Caribbean Peanut Chicken


Like coconut, peanuts, and peanut butter go particularly well with chilies. Peanut butter makes this sauce gloriously rich and creamy. Use medium-hot chili.


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast portions, cut into thin strips
225g/8oz/generous 1 cup white long grain rice
15g/1 oz/1 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing
30ml/2 tbsp groundnut (peanut) oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 fresh green chili, seeded and sliced
60ml/4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
450mI/3/4 pint/scant 2 cups chicken stock
lemon juice, to taste
salt and ground black pepper
lime wedges and fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, to garnish
For the Marinade
15ml/1 tbsp sunflower oil
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
5ml/1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
25ml/1 1/2 tbsp medium curry powder
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the chicken. Cover loosely with clear film (plastic wrap) and set aside in a cool place for 2-3 hours.

2. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water until tender. Drain well and turn into a generously buttered casserole.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas 4. Heat 15ml/1 tbsp of oil with the butter in a flameproof casserole and fry the chicken pieces for 4-5 minutes until evenly brown. Add more oil if necessary.

4. Lift out the chicken and put it on a plate. Add the finely chopped onion to the flameproof casserole and fry for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned, adding more oil if necessary. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and chili. Cook over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Switch off the heat.

5. Mix the peanut butter with the
chicken stock. Stir into the tomato and onion mixture, then add the chicken. Stir in the lemon juice, season to taste, then spoon the mixture over the rice in the casserole.

6. Cover the casserole. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until piping hot. Use a large spoon to toss the rice with the chicken mixture. Serve at once, garnished with the lime and parsley.

If the casserole is not large enough to allow you to toss the rice with the chicken mixture before serving, invert a large, deep plate over the casserole, turn both over and toss the mixture on the plate before serving.

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