had never heard of powdered peanut butter until two days ago, and here it is again! Thanks for sharing! ❤

  6. donnarmaurilloDonna Maurillo Says:

    I bought powdered peanut butter at Costco in a big jar. Originally, it was for my morning smoothies. But I also added a bit to some cookie recipes. Now I have a whole ‘nother use! I can’t wait to try it on my gentleman friend.

    I cook dinner at his home every Tuesday because he has a boatload of great appliances and a huge kitchen. (Think portable induction cooker, countertop halogen oven, pressure cooker, spiralizer, etc.) Does he cook? Only in the microwave. Lord knows why he has all these doo-dads, but he does, and it’s to my benefit.

  7. Donna Maurillo Says:

    BTW, when I mentioned your blog recently in my food column, a reader sent me an email saying, “You do know what French letters are, don’t you?” I had to look it up.


  8. This looks so delicious! I honestly love having peanut butter sauces with chicken, so I will be trying this one very shortly 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


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