Marc Matsumoto

Peanut Butter Chicken Tacos

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With tender moist strands of chicken covered in a nutty spicy sauce, this shredded chicken in peanut butter mole makes for the perfect filling for warm tender corn tortillas. Topped with some cilantro and crunchy honey roasted peanuts, it’s hard to think of a better combination.

While adding peanut butter to tacos may sound strange, adding seeds and nuts to mole is a common practice because it adds richness and depth to the sauce. By adding a dollop of The Heat Is On peanut butter at the very end, it not only adds some additional heat, it gives the sauce a rich creamy texture and earthy flavor that rounds out the chili pepper and tomato-based sauce.

Because chili peppers tend to vary in heat, if you find that your sauce is too spicy for your tastes, use Smooth Operator peanut butter instead of The Heat Is On when you blend the sauce together.

I like to use homemade corn tortillas for soft tacos. They’re not quite as much work as you might imagine, and you’ll be rewarded with tender, fluffy tortillas that put the tough crumbly disks found in stores to shame.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours
Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Yield: 12 tacos

Tender moist strands of chicken with a nutty spicy sauce and peanut butter mole in corn tortillas


Ingredients chicken cloves coriander cumin onions garlic salt chilies oregano tomatoes peanut butter heat is on cilantro peanuts

2 pounds chicken thighs (skin on)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cloves
2 teaspoons whole coriander seed
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
2 medium onions, sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
4 large dried Guajillo chilies (1.4 ounces)
2 large dried Ancho chilies (1.4 ounces)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1 3/4 cups stewed tomatoes (380 g)
1 cup water
1/3 cup The Heat Is On peanut butter
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup Peanut Butter & Co. Honey Roasted Peanuts, roughly chopped
12 corn tortillas


1. Generously salt and pepper the chicken. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat until very hot. Add the oil and then place the chicken, skin side down into the pot. If the chicken doesn’t all fit in a single layer, split it between two batches. Fry the chicken until the skin is golden brown and it doesn’t stick to the pot anymore. Flip the chicken over and fry until the other side is browned, then transfer it to a plate.

Fry the chicken until the skin is golden brown and it doesn't stick to the pot anymore. Flip the chicken over and fry until the other side is browned, then transfer it to a plate.

2. Add the cloves, coriander and cumin seed to the pot and fry until the spices are fragrant (about 1 minute).

3. Add the onions, garlic and salt and turn down the heat to medium low. Let the onions and garlic sauté, stirring regularly until the onions are soft and turning brown.

3.	Add the onions, garlic and salt and turn down the heat to medium low.

4. In the meantime, use scissors to cut the tops off the chiles and down one side. Open up the chile and take out all the seeds. Use a damp paper towel to wipe off the outside of the chili, and then tear the chili into small pieces.

5. When the onions are done browning, add the chile peppers. Continue frying until the chili peppers are very fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add the bay leaves, Mexican oregano, stewed tomatoes and water, and then stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot, and then cover with a tight fitting lid. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is extremely tender and falls apart when prodded with a fork. Because stoves and pots vary in the way they cook, you may need to add some water part of the way through cooking. Just check it periodically to make sure it’s not burning. If the liquid is getting low, you can add some more water.

Chilies onions and bay leaves

6. Remove the chicken from the pot let it get cool enough to handle. Use a fork to shred the chicken meat (you can discard the skins at this point or leave them in if you like). Skim off any excess oil from the braising liquid, then put the braising liquid into a food processor or blender along with the peanut butter. Puree the sauce. If you’re using a blender, start it off at low speed, as the sudden escape of steam could cause the lid to blow off, flinging hot chili sauce all over your kitchen.

Use a fork to shred the chicken meat

7. Strain the sauce through a mesh sieve to remove bits of chili skin. You’ll need to press it through with a silicone spatula. You’ll have about double the amount of sauce you need, so put half of it in a container and refrigerate. It’s great on grilled chicken or as a condiment.

Strain the sauce through a mesh sieve to remove bits of chili skin.

8. Add the shredded chicken to the remaining sauce and stir to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

Add the shredded chicken to the remaining sauce and stir to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

9. Serve the chicken with warmed up corn tortillas, chopped peanuts and cilantro.

Serve the chicken with warmed up corn tortillas, chopped peanuts and cilantro.


From this recipe you’ll have about double the amount of peanut butter mole sauce you need so the rest can be stored in the refrigerator for later. In what ways could you imagine using this mole sauce as a condiment?

Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of The Heat Is On peanut butter and a can of Honey Roasted Peanuts, the Peanut Butter & Co. products used in this recipe.


– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Monday, May 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 05/23/13 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one 16oz jar of The Heat Is On and one can of Honey Roasted Peanuts. Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.

Peanut Butter Chicken Tacos, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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43 Responses to Peanut Butter Chicken Tacos

  1. jillian says:

    It looks delicious and easy, must try asap!

