Thursday, September 23, 2010

Michelle's Thai Red Curry-Peanut Butter Chicken

This is one of my favorite recipes at the moment. It is one of my wife Michelle's dishes, who is, as of late, flexing more and more culinary muscle in the kitchen. She is becoming a great cook and hasn't served up a clunker yet. I do of course appreciate it. Some evenings I'm just not up for cooking and she comes through like a champ. She started off using Chop Onions, Boil Water to prepare some of our favorites and is now improvising and vamping her way to original recipes. She's cool like that. She's an angel and a saint. Just ask anyone who knows me.

All her burgeoning prowess in the kitchen however will not change a fundamental agreement in our marriage quasi-contract: I do the cooking and she does the dishes. So, while her cooking skills and endeavors are increasing, I am making no such inroads with my dish washing skills. In fact you could say my dish washing skills have even declined since my marriage. While I support and appreciate Michelle's cooking adventures, I'm not going to dare and upset the delicate balance that is our marriage by messing around and doing the dishes. No matter how much I don't want to anyway (do you get that?).

So, Michelle's Thai Red Curry-Peanut Butter Chicken, what can I tell you? I'll tell you that I love peanut butter and peanut butter flavored things. More often than not however, many promised peanut butter dishes tend to disappoint. They're never peanut-buttery flavored enough for me. At worse they often exhibit the unpleasant aspects of peanut butter food: grainy, dry, etc. Not so with Michelle's recipe! The peanut butter is there! In fact you could say it is slap-you-in-the-face peanut buttery and that is a good thing.

That's not to say that this is a one note dish. It isn't! There's also some Thai red curry or Thai chili-garlic paste, ginger, coconut, lime juice and all those other things that make Thai food spicy and wonderfully complex. It all works and it is all good!

Two things of importance regarding this dish:

1.) It contains a lot of peanuts, if you're allergic to peanuts you may want to not eat too much or pass on it altogether.

2.) I'm not going to wash the dishes.
Michelle's Thai Red Curry-Peanut Butter Chicken

Chicken and Marinade

1-2 lbs. boneless chicken breast (trimmed and pounded slightly)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1-1/2 Tbs soy sauce
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1-1/2 tsp Thai fish sauce
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice (there is no substitute)
1 Tbs fresh ginger (chopped)

Mix all the ingredients except the chicken in a large bowl. Add the chicken, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge. Allow it to marinate for 1 to 2 hours stirring occasionally to evenly distribute the marinade.

Red Curry-Peanut Sauce

2 Tbs peanut oil
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (chopped)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup coconut milk
1/2  cup water
3 Tbs fresh lime juice (there is no substitute)
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs Thai chili garlic paste or Thai red curry paste (You want it spicier? Add more.)
1 Tbs fresh ginger (minced)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 Tbs palm sugar

Place a skillet over medium heat, add the peanut oil.

When the oil begins to shimmer add the ginger and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn it.

Reduce heat to low and stir in all other ingredients except the cilantro. Bring to a medium simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is simmering, spray a grill pan with oil and preheat the pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Grill the chicken about 5 minutes per side or until just done. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow it to rest for a few minutes.

Cut the chicken into 1" strips and add it to the sauce mixture to coat well.

Add about half of the cilantro to the sauce just before serving and then use the rest as garnish on the plates.

Michelle says to "Serve it hot over Jasmine rice or your favorite pasta and enjoy! The kids like it on ramen noodles."

1 comment:

  1. Made this tonight and it was delicious. Thanks for posting it!