Chicken Peanut Curry

West African inspired chicken peanut curry, with lime, coriander seed, onion, cilantro, mint, ginger, chili, peanuts, and chicken.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken pieces (or you can use bone-in for added flavor), cut into 1 1/2 inch wide chunks or strips
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 4 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 serrano chili peppers, seeded, de-veined, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (if using freshly ground peanuts, add 2 teaspoons of sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 8 green onions, chopped, greens included
  • 1/3 cup each finely chopped mint and cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice

Method

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1 Rinse chicken and pat dry. In a large bowl, combine the flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken pieces to coat.

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2 Heat oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven on medium high heat. Add chicken pieces in batches, being careful to not crowd the pan. Cook 2-4 minutes per side, or until the coating sets and browns a little. Remove the chicken from the pot as it cooks and set aside in a bowl.

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3 When the chicken has all been browned, add the ginger, garlic, chili pepper and 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to the saucepan. Cook for a minute or two, scraping the pan with a spatula and stirring to combine everything well. Whisk in the peanut butter, and the remaining 3 1/2 cups of broth slowly, stirring continuously to maintain an even texture.

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4 Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for 15-25 minutes. Right before serving, add the ground coriander, cilantro, mint and green onions. Add salt and lime juice to taste. Serve with rice.

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Comments

  1. saritha

    For very Indian tasting curry powder, lightly fry in 1tsp of oil the following at low flame:
    2 inches cinnamon stick, 1 green cardamom (whole but crushed-so that it does not splatter), 4-5 cloves, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 5-6 black pepper corns. Fry until your kitchen fills with a pleasant aroma of spices.
    Grind the fried spices without water. Use as much as you need and store the rest in air tight container in the fridge for upto 15 days! To make it more hot, add 1-2 Indian red chillies or Thai red pepper (dry) while frying.

  2. Paz

    Interesting recipe. I’m originally from West Africa and as a youngster remember having groundnut soup (they don’t call it peanut soup), made from fresh groundnuts as stated above. What is interesting to me about this recipe is that the ingredients — like curry , mint, and cilantro — listed above are not used in the African groundnut soup I remember having. I’m going to make this soup for my mom.

    Paz

  3. veuveclicquot

    One of my dear friends in high school was from Ivory Coast and she used to bring a Peanut/groundnut chicken stew to lunch on occasion. It was delicious. I had forgotten all about it, so thank you for bringing back memories… This recipe is on my growing ‘to make’ list!

  4. Alyssa

    My cousin is Nigerian and he makes an excellent peanut-chicken stew flavored primarily by peanut butter, a scotch bonnet pepper and a whole tomato. It is flavorful and spicy and is great over rice. I will ask for his recipe so I can share it with you.

  5. Cinara

    Besides the wonderful recipes you are so kind in sharing with us, I was wondering about the stunning plates and dishes you use in your pictures! There are so many different ones, and they sure make your recipes look even yummier!
    Are they all yours or are they borrowed? Do you buy them specially for the site pictures? Do you keep all of them? Anyway, you have a great taste for dishes too!
    Best regards from Brazil…

  6. Elise

    Hi Gary – I think it would be quite hard to eat this dish without rice, which is why I didn’t categorize it low carb. What do you think, should it be in the low carb category anyway?

    Hi Alyssa – please do share the recipe if you are able to get it.

    Hi Cinara – I’ve been collecting interesting pieces of ceramics and china for years. Now I finally have a use for my odd indulgence. What, an excuse to buy individual pieces of china? I’m in heaven.

  7. Steven D. Fairweather

    Your Chicken Peanut Curry Recipe sounds delicious. I grew up in the central Africa region, in Zaire (Belguim Congo, now DRC), and frequently enjoyed a similar, but much simpler, recipe…
    Central African Curry Chicken:
    4-6 chicken breasts, cubed 1″ pieces
    4 large tomatoes, diced small
    4 large onions, diced small
    3-6 Tbsp curry, depending on your taste level
    26-28 oz. jar of Chuncky peanut butter
    2 oz. roasted peanuts (optional)
    While browning the chicken in a frying pan, place the tomatoes and onions in a 5-6 qt. stock pot and simmer for 35-45 minutes. Add the peanut butter and curry and simmer for about 30 minutes until the consistancy is uniformly smooth. Add the chicken and continue to simmer while you prepare the rice. Serve over the rice, sprinkle the roasted peanuts and enjoy.

