New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

(Easy) Peanut Butter Chicken Slow Cooker Recipe


The kids and I have been on a peanut butter kick lately. We seem to go through a jar a week---I smear it on rice cakes (we like the apple ones) and sprinkle on dried cranberries for breakfast, and mix it with honey and dip in green apples for an after-school snack. I'll even sneak a spoonful right out of the jar when no one's looking.

The baby still can't have peanut butter, so she stuck to quinoa  while the rest of us scarfed down this chicken (p.s. QUINOA MAKES A BIG MESS under the high chair).

a big one.

I used chicken quarters for this recipe because I bought a bunch on sale, but if I was to purchase chicken specifically for this dish, I'd opt for boneless, skinless thighs.

The Ingredients.
serves 4



1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut in chunks *
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your choice)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup soy sauce (use gluten free--La Choy or Tamari wheat-free)
1/2 cup chicken broth

* If you are going to use quarters, or meat with bones, be aware that the meat will probably fall off the bone, and you'll need to fish out the bone pieces before serving. I've used this sauce with a whole chicken (I doubled the sauce ingredients for a 4.5-pound bird) and it was fantastic, but the bones were a bit of an issue.

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Put the chicken into the bottom of your pot and add the peanut butter. Toss in the vegetables and cumin. Squeeze in lime, and add soy sauce and chicken broth. Stir as well as you can to combine (the peanut butter will be clumpy, and that's just fine). Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours. Serve over rice or quinoa.

The Verdict.

Adam and I both think this sauce tastes like the Thai Peanut Butter chicken we order from our local Thai restaurant. It's delicious---and the whole pot costs less than 1 serving does at the restaurant! If you're not serving children and would like a bit of a kick, you can add red pepper flakes either while cooking (start with 1/2 tsp) or at the table to taste. If you'd like, you can squeeze on some extra lime juice at the table.
 My kids love this meal, and eat much more than they usually do for dinner when I serve it.

2008 flashback:
January 27: Super Simple Lasagna (we make this every 2 weeks. it's fantastic.)


Happy February!!



60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my!! That sounds awesome... another nice place for peanut butter is in oatmeal. I use a a tablespoon, stir it in. It melts nicely and adds a wonderful flavor!
Sandi

Tasty Eats At Home said...

This sounds really tasty!

stiner0305 said...

this sounds yummy. will have to go and buy some chicken really soon!

Monica said...

What do you think would happen if I used un-natural peanut butter? Would it come out gross? I guess I could buy a jar of the good stuff, but the costco-sized jar of Jif is what I've got on hand. I just don't want to mess up :)

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Monica,
if it were up to me, I'd use what I have on hand. The flavor will be the same, with a bit of sweetness, as if you added sugar or honey. I think it'd taste wonderful. :-)

quinn said...

I'm going to try this soon - I LOVE Thai Peanut chicken! Do you think lemon could be substituted for lime? I always have lemons (or at least lemon juice) on hand.

Always happy to see a post :)

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi quinn!!!
go for it. ;-0

Karen said...

Ooo I am making this tomorrow. And I am LMAO about the baby and the quinoa. Another thing, babies and ONE slice of cheese surprisingly make huge messes, who knew?

Stacey J said...

This sounds so tasty!! I have everything but the chicken to make this right now. I may make it anyway and just add more peppers and leave it vegetarian.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

Anything with peanut butter gets my vote!!

I can't even imagine cleaning up quinoa off the floor.

Kosher Kitchen Stuff said...

Let's be honest though, babies and just about ANYTHING make a huge mess under the high chair.

Stephanie, do you think that this will make a good sauce for a chuck roast? I found an old chuck roast living at the bottom of my deep freezer...

Jen said...

I cannot believe this is the recipe on the front page today!!! This is what I made today, just ate, and came over to the computer to rave about!!! I was skeptical about what my husband would say - he ate it first while I was out at speech with my son. I got home and he said "by the way, that stuff you made for dinner...it's fricken AWESOME!" I agree, it's absolutely delicious. We ate it with some cooked frozen broccoli by layering in our bowls rice, then broccoli, then the chicken. This is also how we like to eat brown sugar chicken and it's so good. This is a definite keeper that I'll make again and again! Oh, and I used bottled lemon juice instead of lime because that's what I had on hand. I used some frozen sliced peppers and next time I'll use fresh because they got mushy, but the flavor was still all there. Great!

