Our new home is in a diverse, wonderful area of Chicago with a variety of ethnic, chic restaurants. From Mexican and Thai, to Ethiopian and burger joints, our neighborhood boasts some of the most unique food in the city. A few weeks ago, Tony and I decided to try a new Thai restaurant that always seemed to be bustling with people, even during the weeknights.
When we arrived we were overwhelmed by over 250 items on the menu, but also the aroma of flavors enticing us to order everything. As we were seated, I noticed other customers slurping up broth from big steaming bowls of pho with thick noodles; you could even smell the green onions they garnished across the top of the soup. Immediately, Tony and I could tell that this place would become our neighborhood favorite. A gem of sorts.
Upon glancing at the menu, I noticed that peanuts and chicken were a theme that everyone seemed to enjoy. Noodles with a coconut-peanut sauce, scallions, cilantro and usually pork or chicken. Of course, anything that resembles peanut butter flavor has my heart.
The particular dish was no different, and because I loved it so much, I decided to turn it into a slow cooker meal you could make any time of year right at home. A creamy true peanut butter sauce made with either coconut or almond milk is poured over chicken in the slow cooker to create the ultimate comfort food. Serve over rice and you’ve got yourself a nutritious well-balanced meal.
Tony requested that we have this at least 3x a month. That must mean it’s pretty damn good, right?
Now you might be wondering what the hell Thai sticky purple rice is. Don’t worry, I’ve got answers!
Purple sticky rice is also known as black rice, or sometimes forbidden rice. It’s slightly sweet in flavor, a little sticky and chewy, and absolutely delicious. Black or purple rice also boasts one of the best nutritional profiles when it comes to rice; each serving has around 5g protein and it’s lower in carbs than brown rice or white rice! I toasted mine in a little coconut oil to enhance the flavor and it was unbelievable — especially with the thai peanut chicken on top.
Truth be told, black or purple rice can be hard to find, but this is typically the brand I use (affiliate link!). If you can’t find it or don’t want to order it online, try searching for black or forbidden rice at Whole Foods or in the Asian cooking section of your grocery store. Still can’t find it? Then I recommend using short grain brown rice. (Please know that if you use brown rice, the cooking time will vary, so just pay attention to the package.)
UM ALSO, I think I forgot to tell you guys that I’m going to Israel next week. Have any of you been?! Tell me everything. I’m hoping to come back with plenty of food ideas for you.
See how to make the slow cooker thai peanut chicken:
If you make this slow cooker thai peanut chicken recipe, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram! I love seeing your creations! xo.
More healthy slow cooker recipes to try:
Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken with Sticky Coconut Purple Rice
- 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (gluten free, if desired)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili paste
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup thai sticky purple rice
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- Cilantro and chopped peanuts for garnish
Add peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, garlic, hot sauce and almond milk to the slow cooker and whisk until sauce is well combined.
Add chicken and red pepper slices to slow cooker and spoon sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
Once done cooking, remove chicken with a slotted spoon, shred with two forks, then return to the slower cooker; stir to combine the shredded chicken with the sauce.
About 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the chicken, make the rice: Place a medium pot over medium heat and add in coconut oil and purple sticky rice. Toast rice with the coconut oil for 5 minutes; stirring frequently to toast the rice and infused the coconut oil flavor in.
After 5 minutes add in water and bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. (If you are not using thai purple sticky rice, then cooking time may vary. For instance, brown rice takes about 45 minutes.)
After rice is done cooking, remove heat, then re-cover and let stand for 5 more minutes. Once done, season with a little salt to taste.
To make the bowls, evenly distribute rice and chicken on top. Add hot sauce, peanuts and cilantro on top, if desired. If you are making for meal prep, simply divide into 4 containers (leave off toppings until ready to eat). This recipe can also be doubled if you are making for a crowd. Makes 4 servings.