Chef John's Peanut Curry Chicken


I decided to not follow any specific recipe from any particular country or culture, but instead I made a simple composite of every peanut curry I've ever come across. I didn't use coconut milk, as I feel that's a little too sweet and rich for the peanut butter. I loved how this came out, and I can't imagine it being any richer.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
4 servings


Spice Blend:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth, or to taste

  • ¾ cup unsweetened natural peanut butter

  • ½ cup ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into chunks

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks

  • 1 green poblano pepper, diced

  • 2 cups hot cooked rice

  • 1 lime, for garnish

  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Mix salt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.

  2. Place chicken pieces in a separate bowl and add 1/2 of the spice blend. Mix together thoroughly to coat each surface with spice blend.

  3. Heat oil over high heat in a heavy pot. Brown half of the chicken pieces on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

  4. Reduce heat to medium and add onion to pot. Saute until onions start to turn translucent and golden, 1 or 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook about 1 minute. Stir in remaining spice blend; cook and stir one minute. Pour in chicken broth. Add browned chicken along with accumulated juices. Stir in peanut butter and ketchup; add brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to maintain a gentle, steady simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

  5. Transfer zucchini, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, and peanuts to the pot. Stir to mix. Continue simmering until chicken and vegetables are fork tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat.

  6. Serve over rice with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of peanuts and chopped cilantro.

    close up view of Peanut Curry Chicken in a black bowl with white rice and fresh herbs garnished with sesame seeds

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1138 Calories
71g Fat
65g Carbs
68g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 1138
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 71g 91%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 164mg 55%
Sodium 3048mg 133%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 23%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 68g
Vitamin C 90mg 450%
Calcium 140mg 11%
Iron 7mg 41%
Potassium 1496mg 32%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love