• African Chicken in Peanut Sauce

    56 votes
    African Chicken in Peanut Sauce
    Prep: 20 min Cook: 50 min Servings: 6
    by John Spottiswood
    300 recipes
    I first had this in graduate school when a classmate from Ghana cooked it for an International progressive dinner. I fell in love with the combination of sweet peanuts and pungent spices. This is not a flavor you will easily forget, and it will keep you coming back for more!


    • 4 pounds chicken pieces (remove skin to reduce fat content if you like)
    • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • For Spice Rub
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 tsp chopped garlic
    • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 3/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
    • For Peanut Sauce
    • 1 small onion finely diced
    • 1 small red bell pepper seeded and finely diced
    • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
    • 1 carrot finely diced
    • 1 garlic clove minced
    • 1 tsp finely diced and seeded jalapeno pepper
    • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
    • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 1/2 tomato, seeded and diced
    • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 1 tsp peeled, grated fresh ginger
    • 1/2 cup stirred coconut milk
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish


    1. Stir together the Spice Rub ingredients and rub onto chicken
    2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add chicken in batches and brown on all sides. Transfer browned pieces to a platter or bowl.
    3. Add 1 Tbsp oil, onion, bell peppers, carrot, garlic, and jalapeno to the pan. Cook about 5 min, until vegetables are soft. Add chicken broth and simmer about 20 minutes uncovered. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in remaining sauce ingredients, and simmer 2 minutes. Return browned chicken to the skillet and cook 25-30 minutes until chicken is tender. Stir occasionally to keep sauce from sticking. Turn chicken pieces mid-way through to ensure even cooking.
    4. Garnish with parsley and serve over rice (we use brown rice). A green vegetable or salad makes a nice side.

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    • Nancy Miyasaki
      Nancy Miyasaki
      This was a beautiful and delicious dish. There were layers upon layers of flavors. The next day we had about half the sauce left, but no more chicken. We all liked the flavor so much that we picked up a rotisserie chicken and broke it up into the remaining sauce and it was still delicious!
      • Mary Shaldibina
        Mary Shaldibina
        Very, very tasty!
        • Terri Jordan
          Terri Jordan
          "Yummers"......I tried this recipe tonight and it was outstanding. I made more rice to accommodate the left over sauce.....we will enjoy this dish tomorrow! Thanx John!
          • Michelle M
            Michelle M
            My family loves this recipe. It has the most wonderful, complex flavors.
            • Susan
              I did make this the other night and served it with brown rice and a broccoli, carrot and cauliflower mixture, it was delicious! I didn't have any fresh tomato, so I left that out. I thought it tasted great, as did my husband! Thanks John...
              • Don Hogeland
                Don Hogeland
                This looks delightful. Great balance of flavors, and not all that complicated. Thanks!
                • kathy gori
                  kathy gori
                  love the idea of a peanut sauce.
                  • Sutapa Ghosh
                    Sutapa Ghosh
                    A very tasty recipe .I love the spices used in peanut sauce.Great!
                    • Maralyn D Hill
                      Maralyn D Hill
                      This recipe is a wonderful combination of flavors. The spices are good but not overpowering. Excellent all the way around.
                      • Kristi Rimkus
                        Kristi Rimkus
                        What a wonderful combination of ingredients. Sounds delish!
                        • Lorrie Marroquin
                          Lorrie Marroquin
                          I made this a couple nights ago. My husband and I neither one, care for the taste of Green Bell Peppers. so, we replaced both the half Green Bell and the Jalapeno with one seeded Pablano pepper. We had two other couples over, one of which really does not care for spicy food and everyone ate all almost all of it. It had the most amazing slow mellow heat to it. We served it with a rice my husband makes, he calls it Nicaraguan Rice, but who knows. I took the left overs and cut up the chicken trew it back in the sauce and added rice until it was a nice mixture for the leftovers and it reheated great the next day when I shared it with a friend for lunch. This will be a new favorite for our family, thank you so much!
                          • John Spottiswood
                            John Spottiswood
                            This is a very late reply, Lorrie, but thanks for writing such a thoughtful and helpful review!
                          • kelly
                            So delicious!!
                            did not add jalapeno pepper but still so flavorful. thanks
                            • John Spottiswood
                              John Spottiswood
                              Glad you enjoyed it Kelly! Thanks for taking the time to post a review.
                            • Beanz
                              Peanut + coconut milk = YUM! So flavourful and satisfying. This is a keeper.
                              • John Spottiswood
                                John Spottiswood
                                Glad you enjoyed it Beanz. Thanks for taking the time to review it!
                              • Lorenda Beumont
                                Lorenda Beumont
                                Hi John