  8. Anonymous

    Just tried this recipe over the weekend and it was SO DELICIOUS! Elise, you’ve done it again. There’s no use referring to epicurious as long as you’re around posting these wonderful recipes. Many thanks!

  9. Jen

    I made this for dinner, and HOLY COW was it excellent! I tweaked it a little – I used a pound of chicken, but only halved the rest of the recipe. I also used 1/4 of a HUGE red jalapeno. In the end, I decided I wanted it “saucier” so I mixed some cornstarch/cold water and added enough so it was just thickened up enough for what I was in the mood for.

  10. Leah

    Hi, I have recently found your webpage and love it! I tried this recipe the other night and my boyfriend and I couldn’t get enough! We love the combination of spicy with a hint of sweetness! Thanks for the great recipe! Yummy, yum, yum!!!

  11. Amy

    You score again. I made this last night and it was so good I had to stop eating it so I’d have leftovers. I had to improve a teensy bit because I didn’t have stuff on hand (no cilantro, just mint; no serranos; one orange pepper and some thai chili peppers) but it was wonderful, it’s def. going in my popular rotation. Thanks!

  12. nisi

    Visiting our daughters and son-in-law in Colorado-hungry for peanut chicken curry-did
    a search, this recipe came up-Excellent!! We didn’t use the coriander seeds, mint or cilantro-and put the chili peppers on the side
    for those who wanted more spice. The meal
    was served with brown rice and mixed Asian
    Vegies-we had great reviews from the family.
    Thanks so much!!

  13. Jo

    I originally learned this recipe from some family from the Ivory Coast. I then found this recipe and used it to tweak what already had.
    It’s so delicious I’m making it again for a dinner party tonight…

  14. SuperLeah

    Hi, I just tried a really similar recipe for Groundnut Stew that sounds like the same thing, from an African woman’s family recipe. It’s super-economical (from a blog on $5 family meals), and if you start with a whole roasting chicken you can end up with many servings to freeze. 1 chicken. 1 onion. 6-8 c water. (you can add stock stuff: celery, carrots, salt & pepper). Boil chicken, remove meat from bones, shred/ split into manageable pieces. Put chicken back in strained broth, and add:1 can diced/crushed tomatoes or a few of the real thing. 1 onion, diced. Red pepper to taste. 1 jar natural peanut butter (separated into chunks to help dissolve). Boil until oil rises to the top. Feel free to add more water. Serve over rice (can make into balls first). Feeds 8.

  15. libby

    This was so easy and delicious. I used boneless skinless thighs and they worked really well. It was even more delicious the next day. Don’t skip the garnishes- they really make the dish!

  16. krissypants

    Just wondering what kind of peanut butter to use. I usually eat the Real brand of peanut butter which has no added sugar. Would this work for the recipe or would you recommend something like Jif or Skippy which has added sugar?

  17. flownmuse

    This has become a new “old favorite” of mine; as a matter of fact I am making it tonight!

    Even my 88 year old Grannny (who’s never had curry before) loves it! Thanks for this great recipe.

  18. tafi

    I didn’t have a few of the ingredients for this recipe but made it anyway with what I had and it was delicious.

    I used potatoes instead of chicken, and left out the chili peppers, garlic, corriander, mint, cilatro and lime, and used a white onion instead of green onions. (I know that’s half of the ingredients, hehe)

    It’s even good cold from the fridge. Will definitely have to try the full recipe.
    Yum :) Thanks

  19. Heather

    I recently found your site and this recipe….I am eating it right now and it is fantastic. Cannot wait to try out your other recipes…I am eyeing that rhubarb drink right now.

  20. sirat

    This was excellent. Really suited me since it is dairy free and curries usually have dairy. Thanks for the recipe. Will make this again!

  21. Sasha R

    This recipe was delicious. It was my first curry ever and my roommate loved it. I did leave out one of the chilies, because I don’t handle spicy very well. However, I think it would have been okay. There was just the barest hint of spicy, it actually could have used a bit more kick.

    My roommate commented that it smelled more like peanut than it tasted and she would have liked if that flavor were stronger.

    The mint, cilantro, and lime juice were the perfect contrast to finish up this dish. Thanks Elise for such a wonderful recipe.

  22. Dianna

    This recipe was absolutely spectacular! Easy to prepare, we ate until there was no more! We sat at the dining room table and wondered aloud if it would be over the top to make another batch! Thanks for this!

