Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thai Chicken

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce (or water)
1 1/2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into thin strips
1 cup broccoli flowerettes
1 cup dry jasmine rice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 small onion or shallot
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 cup unsalted cashew nuts

1.  In a resealable plastic bag or a medium size bowl, mix the soy sauce, fish sauce, hot pepper sauce, garlic and ginger.  Place the chicken in the bag, seal and marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
2.  In a medium saucepan, bring the jasmine rice and 2 cups water to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
3.  Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved.  Stir in the onion and cook about 5 minutes, until tender. Reserving the marinade mixture, place the chicken into the skillet and cook about 10 minutes until browned.
4.  Stir the reserved marinade and 3/4 cup water into the skillet and bring to a boil.  Continue to cook and stir 10 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Sprinkle the cornstarch and use a whisk to break it up in the sauce until it thickens.  Thoroughly blend in the peanut butter.  Serve over the jasmine rice and with a sprinkling of cashews.

PARTAKERS:  Don, Elise and myself
APPROVALS:  Good, good and good

This is by far my most favorite spicy Asian meal I can make.  Thanks to Lene Miller, she brought it to the office one day, it looked so good I begged for the recipe.  I couldn't wait to try it out, a little concerned that Don may think it was too spicy but lo and behold he liked it from the beginning.  I was so happy and was thrilled to have found a good and easy Thai recipe I could make without a hitch.  I've made it dozens of times since and have tweeked some of it to where I'm happy with the changes I've made.  First of all, away with the Fish Sauce, that stuff is horrid!!  It tastes very, very fishy (duh!) and very, very, VERY salty - plain horrible - so, I just use water instead.  The original recipe does not ask for any vegies which completely surprises me so I've gone on ahead and added broccoli to it.  Today I used a large shallot, about the same size of a small onion and must admit that the shallot is much more mild than an onion, which I will use from now on ~ the shallot it is.  I also added cornstarch to the recipe, just enough to thicken the sauce the way Don likes it.  At the point where I have to add the peanut butter that's where I have to take about a cups worth of the chicken mixture out and put it in another small pot just because Elise is allergic to the peanut butter.  When I first made this recipe, it happened to be the first time I had bought Jasmine rice.  I'd never really heard of it.  When I had first opened the bag of Jasmine rice . . . . WOW!!  What a lovely aroma!!!!  I felt like I was doing a "Febreze" commmercial.  I just kept smelling it and smelling it.  It just has an awesome aroma.  Anyway, I wouldn't serve any other kind of rice in this recipe.  Finally, I'm not crazy about cashews so I did not add any this time.  If I do have them, I will sprinkle them on Don's plate as he does love them.   Over all a lovely, delicious meal. 

No football this weekend.  It's a very sad time of the year just as bad as when Christmas is over.  I guess I (or we) am going through withdrawals but since I work in a college football office, Spring practice is just around the corner.  Watching the team practice with anticipation  is always exciting as we watch the promise of what the Fall season will bring.   ~isavortheweekend

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