Sunday, May 4, 2008

Peanut Chicken with Vegetables

So the recipe I had hoped to use was a Chinese five-spice chicken stir-fry, but alas, our ever friendly Shaw's Market is going through major renovations and none was to be found. So instead we picked up some peanut sauce.

I know, I know, peanut sauce is easy enough to make, but hey, we were feeling lazy AND we're going to Europe this week, so the last thing we wanted to do was buy more ingredients. After sifting through several mixes and jars, we settled on Thai Kitchen Peanut Satay Sauce. We chose this because it seemed to have mostly natural ingredients and very few (if any) preservatives. We've also had some success with their products in the past (I buy their rice noodles to make Pad Thai.)

However, it seemed to lack a little something when used as a sauce over all of the ingredients in this dish. I'm not sure what it was, maybe it needed a little more spice, a little more zing. It wasn't bad, it was just kinda plain.

But when we used this to make wraps for lunch (peanut sauce, cucumber, shredded chicken, rice, and fresh red pepper) I thought it tasted great. Mr. Heart was still not a huge fan. So I would say it might be worth a try. Or you can always just make your own.

Feel free to substitute any vegetables in that you like! This is what we had on hand. I actually served it over orzo, which was tasty. I am sure it would be equally delicious over rice.

Peanut Noodles with Vegetables
Serves 2

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" chunks
1 TBS plus 1 tsp canola or peanut oil
1/2 cup cornstarch
salt and pepper
pinch of ground red pepper
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (~1 cup)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup fresh green beans, trimmed
1-3 TBS water
1/4 cup peanut sauce mixed with 2 TBS water or chicken broth
1 TBS peanuts, chopped fine (for garnish)

1) In a ziplock bag, combine cornstarch and salt/pepper/red pepper to taste. Add chicken and toss to coat.
2) In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 TBS of oil over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Remove chicken from ziplock bag, shaking off any excess cornstarch. Add chicken to pan. Cook until a golden crust has formed, turning frequently, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.
3) Warm the remaining teaspoon of oil in the skillet until hot, but not smoking. Add the vegetables a cook, stirring, for 1 minutes. Add 1 TBS of the water to the pan and cover. Cook for 2 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender (add more water as needed, if the pan gets too dry).
4) Add the chicken and peanut sauce mixture to the pan, tossing to coat. Cook an additional minute until heated through.
5) Serve over rice or orzo and garnish with chopped peanuts.

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