  23. Carrie

    I love this recipe. It is our new household favorite. I have a toddler who doesn’t like anything spicy, so I hold the peppers and my hubby and I use hot sauce to our taste.
    I experimented with the rice by adding some of the mint leaves in the water while it cooked. It gave the rice a wonderful mint scent and a little added mint flavor.

  24. nyush

    I’ve made so many recipes from your blog, and they are always reliably delicious! This was amazing and more than what I was hoping it would be. Although it was tasty on its own, the garnishes elevated this delicious curry!
    I made some relatively minor changes: used only 1 lb of chicken thighs (that’s all I had), made the same amount of sauce (b/c i’m ALL about the sauce), added some carrots, chick peas, and green peas, and served over quinoa.
    This was amazing. I licked the pan clean after I transferred the leftovers.
    Thank you so much! I love your site.

  25. jessicat

    We had this for dinner last night, with white rice, okra, and orange juice. Amazing, delicious, out-of-this-world! Thank you.

    Krissypants, I used TraderJoe’s natural peanut butter. I used salted, but I think the unsalted would have worked better, as there’s plenty of salt in the chicken stock. My husband doesn’t like spicy food, so I replaced the chili peppers with a red bell pepper. My cilantro had gone to slime, so I substituted dill weed. Next time, I’m going to add some chick peas and carrots to the sauce.

    And, yeah, I’m with nyush. I didn’t let a drop of this goodness go to waste.

  26. Shana

    I’m a cooking newbie, and I’m always hesitant to experiment on my own. I’m wondering if this recipe could be made in a slow cooker, maybe simmered for a couple of hours? I work at home and it would be nice to start dinner cooking at lunch, so its ready when I “leave” the office at 5. Plus, seems like the chicken would only get better the longer it simmers in the curry?

    Sounds like a worthy experiment. If you try to make it in a slow cooker, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

    • Melissa

      I tried it in the slow cooker today. It is good but I feel like the flavors all became very mellowed instead of richer. I prefer cooking it the tried and true way but it definitely isn’t bad in the slow cooker if you have no time.

  27. Anna

    Good but would have liked more peanut taste. If I made it again I’d at least double the peanut butter. Used 2 green chilies instead of the serranos. Takes about 1hr to make with ingredients on hand. I like the idea of adding chickpeas, with carrots, peas or green beans.

  28. Rachel

    I printed this recipe this morning and made the dish earlier this evening. My husband and I thought it was beyond AMAZING! Absolutely fabulous!

    I used 525 grams of chicken and halved all the rest of the ingredients. The sauce was really thick — like we like it — probably because when I dumped the chicken into the wok, I dumped all the left over flour in as well (purely by accident).

    While doing the dishes, my husband said that I can add this recipe to our collection of A+ recipes.

  29. Zipi

    I made the dish last friday.Today as the new recipe came I remmebered it was so tasty.
    My husband and my children thought it was Absolutely delicious!
    I used chicken breast and cooked it for 5 minutes.

  30. Yasmine

    This recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering what kind of curry powder you used? I am used to making Indian food and not sure which would be the most appropriate. thank you!

  31. Paul M.

    This was a winner, Elyse. I made it tonight and served it over baked Arborio. As good as it was, I must agree with Paz’s comment of years ago: mint, curry and cilantro are not West African. i would have expected more cumin and hot chilies than the Asian influence. A good fusion, though.

    • Elise

      Hi Paul, glad you liked it! I first made this soup so many years ago, I have no idea what additional changes I made to the source recipe in the book. I agree that it certainly doesn’t sound at all West African, but I do recall that the recipe from which I originally based this recipe was called West African in the book. So whatevah! The important thing is that it tastes good. :-)

  32. Katie B.

    Love this recipe. However, a quick question: I’d like to make a tofu version of this, but I’m a newcomer to vegetarian cooking. Do any of you have suggestions for incorporating tofu instead of chicken?

    • Jackie

      I used chicken and tofu. But you can use tofu and vegetable broth. I used firm tofu, drained it, then cubed it. I gently tossed the tofu with the seasoned flour. Then I gently fried it in olive oil just to brown it a bit. I took it out of the pan and continued with the rest of the recipe. I added the tofu towards the very end. I didn’t want it to crumble much. I thought the tofu was a nice addition, you might consider adding some vegetables. This recipe is really tasty, be sure to add all the seasonings at the end. I’m not a fan of mint so I skipped that. This recipe is worth the effort.