                                I made this dish over the weekend. It is really good! The only change I made was to use fresh coriander instead of thyme. I also served it with Basmati rice.
                                • DOREEN BEISEL
                                  DOREEN BEISEL
                                  The African chicken in peanut sauce.
                                  tasted rilly good I would rate this recipe a ten it was that good
                                  • Eileen Nowosielski
                                    Eileen Nowosielski
                                    Awesome! Loved it!
                                    • John Spottiswood
                                      John Spottiswood
                                      So glad you enjoyed it Eileen. Thanks for taking the time to review it!
                                    • Wendy Saxena-Smith
                                      Wendy Saxena-Smith
                                      Rich, spicy and peanutty. Similar to Thai dishes.
                                      • t4mkup
                                        What an Amazing dish!! Thank You for sharing! I will make this many times, Thumbs up.!!

                                        Tweaked the recipe a little. It goes a lil something like this:

                                        Calculated the recipe to 8 servings. Used skinless, boneless chicken tenders 48 oz (3 lb) bag. The recipe called for 5 lbs. of chicken. According to my calculations I figured 4 pieces of chicken tenders equaled one pound of chicken beast. So I used 20 tenders. The chicken was partially frozen. Cut tenders into bite sized pieces approx. 1/2" to 1". I placed the chicken in a gallon zip lock bag. I mixed and doubled the rub in a separate container. I did not use fresh garlic but rather garlic powder. I figured that since the other spices were powder in the rub that I would keep everything dry. I placed the rub into bag with chicken. Tossed and mixed chicken pieces until coated well. I marinated chicken about an hour. I used EVOO to cook the chicken.

                                        After cooking the chicken I realized the chicken was too spicy for a child or for someone who can't handle to much spice. (Should not have doubled rub.) Since both parties were eating my dinner I had to think fast. Hoping that the liquid in the recipe would dilute the spice but the more I tasted the chicken, the more I tasted the heat. I realized it was way over spiced so I rinsed the chicken in running water for a bit. I tried to to make it user friendly. I succeed with just enough spice.

                                        The rest of the recipe was golden. The only other changes I made were: I used 4 cups chicken broth, 1 can coconut milk 13.5 fl oz, one small can tomato paste 6 oz, used 1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter, 4 carrots sliced 1/8" to 3/16", 2 large tomato's seeded and diced, fresh thyme. NO jalapeno, NO parsley to garnish. Cooking times were followed as listed. Plenty of chicken, didn't need to thicken. There was plenty left over. It was perfect!! Served with brown rice.

                                        In the future would entertain serving with pasta and or using beef to mix it up. Served with sauted portobello mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, a green salad with pinon seeds and sour dough bread.
                                        • John Spottiswood
                                          John Spottiswood
                                          Thanks for the incredibly thorough and helpful review t4mkup!
                                        • Theresa Payton
                                          Theresa Payton
                                          This sounds so good!! Will have to try it this weekend! Thanks!
                                          • Mike Braswell
                                            Mike Braswell
                                            Absolutely delicious! I just used boneless skinless thighs (my fav), but otherwise followed the recipe. I wanted to make it again the next night. Definitely a keeper.
                                            • John Spottiswood
                                              John Spottiswood
                                              Glad you enjoyed this Mike. I agree that thighs are the best choice. Thanks for the review!
                                            • Kim Best-Chavez
                                              Kim Best-Chavez
                                              I love peanut sauce! I will be preparing this for guests tonight!
                                              • supacow
                                                I love this!