Diane-The WHOLE Gang said...

Peanut butter is great on just about anything. Love how you use it here.

shamanaccount said...

My favorite chicken...with peanut butter? WoW that would be super delicious times two. Love love peanut butter, I could eat them straight from the jar. Great recipe!

Anonymous said...

Sounds gorgeous - I adore both principal ingredients so will definitely be trying this. PS are you on Live Journal by any chance? Because if not, someone has just posted this recipe word for word over there on a slow cooking community I belong to, with no acknowledgment...

Kathryn said...

I make something similar. I cook chicken breasts (it's just me so I have a tiny crock pot) in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar and some brown sugar. When I come home from work, I take out the chicken and shred it. I then whisk in the peanut butter (I use the cheap kind because that's all that's available in Korea). I dump the chicken back in the sauce and serve over unflavored ramen noodles.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

It certainly sounds amazing, Steph! Hubby thinks he hates peanut butter in savory dishes ... I bet I could change his mind with this one based on the reviews. ;-) Of course, I won't tell him that peanut butter is involved until after he raves over it! LOL

Thanks so much for interviewing me for Gluten Free TV! It was scary (haha!), but fun. I hope that people will truly change their minds about living gluten free being hard. Life should not be hard!

xo,
Shirley

Shadley said...

YUM!! Can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

This is going on my menu for next week! It sounds super yummy.

I laughed so hard at the baby and quinoa comment. I have a one year old and gave him couscous the other day... Well, you can picture it.

-Muriah

Nikki said...

This is very similar to something I make in the crockpot using a pork shoulder... it never occurred to me to use it with chicken! I shall try it this week! :)

Anonymous said...

This is a lot like one of my favourites, African Peanut Chicken.

The first time I made it, I followed a complicated recipe from an African section on the interwebs.

The second time, I used a recipe I found on Paul Newman's website. Ingredients: chicken, peanut butter, and salsa! Nothing else--the salsa has all the seasonings covered. And that one even tasted better.

Don't know about Thai versions, but with African peanut dishes it would also work with beef, or with sweet potatoes or squash if you wanted it vegetarian.

(Oh and I add some chopped peanuts at the end.)

PS My hubby also loves Thai peanut chicken--I will try yours as soon as we use up all the Thai peanut sauce mix packets we seem to have acquired.

Monica said...

It was super with the Jif! This one is definitely a keeper :) Thank you Stephanie!

Deb said...

I like the idea of using sweet potatoes or squash to vegetarianize this recipe. I was wondering if you think tofu would work as well?

Marnie said...

Wow, what a great blog! Can't wait to start trying your recipes. I have 3 hungry boys who are going to love your peanut butter chicken.
x Marnie from 3Pickles - Australia

LBDDiaries said...

Oh I am so glad I found you! I have just begun using my OLD crock pot again and was on the hunt for amazing recipes likes this. So now I have to follow you and go dig into your archives - yay!!!

Sarah G said...

Oh man, wish I had seen this yesterday! Made the stove top version of this dish...what a mess! Tasty, but too many pots and pans. Had been planning to get on this very blog tonight and look for a slow cooker recipe and here it was! Going to try this version out very soon. Thank you!

JoyP said...

My first time using one of your recipes, and today, I made this one. It was very good, I'll definitely make it again, but I think I would add a whole cup of peanut butter instead of just the half to get a richer peanutty flavor. I had a totally dry lime, too, so I should've added the juice of a lemon; I think that would've made it tangier. Ahh well, it was very good, and I'll enjoy left-overs for lunch tomorrow! Glad I found you!! (7 1/2 months pregnant with twins - need economical yummy meals that come together in minutes!)

danita said...

makes me wish we could eat peanut butter! do you have any suggestions for getting the same-ish flavor without adding peanut butter? we're allergic!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Danita, I'd try almond butter or sun butter. if opting for the sun butter (or tahini) mix the concoction in a separate bowl and add a bit of sugar to taste before spreading on the chicken.
--steph

Ana Luisa said...

Just wanted to say I tried this recipe and both my DD and I loved it! We served it over boiled rice, delicious. I used the peanut butter I had on hand, a domestic brand, plus I added shelled roasted peanuts, because I like them. Very good, and maybe next time I'll add brocolli and/or mushrooms. Thanks for a great recipe!

