Sunday, August 18, 2013

Curried Peanut Chicken

I made this for a progressive dinner party last night and it was a huge hit! I wasn't really planning on posting it, so I didn't take any pictures, but several friends asked me for the recipe. I adapted it from Kalyn's Kitchen for the stovetop, subbed some ingredients that aren't available here, and added some veggies. I doubled the recipe below for a big group. I've made her original version exactly as is and that's great too! But I don't have a grill here in Paraguay, and I needed to have a vegetarian option.

What you need:
4 chicken breasts
2 cups bite-sized vegetables-I used broccoli, cauliflower, and red bell pepper
rice, prepared as directed on package

1 T. soy sauce
1 T. lemon juice (I can't find lemons here, lime juice worked fine)
1/2 C. of oil-peanut oil if you can find it, vegetable or canola if not
1-2 t. curry powder
1 big garlic clove, minced

4 chicken breasts
2 cups bite-sized vegetables-I used broccoli, cauliflower, and red bell pepper
rice, prepared as directed on package

2 T soy sauce
2 T lemon/lime juice
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup canned coconut milk *
1/2-1 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. brown sugar

Optional but really tasty garnishes
chopped green onion

*coconut milk isn't available here. I subbed sweetened condensed milk and splashed in some coconut flavored creamer! It worked in a pinch but if I was able to find coconut milk, I would have used that. I know you hate opening a can when you aren't going to use the whole thing-so pour the extra into an ice cube tray and freeze and save for next time!

What to do:
Mix all marinade ingredients together in a big bowl. Trim fat off of chicken and cut into bite-sized chunks. Dump all the chicken into the bowl, allow to marinate a few hours or longer in the fridge. You could let the veggies marinate with the chicken or dump it all together in the pan when you cook it. I let the chicken marinate most of the day, and added the veggies into the bowl just before cooking.

Make rice according to package directions while the chicken is marinating.

Pour ingredients from the bowl into a pan and cook until chicken is cooked through. You may have to do it in 2 batches, depending on how big your chickens were and how big your pan is. Put aside but keep warm. Put all ingredients for the sauce into a pan and heat on low heat until peanut butter melts. This can scorch easily so stir constantly and don't leave it! As soon as it's melted, it is ready to serve.

To serve, place rice in a bowl, spoon chicken on top, and pour peanut sauce over it. Do not forget to put out garnishes until after everyone has eaten. :)

Make-ahead tip
I was home all day to cook, but the way a progressive dinner party works is, you go to different houses for each course. Since my house was in the middle of the route, I wanted to make as much of this as possible so my guests didn't have to wait around. So I marinated and cooked the chicken and put it in the fridge. Someone brought rice but you could make ahead as well. I also got all the sauce ingredients measured and ready to go. Then when we got to my house, I threw everything from the fridge into a big pot to heat up, put the rice in the microwave, and just made the peanut sauce.

Dietary variations
There was a vegetarian in the group and someone with a deathly peanut allergy-oops! For the vegetarian, I just kept some veggies to the side and used a little of the same marinade. I steamed them but you could also heat up in a pan and serve over rice. The peanut allergy person just got to serve herself first, before people started crossing spoons and things, and omit the sauce.

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