                                                • ShaleeDP
                                                  This sounds womderful dish to cook for my kid.
                                                    I made this last night, however I had to substitute powder spices for fresh, everyone said it was good. I believe true test is when they go back for seconds or want to go container or at least the recipe no one did :( will try again with fresh and report back
                                                    • Suzee Woods
                                                      Suzee Woods
                                                      This sounds incredible!
                                                      • Cynthia Russell
                                                        Cynthia Russell
                                                        I'm in love. I will try it this weekend.
                                                        • Dr Soft "Soft al carte"
                                                          Dr Soft "Soft al carte"
                                                          yum yum
                                                          • Elaine
                                                            This sounds really good. I'm adding it to make at a later time. It has been years since I cooked with peanut butter and I really look forward to trying this. Thanks John!
                                                            • judee
                                                              I love a good peanut sauc,e and I love all the flavors in this one. I will have to try it over tofu for a vegan version . It's on my list!
                                                              • John Spottiswood
                                                                John Spottiswood
                                                                I hope you enjoy it Judee!
                                                              • Smokinhotchef
                                                                This recipe sounds awesome and I love the spicy element. I have never been a huge fan of peanuts in recipes, but this one changed my mind.
                                                                • Matilda
                                                                  I am from west Africa there a more simple and fast way to cook it .
                                                                • Staci
                                                                  looking forward to trying this soon. I'm always excited to try something new! And the best part is that I can find all the ingredients here! (you have no idea how hard it is to cook here in Saudi!) LOL
                                                                  • PearlHess
                                                           - Gourmandia is a culinary website offering videos of world-class Michelin rated chefs exhibiting their techniques. Also features documentaries on fine dining restaurant locations and cities, recipes, forum, and more.
                                                                    • Arturo Féliz-Camilo
                                                                      Arturo Féliz-Camilo
                                                                      Amazing recipe!
                                                                      • Lorenda Beumont
                                                                        Lorenda Beumont
                                                                        Hi John

                                                                        I made this receipe over the weekend. It is really good! Only change I made was to use fresh coriander instead of thyme. Also served it with Basmati rice.
                                                                        • John Spottiswood
                                                                          John Spottiswood
                                                                          Thanks for the comment and the review, Lorenda!
                                                                        • Lisa
                                                                          Fantastic recipe. Everyone loved it! I mixed about 1/4 cup chicken broth and about 2-3 tsps. of cornstarch together to thicken the sauce,in the last 5 minutes of cooking. It was wayyyy too thin otherwise.Also topped the dish with additional peanuts. It was great. A keeper!
                                                                          • John Spottiswood
                                                                            John Spottiswood
                                                                            Thanks for the helpful comments, Lisa! If you have a chance to add a rating (1-5 hearts) that will turn this from a comment into a review and will be even more useful for future viewers. Thanks again!
                                                                          • Lisa
                                                                            Making this for dinner tonight, sounds interesting. Going to take advice of Phil and use crunchy peanut butter instead of the smooth.Also, I'll be using boneless,skinless chicken breast and cut into bite-size chunks.Hope its a winner with the family!!
                                                                            • Tracey S
                                                                              Tracey S
                                                                              This sounds wonderful! Im going to have to try it soon. Thanks.
                                                                              • John Spottiswood
                                                                                John Spottiswood
                                                                                It's really good, Tracey. Hope you like it!
                                                                              • Phil
                                                                                This is quite delicious. I've served it now to family and to guests and it's always a pleaser. A couple lessons so far: (1) Chunky peanut butter not only works, but actually adds to the dish. (2) The sauce separates upon re-heating, so this doesn't make an ideal leftover, even though it seems like it should.
                                                                                • John Spottiswood
                                                                                  John Spottiswood
                                                                                  Thanks for the helpful comment, Phil Didn't realize that about leftovers...I'm guessing we've never had any!
                                                                                • Nanette
                                                                                  Sounds wonderful, John. Different than what I usually cook. What is a pepper with the least amount of "heat"? N
                                                                                  • Kike Nkana
                                                                                    You just gave me saturday's lunch recipe! :-)
                                                                                    • Foodessa
                                                                                      Anything with peanut sauce will get my attention.
                                                                                      I will most certainly have to try making this dish minus a pinch of the spunky cayenne pepper;0)
                                                                                      Very nice recipe. Thank you,
                                                                                      • Daniel Saraga
                                                                                        Daniel Saraga
                                                                                        This looks excellent. This will be on my to-do list for after the holidays.

                                                                                        I was introduced to a very basic version of this recipe some time ago and I'm thrilled to have found something a bit more complex (in both method and flavours). I was skeptical when I was told "now mix in the peanut butter," but I was when I tasted it. I also added some cashews for extra flavour as well.
                                                                                        • John Spottiswood
                                                                                          John Spottiswood
                                                                                          Give it a try. You won't be disappointed, Susan!
                                                                                          • Susan
                                                                                            This looks so good! I am home on yet another snow day... I think I will have to try this for dinner tonight, as I have all the ingredients in the house. :)

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