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Charred Peanut Butter Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

Mar 25, 2024 | 0 comments

Piling gorgeously grilled chicken on a flavor-packed sauce, topped with a zingy salsa is one of the best ways to jazz up your regular chicken dinner. Similar to one of the best fakeaways ever, satay chicken, this charred peanut butter chicken is a twist on the classic and every inch as delicious.

Charred peanut butter chicken topped with pineapple salsa on a peanut sauce.

Peanut butter is not just for toast! Here, it’s given the hero treatment as the base for the most glorious, juicy and flavorful charred chicken. Swirling pieces of that charred chicken through the peanut sauce, loaded with Asian flavors, is (in my humble opinion) one of the BEST ways to enjoy chicken. No bland, underseasoned, basic chicken here.

Loaded with protein, it’s super quick and easy and is a real celebration of cupboard staples. Canned pineapple and peanut butter are the main players!

While I LOVE to cook this chicken in a cast iron griddle pan (those lovely char marks are the best), you can use a regular frying pan or skillet, throw it under your broiler (grill) or cook it on the barbecue.

Serve it with steamed rice and crunchy Asian-style slaw, or pair it with a spicy gochujang potato salad, soft and creamy garlic butter potatoes or miso roasted sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

Ingredients for charred peanut chicken laid out and labelled.
  • Chicken thighs. Go for skinless, boneless and good-quality free-range chicken thighs for the best flavour. I prefer using chicken thighs over chicken breasts here because they’re juicier, but breasts are also great. If you do use breasts, slice them down the middle (lengthways) to create thinner pieces that will cook more evenly and quickly.
  • Peanut butter. It’s important to use natural peanut butter without any palm oil or added sugar. The ingredients list should just be peanuts and salt. I LOVE Pic’s, Fix & Fogg, Maniflie or Pip & Nut, but any brand will work well, as long as it’s natural. Either crunchy or smooth is fine.
  • Pineapple. Fresh pineapple is ideal, but I’ve used canned here and it’s absolutely fine. That way, you can also use some of the pineapple juice in the salsa itself (and keep the rest for a tropical cocktail!)
  • Fish sauce. I know this might be a divisive one, but it’s undoubtedly one of my most used ingredients. It brings a lovely, savoury depth to the peanut sauce that you won’t get from salt alone and I really recommend trying it. I promise it doesn’t taste fishy at all.
  • Mint. You could swap fresh mint for cilantro (coriander) leaves, basil, Thai basil or flat-leaf parsley.

How to make it

Add all your chicken marinade ingredients to a bowl, mix, then add the chicken thighs and mix them evenly through the marinade. Set aside for now – you can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours in advance if you like, and you (ideally) want to let it sit in the marinade for 30 minutes. But if you don’t have the time, it’ll be absolutely fine.

Pour your peanut butter into a small bowl, then add the other sauce ingredients, apart from the water. Mix the sauce, then slowly pour in the water, mixing as you go. I find using a fork is best for this – it acts as a mini whisk and helps the ingredients meld evenly.

Mix your pineapple salsa in a small bowl, and set aside. Set a pan over high heat – I’m using a cast iron griddle pan which I love because you get those gorgeous charred lines – but you can use any pan you like here. You could also cook the chicken on your barbecue, or broil (grill) it.

Cook your chicken for about 5 minutes on each side. You’ll be tempted to move it around but don’t do it – you want to get those lovely charred spots for the best flavour. I like to char a lemon in the pan as the chicken finishes cooking for another smoky element you can squeeze over the finished dish.

Spoon the peanut sauce onto a serving plate that has a bit of a lip, then pile the charred chicken on top. Spoon over the pineapple salsa, then finish with a scattering of peanuts and scallions. If you’ve charred the lemons, arrange them on the side and squeeze the juice on top as you serve.

Got a question?

What’s the best peanut butter to use?

Use natural peanut butter for the best flavour and consistency – that just means one that literally only has peanuts and salt in the ingredient list. Avoid ones that include palm oil or sugar. I love Fix & Fogg (USA/NZ/AU), Manilife (UK), Pip & Nut (UK) or Pic’s (NZ/UK). I’ve used crunchy peanut butter in the photos above, but smooth is also fab.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs?

Yes, you can. If you do, I recommend you butterfly them first (slice them in half, lengthways) for quicker cooking.

