Kick up plain chicken and rice with delicious Thai inspired flavors using aromatic spices and a simple spicy peanut sauce in an easy one pot dish.
Let's face it, chicken and rice can be boring. But this Thai inspired recipe shows it doesn't need to be.
Just a few basic easy to find ingredients and about an hour and you have a flavorful meal your taste buds will love.
Ingredients and Substitutes
The two most exotic ingredients in this recipe are the chili garlic sauce and Chinese five spice. Both of these should be easy to find in a well stocked grocery store, but I've listed a few easy substitutes you can use.
Garlic Chili Sauce: you can use Sriracha or Chili Garlic Sauce, both found in the Asian aisle. You can also add red pepper flakes and a little crushed garlic to a teaspoon of rice vinegar and let it soak a bit to soften the peppers before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients.
Chinese Five Spice: Five spice is made from star anise, fennel seed, szechuan pepper, cloves and cinnamon. I know, you are probably thinking if I had star anise and szechuan pepper I'd probably have five spice. The flavor will be different but you can add some cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ground cloves.
Basmati rice: while basmati rice would be a traditional choice with the Thai flavorings, you can use white or brown rice and adjust the cooking time as needed.
Fresh Ginger: fresh is always preferred, but if all you have is powdered use ⅓rd less and add more if you think it needs it.
Fresh Cilantro: sorry, there really is no substitute for fresh cilantro. Just leave it out.
Chicken and Rice with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 1½ pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger (finely chopped)
- 2-3 large cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- ½ medium onion (finely chopped)
- 1 cup Basmati rice (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
- 1 tablespoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon five spice powder
- 1¼ cup chicken broth
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
Spicy Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
- ½ cup sugar-free peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 1½ tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook until browned, about 7-8 minutes. Turn and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the Dutch oven, along with the ginger, garlic, and onion. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and start to turn golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the Basmati rice and cook, stirring continually, until “toasted,” approximately 1-2 minutes. Add the tamari, five spice powder, and chicken broth and stir to combine before returning the browned chicken thighs to the pot.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
- Check the rice for doneness, continue cooking a few minutes longer adding a small amount of water if needed. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine peanut butter, rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, ginger, honey, and tamari. Add warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Serve rice with chicken on top, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle cilantro on top.
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Until next time, happy eating!