    • Elise

      Rarely can you toss recipe ingredients into a slow cooker and come out with the same result as a stove top recipe. There is a lot of flavor that comes from browning the meat first as well as the vegetables. That said, you can cook this on the stove to that point, and then put it in a slow cooker, no idea on the timing though.

  33. Gwyn

    This is awesome. The chicken was so tender and juicy. I did add about 1 1/2 cups more chicken broth since it was kind of thick, to thin it out. This will definitely go into my printed collection of favorite recipes. Me and hubby likes spicy but daughter does not so we added a good sprinkle of hot pepper flakes over our plate. We served over hot Jasmine rice. The only thing that surprised me was the prep time was more like an hour instead of 15 minutes. There is a lot of chopping, grating, etc. so unless you are a professional chef you will need more than 15 minutes prep time. This is one of my favorite sites. Rarely do I ever make a recipe from Elise we don’t absolutely love. Keep them coming!

  34. Rene

    I don’t know if you will post this since it seems all the posters that are shown are ones that love the dish. I made it per your instructions and was very disappointed. I really did not care for the dish at all. Don’t mean to offend anyone but it just was not to my liking, which is odd since I love curry and I love peanut butter. Obviously, I will not be preparing this dish again. Sorry!

    • Karen

      I have to say I also was disappointed. It’s not that it was bad or inedible or anything. It is just not nearly as flavorful as I thought it was going to be. I love all the ingredients individually – so I thought this was going to be fantastic but alas….no. It seems to be missing something. Maybe I needed to use a different curry? I don’t know. I followed the recipe as written with the exception of using different types of hot pepper since I couldn’t find serranos. Anyway, I expected better.

  35. Yuina

    Dear Sir or Madam
    I am interested in cooking. So I visited your site because I want to reference the cooking.
    Your recipe is easy to understand.
    I want to cook while watching your recipe.
    I would be grateful if you could answer my question.
    What kind of rice matches Chicken Peanut Curry?
    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

  36. John B

    I’ve never found a recipe on your site that I didn’t love – until now. This sounded so good, and with all the rave reviews, I had high hopes. I followed the recipe exactly, but the results were a little disappointing. It seemed to us that the peanut butter overwhelmed everything else, and that it was all just a little “flat”. There are different curry powders, so maybe that’s part of the problem (I used a yellow curry). Also the sauce was too thick – but I probably should have removed more of the excess flour/curry mixture from the chicken pieces before frying, or added more broth.

    However, it was good enough to try again – next time I will decrease the amount of flour and peanut butter (and maybe try a different brand), and increase the curry. Also, I must say it was better left over.

  37. D

    This was amazing. My first attempt at curry and now I want to make more! Next I’ll try the basil coconut curry recipe you have on here. Thanks for a winning meal!!

  38. Torrey

    This was very good! Delicious combination of flavors. I made it pretty much as given, though I didn’t have any mint, and I also substituted jalapenos for the serranos. Curry powder and peanut butter from Trader Joe’s. And yes, it took more like an hour to prep – but very much worth it!

  39. Diane

    Great recipe! I added onions and kabocha squash for substance, and it was delicious. I didn’t think the sauce would thicken up, but it did due to the floured chicken prior to panfrying. The sauce was at the right consistency, which is amazing, and it was very complex and layered (partially due to the curry we used: Zanzibar Curry Powder from Savory Spice). We ate with a white and brown mix of basmati rice because the flavor isn’t too forward like jasmine rice. Soooooo comforting after a single digit day in Colorado :)

  40. Jeanine M.

    Excellent! Do not omit the mint, it really makes the dish. My three young kids devoured this and asked if I would make it again soon.

  41. Sharon

    This is fantastic. All those extra bits at the end really set it off. Its instantly become my third favourite chicken dish from your site : the Moroccan tagine with lemon and olives which I have SO many times, and the Fesenjan, with pomegranate molasses and walnuts and now this. Ive even blogged the fesenjan (http://66.147.244.134/~sharonmi/persian-delight/
    Love your recipes.
    Going to try the basil /coconut next…!

  42. Carol

    SO good. Very, very flavorful. I have tried a few curry dishes from other sides in which needed much more seasonings/spices added to them, to make them not so bland in taste.
    I actually used organic extra firm tofu instead of the chicken and it seemed to taste just fine. I also added about tablespoon more peanut butter. I served it over long grain brown rice.

    Thanks for the tasty recipe!

  43. Michelle

    Could you sub almond flour for a gluten free option? or just omit the flour? Just wondering, trying to adapt this for a friend who is allergic. Thanks!