What can I serve with the chicken?

I like to serve the chicken with steamed rice (the sauce is GORGEOUS when it soaks into rice), or you could go for a crunchy slaw-like salad (this Asian-style red cabbage salad is great), crispy roast potatoes or miso sweet potatoes, or even 2 ingredient dough garlic naan or cheese naan.

Watch how to make it

Like this recipe? Here are more quick chicken ideas to try

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

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Charred peanut butter chicken topped with pineapple salsa on a peanut sauce.

Charred Peanut Butter Chicken with Pineapple Salsa


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  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie

Description

Piling gorgeously grilled chicken on a flavor-packed sauce, topped with a zingy salsa is one of the best ways to jazz up your regular chicken dinner. Similar to one of the best fakeaways ever, satay chicken, this charred peanut butter chicken is a twist on the classic and every inch as delicious.

Serve with steamed rice, a crunchy slaw, garlic butter potatoes or miso sweet potatoes.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the charred chicken –

  • 1lb/500g chicken thighs (boneless, skinless and free-range)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated (or use 1 teaspoon ginger paste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 lemon, halved

For the pineapple salsa –

  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple (canned is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 scallion (spring onion), finely sliced

For the peanut sauce –

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli jam
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves, the grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric to a bowl and mix to combine. Add the chicken thighs, then mix through the marinade to coat well. Set the chicken aside while you prepare the rest of the dish. PRO TIP: You can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours in advance if you like.
  2. Make the pineapple salsa. Add 1/2 cup of chopped pineapple to a small bowl along with 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, the chopped mint leaves and scallions. Mix to combine, then set aside.
  3. Make the peanut sauce. Pour 1/2 cup of peanut butter into a small bowl, along with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of sweet chilli jam. Use a fork to mix the ingredients well, then slowly pour in the water, mixing as you go. It’ll look like the sauce has split, but keep mixing and it’ll come together into a smooth, creamy sauce with a pourable consistency. If it’s a little thick, add a little more water and mix.
  4. Heat your pan. Set a large pan over high heat. I like to use a cast iron griddle pan to get the gorgeous striped marks, but any pan is fine. You could also barbecue the chicken, or pop it under your broiler (grill) for 7 or so minutes on each side.
  5. Cook the chicken. Once the pan is hot, arrange the marinated chicken in the pan on one layer. Cook for 7 minutes on one side, resisting the urge to move the chicken around. You want those lovely charred marks for maximum flavour. After 7 minutes, flip the chicken over. Place the halved lemon, cut sides down, onto the pan with the chicken, then cook for another 7 minutes, or until the chicken hits 165F/74C using a probe thermometer in the thickest part (or slice into a piece and check there are no pink bits). Remove the chicken and the lemon from the pan.
  6. Garnish and serve. Pour the peanut sauce onto a lipped serving plate, then arrange the charred chicken on top. Spoon over the pineapple salsa, then finish with a scattering of chopped peanuts. Serve the charred lemon wedges on the side.

Notes

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Once cooked, the chicken will keep well for 4 days, stored in the fridge in a covered container. You can also marinate the chicken up to 24 hours ahead of time, the peanut sauce will keep for at least 1 week stored in the fridge in a covered container, and you can make the pineapple salsa 2 days ahead of time.

INGREDIENT NOTES: While I prefer chicken thighs, you can use chicken breasts if you like. I recommend slicing them in half lengthways, for quicker and easier cooking. You want to use a natural peanut butter (peanut butter that has just peanuts and salt in it) rather than anything with added sugar or palm oil. My go-tos are Fix & Fogg (USA/AU/NZ), Manilife (UK), Pip & Nut (UK) or Pic’s (NZ, UK).

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: I love serving this chicken with steamed rice, or you could serve it with a couple of crunchy salads – I love it with this Asian red cabbage salad or smacked cucumber salad. You could also serve it up with a pile of soft flarbreads, garlic naan, cheese naan, crispy dukkah potatoes or miso roasted sweet potato wedges.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: meat
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: american

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 200g
  • Calories: 416
  • Sugar: 9.8g
  • Sodium: 1299.8mg
  • Fat: 25.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 18.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.4g
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Protein: 33.4g
  • Cholesterol: 117.5mg

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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