December 31, 2007

Spicy Peanut Butter Roasted Chicken

Me. Honey, I picked up a chicken at the market today and was thinking of roasting it with some Indian spices. Does that sound OK?

Him. How about making a Peanut Butter Roast Chicken? You could pack some peanut butter and chiles under the skin and roast it that way.

why not?

I love the flavor combination of chicken and peanut butter and often make an amazing, spicy chicken stew from Ghana called Nketia Fla. So a roasted chicken with peanut butter and spices sounded absolutely perfect!

I just had to come up with the right mixture to spread over the chicken. I fiddled around with a few ingredients and made a spicy paste that browned up nicely and kept the chicken moist and succulent.

a note: When I made this, I mixed up the peanut butter paste to taste, not with measuring spoons, so the measurements are approximate. Also, different brands of peanut butter have different textures.

Spicy Peanut Butter Roasted Chicken

3 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper - or more if you like it hotter (you could also use chopped, fresh chili pepper)
3 green onions
1 whole (3-4 pound) chicken
1 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves garlic
a handful of cilantro

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Mix together the soy sauce, peanut butter, rice vinegar, cayenne pepper and one of the green onions, minced. Make sure the mixture is a sticky paste, add more peanut butter if necessary. The paste should be a nice balance of sweet, salty and spicy.
Gently loosen the skin of the chicken and spread half of the paste between the skin and the meat. Rub the rest of the paste all over the chicken.
Cut the remaining two green onions into 2 inch pieces, peel and chop the ginger and mince the garlic. Stuff these three ingredients with the cilantro into the chicken cavity.
Roast the chicken breast side down in a roasting pan for about 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 degrees and flip the chicken breast side up. Baste with any juices that have accumulated in the pan.
Roast for another 30-40 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160-165 degrees and the juices runs clear. If they are tinged with red, roast for another 5 minutes and check again.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes, tented with foil.
Carve and serve. Pin It
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