Pan-fried, crispy peanut chicken is your new weeknight dinner favorite!
Keep the salad routine from getting boring. Peanut crusted chicken tops this crunchy asian salad with an easy, homemade dressing.
Who loves a crispy, pan-fried chicken breast? ME! ME! But we’re making it so much more fun with peanuts and peanut powder. If you haven’t jumped on the peanut powder bandwagon yet, I’m here with another delicious recipe to convince you how awesome it is! As if these CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES and this PEANUT BRITTLE POPCORN TOPPING weren’t tempting enough!
What I love about peanut powder is that it can replace some of the flour in a recipe. This equals more flavor, less carbs and more protein. The downside to peanut powder is that it is quite absorbent, which is why it’s not a good 1:1 replacement for flour.
We learned this through trial and error. Too much peanut powder and the chicken came out soggy. Too little and the peanut flavor doesn’t shine. Recipe testing is hard work but here’s the awesome result! Outside the crust is crispy and golden while inside the chicken is moist and flavorful.
And to keep things on the lighter side, we paired our crispy peanut chicken with a crunchy asian salad. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy and just the right amount of salty to compliment the peanut chicken. Because breading the chicken is messy work, we kept things simple for the salad. It has fresh mango, sweet red bell peppers and crunchy cucumbers topped with jalapeno and cilantro.
The dressing takes like two minutes to make and is made with asian pantry staples. Easy peasy!!!!
It’s so delicious! But more importantly it’s a filling salad, so no one is going to complain after dinner that they’re still hungry. Trust me! I tried this on a couple of the men in my life! After dinner I had to convince them they had room for dessert! hahaha!
It hits all those tasty, flavorful, sweet, and salty notes with an extra side of peanuty, crispy, crunchy! So delicious and sure to be a new weeknight dinner favorite!
TIPS FOR MAKING CRISPY PEANUT CHICKEN
- You’ll need three bowls for breading. I usually use leftover plastic carryout containers. They’re nice because if you want to prep the ingredients in advance they have lids.
- Safety is key with raw chicken. Pound your chicken on a plastic cutting board away from your fresh cut veggies. I use a double or triple layer of plastic wrap to avoid splashing, but always disinfect your work area after pounding the chicken.
- I pound chicken with a very heavy glass, you know the super heavy tumbler kind? But you can also use a meat mallet or rolling pin.
- Make sure the shiny side of the meat is up. That connective tissue will hold the breast together.
- Don’t pound too much or you end up with holes in your chicken.
- When breading, start with the flour, then dip in the egg batter and finally the panko peanut mixture.
- Place the breaded chicken on the cutting board and fry one to two breasts at a time. Don’t overcrowd the pan!
- If your frying oil gets overly dirty with burnt bits, carefully dump out the oil into a paper plate or cup and wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Add fresh oil and get the oil hot before frying.
- Unless your chicken is super thin, the outside of the chicken will be cooked before the inside. Transfer the chicken to a clean sheet pan and finish baking in the oven.
- Always use a thermometer! I stop cooking at 160F but make sure the chicken reaches 165F before serving.
- Use clean utensils and cutting board after cooking to avoid cross contamination.
Here's a weeknight salad your whole family will cheer for! I'm always a fan of stretching a chicken and with this recipe, two chicken breasts easily feed a family of four. But with the addition of peanuts, you won't be skimping on the protein.
- 1/2 cup flour
- zest of one lime
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1/4 cup peanut powder
- 1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1/4 cup frying oil
- 1 dried hot chile ( Szechuan, Thai)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 English cucumber , sliced
- 2 red bell peppers , sliced
- 2 mangos , chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro or mint , chopped
- 2 jalapenos , seeded and finely diced
Turn on oven to 250F and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment.
Gather three dishes to bread chicken. In the first place the flour and lime zest; the second the egg, coconut milk and cayenne; and in the third the peanut powder, chopped peanuts, panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Make sure each is mixed thoroughly.
Cut the chicken breasts in half.
Pound each piece on a cutting board, covering the chicken with a double layer of plastic wrap.
Dredge each piece of chicken starting with the flour mixture, then the egg and finally the peanut mixture.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, fry one or two pieces at a time, flipping once the breading is golden brown.
When both sides are golden, transfer to cookie sheet and place in the oven to finish cooking (to 165F). If your chicken is pounded very thinly they may already be done. If so, turn the oven to warm while you finish the salad.
Crumble the hot chile pepper into a small jar and add remaining dressing ingredients.
Give the dressing a stir every few minutes until the sugar melts.
In a bowl combine the red pepper, cucumbers, jalapenos, cilantro and mango.
Toss salad with the dressing.
Divide the salad into four bowls and top with sliced peanut chicken. If desired, garnish with limes, peanuts and jalapeno slices
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