  2. Jamie says:

    on sandwiches

  3. Robin says:

    I think I have a new recipe for Taco Tuesday!!!

  4. Indiraa says:

    This looks so good! I would use leftover sauce on sandwiches and wraps.

  5. Karli says:

    This could be good over fresh veggies in an overstuffed wrap!

  6. joanna says:

    I think it would be great with veggies or as a sauce for pizza!

  7. Tori L says:

    Definitely would use it in wraps and sandwiches!

  8. Janet Ehnen says:

    I would use it to spice up a turkey burger and as a dip for veggie chips.

  9. Jessica says:

    Cook some ground turkey, beans and onions, add in the extra sauce to simmer for chili and then add cornbread and sour cream/cheddar on the side for chili night!

  10. Adam Lipkin says:

    I’d add some to my chili to change up the flavor.

  11. Jenny O. says:

    Drizzled over nachos. Yummy! 🙂

  12. Rebecca says:

    I agree with others – this would be great in a wrap with fresh veggies: Chickpeas, spinach, shredded carrot, cilantro, red cabbage…

  13. Josephine jones says:

    Noodles, rice, and steak!

  14. Kaitlin says:

    pizza sauce!!! or a toppping on dark chocolate cake #yum

  15. Sandy says:

    You guys are making me hungry! Chicken cutlets with this sauce as a condiment would be awesome. Or, how about pad thai!

  16. Francisco says:

    I would smear this mole sauce on a jalapeno jack cheeseburger topped with a slice of fresh tomato and onion or on a pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw.

  17. Sand says:

    It would be amazing on hamburgers!

  18. Joy says:

    I would make buffalo wings!

  19. Amanda J says:

    I think it would be a great topping to a spicy black bean burger stuffed in a pita!

  20. Honeybird says:

    It doesn’t sound weir. It’s just like chicken-sateh which goes great with a lot of things (rice, bread, tortillas, etc) because it’s just delicious!

  21. Theresa T. says:

    I think that this sauce would be great with a cold vegetable rice noodle salad or mmm, mixed into grits.

  22. Dena says:

    These sound and look SO yum! Definitely a must make.

  23. Henry Swoboda says:

    you could use the condiment in a house,
    you could use the condiment with a mouse!

  24. lynn says:

    On hot toast topped with mango and banana pieces. Great breakfast!

  25. Dorothy Wandruff says:

    Well, wouldn’t you know it. I started reading this recipe, and knowing how much I love all of your Mexican recipes. I don’t bother finishing reading before ordering up some Th Heat is On Peanut Butter. Oh well! It will get used up fast in my house. I can’t wait to try these tacos. Thanks Marc. I can always use another bottle!


  26. Didi says:

    It just looks so delicious; the kind of food I could eat all day long…

  27. Shewanna says:

    I am going to try this recipe ASAP. I would love to win this peanut butter!

  28. cindy says:

    I planned to make beef skewers last night. I changed it up with using this to marinate. Tastes great on the grilled veggies!! Just be sure not burn the veggies. Tonight I will have the chicken that I made in the mole for my tacos!!


  29. megan kupres says:

    This would taste good as a dipping sauce for celery and carrot sticks as well as a good chicken wing sauce for the football games

  30. Heather says:

    Can’t wait to try this!

  31. nik says:

    I’d try mole on grilled sweet potatoes. 🙂

  32. Angie G says:

    I have to laugh, because the first thing that comes to mind for me is the litergy from “Bubba Gump”; here goes: on grilled shrimp, tossed w/pasta, broiled on top of a piece of fish, served over baked chicken, mixed w/any hot steamed veggies, on a pizza, then topped w/chicken and cheese; mixed into fried rice… I could keep going, but I think you get it… This sounds wonderful!

  33. sophistroland says:

    I would thin the sauce down a little bit and put on rice noodles with some of the chopped peanuts and chopped cilantro on top.

  34. Janet says:

    as a topping in a bowl of quinoa and kale! The pictures are making me hungry!!!

  35. Yasmine says:

    I would use extra sauce over grilled tofu & veggies!

  36. Adrian says:

    protein on more protein…gimme!!!

  37. Emily Jones says:

    With some really good, crispy, lard-fried carnitas and maybe some house made pickled veg!!

  38. mike d says:

    You people sound insane with your ‘ideas’ for this sauce. Way too excited.

  39. Darla says:

    my family has always used peanut butter for mole.we use more broth and spoon over rice. nice to know others are making it with peanut instead of chocolate.

  40. Sarah says:

    I love using sauces on salads with chicken. This would be delicious!

  41. Susan P. says:

    I would use it on enchiladas and burritos.

  42. Mary W says:

    We enjoy mole sauces with our meats. Adding a peanut butter sauce is a perfect combo with chicken or fish tacos.

  43. Patricia Caradonna says:

    I would enjoy adding the sauce to my hamburger and french fries.

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Peanut Butter Chicken Tacos