Anonymous said...

actually, unless you have a family history of peanut allergies, the new advice from the APA is that babies *should* have nuts and peanut butter from the age of 6 months on! crazy, hunh? but apparently, all of this avoidance of nuts and peanuts has increased allergic reactions in the general population. totally different advice now than what it was when I had my first child 8 years ago.

judysquiltsandthings said...

This was good! I used your suggestion for ten pounds of chicken quarters so I did mine as a stir-fry.

Ruth @ \"and a Pinch of Salt\" said...

I tried this last night. Even though I obliterated the entire shape of every thing in there by setting the slow cooker on high, it was sooooooo tasty. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Irreverent Angel said...

My entire family loved it. Even my picky 6 year old. The 2 year old eats anything but did ask for "More PLEASE". As always, your blog helps me feed my family healthy food that is never boring. THANK YOU!!

Krysta Von Killenstein said...

I am excited... I love peanut sauce! Been lurking around your blog for a little while and I love it, so I thought I'd let you know this is simmering away in my Crock-Pot right now... can't wait to try it!

CJ said...

Steph, this is inspired! I made it last night with a little over a pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, frozen rock solid (I don't particularly like working with raw chicken, so it's great that it can go directly from freezer to crockpot - which I learned from you), giving it 2 hours on high and then 4 on low. Perfect! I will also use this idea for other recipes I have that use peanut butter (a curry - omit soy sauce, add chopped apple, garlic, curry powder; a satay sauce - use red wine vinegar and a little brown sugar instead of the lime, add garlic and a little sesame oil). Thank you!

Michelle said...

This is in my crockpot right now! I used chicken tenders because that is what I had on hand. I love that I had every ingredient the recipe called for. I can't wait to taste it. If it's anything like it smells...YUM!

I adored your first cookbook, but I'm especially loving your newest book. Thanks for the recipes!

Nancy Smith said...

I've been looking at this recipe since it came into my inbox. I put everything in the food processor because my family won't eat a red pepper. Poured it over my boneless skinless breasts from Costco and I can't wait for dinner tonight!

Thanks for all of the great ideas. I, too, have pulled out my crockpot and an using it again. I did the lasagne and it turned out really great. But lasagne is always better the second day.

Anonymous said...

It's in the crock now! It smells awesome. My girlfriend was over earlier and said she was not interested in the leftover soup she had planned for their dinner!!

Libbet said...

A couple questions: do you think this would work well with beef -- something like stew meat? Would it tenderize it as well?

Also, if I made it with a whole chicken, do you think I could make stock out of the carcass, or would I end up with weird, peanut-buttery stock?

Anonymous said...

I love peanut butter and chicken, but because I'm working on losing weight, I have to limit how much peanut butter I eat. I make a Weight Watchers creamy peanut butter spread (garbanzo beans, peanut butter, a bit of honey, and water), which has fewer calories than straight peanut butter. In the chicken recipe I substituted 1/2 cup peanut butter spread plus 2 Tbsp. of creamy peanut butter for the 1/2 cup peanut butter called for. Worked perfectly and the chicken was delicious served over steamed brown rice with a side of stir fried veggies. My husband and kids loved it, too. Thanks so much for posting the recipe---it's a keeper.

Irish Mama said...

I made this today, and my one complaint is that I think PB sauces need a little sweetness to develop the flavor. Fortunately, that was easily remedied! My husband and I are low carbing, so I put a tad bit of sugar-free vanilla syrup in each of our servings, and for the kids, I put a tad bit of maple syrup. It was delicious! The kids didn't love it so much, I think b/c they've never had a PB sauce and it just seemed weird to them. But I'm a huge fan of PB sauces, so I thought it was awesome. Perhaps I will just make it for me in a small crock pot in the future. :)

Oh, one other small tweak I made: I added about 1/4 cup of cream during the last half hour to make the sauce creamier. It was awesome!

Irish Mama said...

Oh, one other thing: if you don't usually keep natural PB on hand, most grocery stores now have those "grind your own PB" stations. That's what I did for this (I use a natural PB for my kids, but it has some molasses in it, and my husband and I are low carbing), and it was a really great way to do it. I eyeballed something around a half cup (probably a bit more) and it was less than $1!!!

