I saw this on a Facebook page I follow. It looked so delicious and we haven’t had chicken. My version is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe, but I roamed pretty freely from his version. You know, The Goddess is a born culinary wanderer. I love peanut sauces. I use the plural form, because there are many, many versions, and so far I haven’t met one I don’t enjoy. This version is fast and easy enough for a weeknight dinner. Having said that, we’re having it for our Sunday dinner. There’s something about chicken and Sunday dinner…hmmm. I’ll have to ponder that a bit.
The peanut sauce has a nice little kick to it, and the roasted sesame oil enhances the nuttiness. The sauce will thicken quite a bit in the oven, but you can thin it with additional broth or water, if you want a thinner sauce…think spoonable consistency. If the sauce is too sharp (can it be?), add a drizzle of honey.
Score the chicken breasts (or thighs). This is to let all the good flavors seep in and to allow them to cook more quickly. Place the scored chicken in a resealable plastic bag. Add the oil, cumin, salt and lime zest; massage that in well. Seal up the bag, removing as much air as possible and place in the fridge. I’ve left them overnight and they were fine, maybe even better. When you’re ready to cook them, place them scored-side down in an oven-proof skillet (I use cast iron) and sear them well over medium-high heat, until they’re just browned. We’re not trying to cook them through. I grated some additional lime zest, as I didn’t think I had added enough before. Flip the breasts over, spoon the peanut sauce over the breasts. You want them well -coated. If the sauce runs off, that’s fine. Slide the pan into a preheated hot oven; roast until the internal temperature reaches 170°F, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan and let the breast stand, covered loosely with foil for at least 5 minutes. As you can see, the sauce has thickened and browned…that’s pure yumminess! In another pan, sauté the peppers with the scallions, over high heat in just a bit of oil, for a couple of minutes. You want them heated through, but still nice and crunchy. Spoon some of the sauce over each breast, garnish with the pepper mixture, sprinkle with cilantro leaves and place a couple of wedges of lime, on the side. I like to cut the breasts into 1/2-strips for service, and place them on top of basmati rice and ripe plantains on the side. The plantains in the picture above, were rolled in coconut and pan-fried.
Spicy Peanut Chicken with Lime
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, scored (or 4 large thighs)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Zest of 1 lime
- Large pinch of ground cumin
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- About 3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 1/2 limes)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
- 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes (more or less to taste)
- 1/3 cup water or chicken broth (or as needed)
- 2-3 fresh Little Sweetie® Peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- Fresh cilantro for garnish and flavor
- Freshly cooked rice
Rub the chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of cumin per breast, kosher salt and black pepper, and the finely grated lime zest. (I like to do this a few hours ahead and chill).
Place chicken, scored-side down in a 10-inch, non-stick ovenproof frying pan (I used a well-seasoned cast iron skillet); put it over medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Peel and finely grate the garlic into a bowl, along with the freshly squeeze lime juice. Stir in the peanut butter, sesame oil, chile flakes and sweet soy sauce. Add enough broth (or water) to loosen the mixture; we want a spoonable consistency.
Turn the chicken over, spoon some of the sauce over each breast, then transfer to the preheated oven and cook until just done, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven; let stand for about 5 minutes, loosely covered. This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat. While the chicken rests, sauté the peppers with the scallions, over high heat in just a bit of oil. You want them crunchy, but heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Spoon some of the sauce over each breast, garnish with the pepper mixture and sprinkle with some cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges, on the side. Very nice served with basmati rice and fried, ripe plantains.
Spicy Peanut Chicken with Lime Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.