Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chicken in Peanut Sauce

As has been catalogued before, snow day recipes are the best. Despite that fact that it took so much effort to get out in the arctic tundra and get groceries, making peanut sauce from scratch was totally worth it. It's surprisingly easy and to be honest, I think it came out better than peanut sauce from a prepared mix and as good as one from a Thai restaurant! 

So my obsession with making chicken in peanut sauce came from loving the version that my sister-in-law makes. She uses this spice mix and coconut milk, and marinates the chicken in red curry paste (I think) and it's SO DELICIOUS. So every time I go to the grocery store I look for the spice mix but I could never find it in St. Louis. So I decided to put on my sleuthing cap and find my own recipe (because I have this giant jar of unused peanut butter). Anyways, so I find this awesome recipe and add some twists here and there, and voila! PEANUT SAUCE!!

I also should have totally videotaped this for the home cook, but I butchered my first chicken!! It was surprisingly easy and only a little bit traumatic. Whole chickens are a lot cheaper and a lot better in quality, because you can buy an organic chicken, that's free range, and be able to use every single part of it. Literally. After I used the breasts for the dish, I fried the wings and reserved the leg/thigh for another day, then used the carcass to make chicken stock. Yes, that's right, MAKE chicken stock. None of that Swanson store-bought mess. Real, honest-to-goodness, homemade chicken stock. 
I marinated the chicken in red curry powder, ground ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little bit of black pepper and salt. It turned out really nicely, the flavor was sweet and a little spicy/slightly tangy because I added lime juice before I cooked it. It mixed really well with the thickness of the peanut sauce, and then the extra chicken leftover was delicious in a little sandwich. Enjoy!
Chicken in Peanut Sauce
now playing: Radiohead - The King of Limbs
now drinking: New Belgium Brewery Abbey Ale
inspired by: snow day recipes part 2
original recipe here

1 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup minced red onion (optional)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce (or extra soy sauce for vegetarians)
1/4 cup water
1//4 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peas
Sriracha to taste (for heat)

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add red onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring (to avoid burning the garlic) until onion is softened. Add rice vinegar & deglaze the pan for 1 minute. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and water. Bring to a boil. Add coconut milk and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add peanut butter & whisk gently to combine. Add a few squirts of Sriracha for good heat. If the sauce is to thick it can be thinned with additional water. Add chicken and mix well, then add cooked peas to your satisfaction. Serve over stir fry or soba noodles, or jasmine rice.


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