NainaDG said...

I cooked this yesterday! It was really good and I even messed it up a bit and added too much liquid. And my toddler ate it, which is the biggest compliment that I can give right now. So glad I found your site

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your awesome blog! I would love to make this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs for my hubby that needs to be sold on peanut butter beyond white bread ;p Would you recommend this or your Asian peanut butter pork sauce recipe for the chicken? Many Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Made this today! Very good! But I think next time ill add more peanut butter and probably some thai peppers for spice!

Keith said...

Thank you so much for all of the recipes. I am responsible for dinner on Tuesday (my day off) and I love getting everything going early and coming back and finding my dinner ready! I made 2 small changes, I heated the peanut butter slightly so it spread over everything in the crock and I added chili powder in place of red pepper flake for heat.

Lisa said...

This sounds wonderful! I love pb but, lately, have been on a serious sunflower seed butter kick. I wondered if you thought this would taste just as good. I don't know if you've tried it but I buy mine from Trader Joe's and it's absolutely delicious!

Sarah S said...

We just had this for dinner. I used generic (un-natural) peanut butter, a couple tablespoons of bottled lime juice since I didn't have any fresh limes. When it was done cooking, I chopped up the chicken and stirred it back in, and I felt like the sauce needed a little something more so I added a squirt of sriracha, another couple tablespoons of lime juice, and a little pinch of salt. Came out delicious! My 17-month olds gobbled it up.

Ashley said...

I made this a few weeks ago and while the sauce was super delicious, the chicken came out mealy and mushy. My husband almost didn't eat it. I have this trouble with my slow cooker a lot. Do you have any recommendations on how to keep the meat from getting mushy? I had cut the thighs into bite size pieces. If I'd used whole pieces, would that have helped?
Thanks!

Working Mama said...

It's in my slow cooker right now and it smells amazing! I doubled the recipe so we could have leftovers for tomorrow and I used boneless skinless thighs. I'm going to make some coconut brown rice with broccolini to go with it. I can't wait for dinner! Thanks for the awesome recipes!

celena4 said...

This is one of our favorite slow cooker recipes, I tweaked it by adding a touch of Brown sugar and it became an instant hit with our family. Totally love it with some good chili sauce too!

Kurasu said...

I am in love with peanut sauces! For this one, what I love adding is a bit of Sriracha sauce. Tangy, hot, and sweet. And it doesn't interfere with the flavor at all! Peanut butter sauce on chicken is some fantastic stuff, and serving it over noodles, especially with extra sauce spooned on, is even better.

Christinasgarden said...

I have never had peanut butter with chicken. I have to try this. I have made the thia peanut sauce with skirt steak, or any steak i had on hand. I like that I can throw it in the crock pot and go about my day. Thanks for sharing

Christinasgarden said...

I have never had peanut butter with chicken. I have to try this. I have made the thia peanut sauce with skirt steak, or any steak i had on hand. I like that I can throw it in the crock pot and go about my day. Thanks for sharing

SparkBunny said...

I made this for the first time when my mom was here to visit. I did some fried rice on the stove to go with it, and it was a good meal. My only issue was that the sauce was much too thick and even after heating it up first it didn't spread over the chicken well. I may try adding some honey to it to get it a little creamier next time.

swiggett said...

I made this last night for my dinner and lunches today. Also - I didn't use a slow cooker, but did it on the stove top.

But - it is tasty and when my husband got home from class, he said that whatever I made smelled good.

Thanks for the recipe!

Coach Laura Anna Doyle said...

Steph- I made this and really liked it. I like to make things to have ready to take to work for lunches, as my celiac diagnosis makes bringing or buying lunches expensive, risky and/or boring. My daughter tasted the sauce and wants it for lunch tomorrow too. We like it spicy so I did add the red pepper flakes. The bell peppers got too done - they just disintegrated- so next time I'll add them in the last hour of cooking time. Thanks again!

tyratae said...

I would have tried putting something sticky in the quinoa, like greek yogurt or thick rice cereal, to keep in in spoonable clumps. That's me thinking ahead--baby starts solids next month!

Jen said...

Amazingly easy and so delicious. I am often wary of the throw it all in the crock-pot method, but this was seriously delish! It will be added to the do it again file. I do wonder if it would freeze well, so I will probably do that next time.

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