Peanut lovers will love this Peanut Chicken enhanced with orange, ginger, garlic and chili flakes. Marinate, grill, top with cilantro and crunchy peanuts – done!
I adapted this peanut chicken recipe from Aida Mollenkamp at Food Network by altering the cooking and serving options. I’ve used the chicken skewer option several times, but usually opt to save time (especially when I’m preparing for a bigger group) by skipping the skewers. Instead, I grill the boneless chicken pieces whole and cut them after cooking. Then, I either thread the peanut chicken onto wooden skewers for appetizers or serving it in chunks over a bed of arugula, drizzled with the delicious sauce and garnishes.
The dish only takes about 30 minutes (plus 30-60 minutes of marinating time) and is great served hot, room temperature or cold. I like to serve it on a buffet table or for a casual dinner with friends. For dinner, try serving it with Curried Rice with Raisins, Party Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Quinoa or Roasted Bok Choy and Broccoli.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Serve the peanut chicken on skewers or as boneless chicken pieces over rice or greens. I use long skewers for appetizers.
- Vary the heat with more or less chili flakes. The recipe is fairly but not crazy spicy.
- Leave out the orange zest for less intensity.
- Use a good quality peanut sauce instead of making the one in the recipe. You can add orange zest and ginger if you like.
- Substitute fresh ginger and garlic with the ones that come in jars or frozen cubes.
- Skip the skewers and grill whole boneless chicken pieces. Cut into pieces after grilling and thread onto skewers for appetizers if you like.
Make Ahead Peanut Chicken
- This chicken is delicious at room temperature or cold, so you can definitely make it a couple hours ahead and serve it at room temperature, adding the garnishes right before serving.
- Alternatively, refrigerate it and either bring to room temperature or serve it cold. You can warm it in the microwave for minute or two, covered, but don’t overcook it or it will become dry.
- 2 lb boneless chicken thighs (or breasts if preferred)
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 2 medium oranges
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or 2 frozen cubes)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (or 4 frozen cubes)
- 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves (or parsley if preferred)
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- SOAK SKEWERS (if using). If using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes. I prefer metal skewers because you don't have to soak them and I find wood ones burn too easily even if soaked.
- MAKE MARINADE/SAUCE: In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, orange juice and zest, sugar, soy, garlic, ginger and chili flakes until smooth. Pour 2/3 of sauce into a plastic sealed bag. Reserve 1/3 for dipping sauce.
- MARINATE THE CHICKEN: If making skewers, cut chicken into 1 inch wide strips (otherwise leave in whole pieces). Add chicken to marinade, seal bag, squish to coat chicken well and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Heat grill to medium (about 375-400F).
- GRILL CHICKEN: Thread chicken on skewers (if using). If you are not doing skewers, you will just BBQ the boneless chicken in pieces. Oil the grates with a cloth to avoid sticking to the grill (or instead, I spray oil directly onto the chicken). Grill until cooked - a few minutes on each side. Don't overcook. An instant read thermometer will read 160F.
- ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: A couple of options here: 1) serve right on the skewers 2) remove from large skewers and thread onto smaller wooden skewers (for an appetizer, thread 1-2 pieces per skewer); 3) if you cooked the whole thigh/breast, cut into pieces and thread onto skewers; 4) serve chicken in larger pieces or cut into smaller pieces . In all cases, place the chicken on a serving plate and sprinkle on cilantro and peanuts. Drizzle on the reserved peanut sauce or pass it separately. Chicken can be served hot or at room temperature.
Other grilled chicken recipes you might enjoy: