This fried peanut chicken might just be the very best chicken this world has ever seen. Seriously. It's like fried chicken had a hot and spicy fling in Bangkok, and this is its love child. It's crunchy, it's peanut-y, and it's crazy delicious. When you dip it in the sweet and spicy Thai honey butter, it becomes almost unbearably good. Almost.
Between mouthfuls of fried peanut chicken, all I could say was, “I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.” And let's be honest, when I'm required to taste test a plate of the best fried peanut chicken ever, I use the term ‘job' very loosely.
I used coconut oil for frying the chicken because I wanted to make a healthier version of fried chicken for you guys. I was even planning on calling this Healthy Fried Peanut Chicken. The thing is when I started eating it I just couldn't wrap my head around the healthy part. This is fried chicken, through and through.
But … coconut oil is very healthy for you. There're lots of people who add it by the spoonfuls to their morning smoothies and coffees. Is that you? So even though we can't call this healthy fried peanut chicken (it does have flour, panko and a good bunch of sugar in the form of honey), it is far better for you than regular ol' fried chicken. But trust me, would never know by eating it.
How comfortable are you with deep-frying? I know I was freaked out the first few times I did it. I mean, oil is HOT and potentially dangerous.
While you do need to be very careful when you're deep-frying, don't let that stop you from making this fried peanut chicken. If this is your first time frying something in hot oil, check out this post for some very important tips and tricks to keep you safe.
The most important points are:
NEVER walk away from a pot of oil on the stove. It will start smoking at 400 degrees, and burst into flames at 500 degrees.
NEVER add water or anything wet to a pot of hot oil. Not even the tiniest drop. The water will explode and send hot oil all over you. You will burn.
Now you know what not to do, let me give you a few tips on what you should do.
- Keep the oil temperature between 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot to accurately judge the temperature.
- Only fry a few pieces at a time – to keep the oil temp from lowering.
- Use a pot with high sides – as the oil gets older and dirtier it will bubble up more, and you don't want to risk it boiling over.
- Wear long sleeves – just in case there are any splatter.
- Wear an apron or an old shirt – oil stains are impossible to get out and inevitable when you're frying foods.
If you make this Coconut Oil Fried Peanut Chicken make sure to snap a pic and tag @thendlessmeal on Instagram. I love seeing TEM recipes you create!
- Coconut oil
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 cup panko (gluten free breadcrumbs, if needed)
- ½ cup flour (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 large egg
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs (skin on or off, your choice)
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, very finely minced
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add 2 inches of coconut oil to a medium sized, high-sided pot and attach a candy thermometer to the side. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower the heat to medium and let oil rise to 350 degrees.
- While the oil is heating, prepare the chicken. Pulse the peanuts in your food processor until they are coarsely chopped. There will be some that are finely ground and other pieces that are coarse. Add the chopped peanuts to a large bowl, add the panko and mix together. Add the flour to a medium sized bowl. Whisk the egg with a splash of water in another medium sized bowl.
- Keeping one hand for the wet ingredients (flour and peanuts) and the other for the dry (egg), dip the chicken first in the flour, second in the egg and third in the peanuts. Press the peanuts firmly into the chicken so that they stick. Once the chicken is coated, place it on the prepared baking sheet.
- Fry the chicken pieces in the hot oil a few pieces at a time, turning a few times, until they are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Keep the oil as close to 350 degrees as possible. If the oil temperature lowers, make sure to let it heat up before you add the next batch. Place the fried chicken on the same baking sheet.
- Once all the chicken has been fried in the coconut oil place it in the oven and let it bake for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken is baking, prepare the sweet Thai butter. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Be careful as honey will boil up and spill over the pan. Whisk the honey as it boils for 1 minute then remove it from the heat.