Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thai Chicken with Peanut Curry Sauce and Coconut Rice


I have made this recipe probably a half dozen times... and it's very easy and very tasty.  It's important that you use the thawed frozen peppers.  I thought that was insane the first time I made it, but they really do break down and cook a lot more quickly than fresh peppers. 

I'm not a huge raisin fan, but they work really well in this dish.  I think it could also use a finely sliced green onion over the top... but don't forget the cilantro and lime juice at the end.  They totally brighten the dish!

Busy mom tip - If you are a busy parent in the evenings, feel free to prep your chicken, sauce, and toasted coconut ahead of time, storing each separately in the refrigerator.  When you get home from work, take out the frozen vegetables, remove the prepped ingredients, and you can have this meal on the table in way less than 30 minutes!  But it sure will taste like something you have worked really hard on! 

Here is a video tutorial:

Click for Printable Recipe 

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 ½ lb chicken breasts in 1” pieces seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 8 oz thawed, frozen cut green beans
  • 8 oz thawed, frozen pepper strips (red, yellow, green)
Sauce:
  • 1 ½ cups light coconut milk
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1/3 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice & wedges for garnish
  • ½ cup cashews, rough chopped
  • Handful dark raisins
  • 1 sm can drained water chestnuts
  • garnish chopped, fresh cilantro

Coconut Rice
  • ¾ cup light coconut milk
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 2 cups instant rice
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted in oven
Step-by-Step:

Initial Prep -
Remove frozen vegetables from the freezer and allow to start thawing.
1 cup frozen green beans. 
1 cup frozen pepper strips - red, yellow, green
Trim, cut, and season chicken with salt and pepper.  Tip - This can be done ahead of time. 

Heat oil in large frying pan over med-high. Add the seasoned, cut up chicken and sauté until cooked through (about 5 min).
Add chicken to hot canola oil.
Start the Sauce - 
While chicken cooks, start the peanut curry sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce.  Tip - For getting this on the table faster, make the sauce up ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp curry paste.  Adjust up or down according to the heat preferences of your family.
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 cup cashews, rough chopped
handful dark raisins (2 small 'snack' boxes)
1 small can drained water chestnuts

Start building...
To the chicken that is just cooked through (PLEASE don't OVERCOOK IT!), add the green beans and pepper strips and continue cooking for another 3 – 5 minutes. (Will take longer if you use fresh peppers.)
Pour sauce into the pan over the chicken and vegetables; stir.


Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 6 – 8 minutes. Serve over coconut rice or plain steamed rice.
Rice:
In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice.
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 - 1 whole lime, juiced (depending on size)

Add instant rice when it comes to a boil.
2 cups instant rice  (sorry for the bad photo!)
Remove from heat and cover for 7 – 9 minutes.
Turn off heat and cover!
While waiting for the rice to absorb all the liquid, make the toasted coconut.

Tip -  The coconut can be toasted ahead of time.  Store in a zip top bag until you are ready for it.

I put my coconut in a cake pan and put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes.  Shake it around every minute or so and watch it CAREFULLY!!! It is fabulous toasted, but will burn in an instant if you neglect it!

1/2 cup toasted coconut
Stir toasted coconut into the cooked rice.
Fluff with a fork.
Plate....
Serve chicken over coconut rice with lime wedges, a bit more toasted coconut, and chopped cilantro for garnish. 
Definitely need the acid from the lime and brightness of cilantro to brighten these flavors and make them all come alive!  - creamy, spicy and sweet sweet sauce, bright lime and cilantro, crunch from the nuts and water chestnuts, chewy raisins, great colors from the peppers and beans... what's not to love?

Notes:
  • I typically choose a low sodium broth, like Swanson's, that comes in a box.  The left overs can just be refrigerated.
  • Curry Paste can be found in larger markets (like Whole Foods) or specialty markets.  I use Neera’s Spicy Vindaloo red Indian Curry Paste in 4 oz jar.
  • I use Peter Pan honey roasted peanut butter, as that is the one my family enjoys.  Feel free to use any type.
  • I like the Taste of Thai coconut milk in a can.  If all you have on hand is coconut milk beverage, you may need to add a teaspoon or so of corn starch to the cold sauce so that it will  thicken properly when cooked.


Method:
Initial Prep –
Remove frozen vegetables from the freezer and allow to start thawing.  Trim, cut, and season chicken with salt and pepper.  Tip - This can be done ahead of time.   Heat oil in large frying pan over med-high. Add the seasoned, cut up chicken and saute until cooked through (about 5 min).

Start the Sauce - 
While chicken cooks, start the peanut curry sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce.  Tip - For getting this on the table faster, make the sauce up ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.

Start building...
To the chicken that is just cooked through (PLEASE don't OVERCOOK IT!), add the green beans and pepper strips and continue cooking for another 3 – 5 minutes. (Will take longer if you use fresh peppers.)  Pour sauce into the pan over the chicken and vegetables; stir.  Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 6 – 8 minutes. Serve over coconut rice or plain steamed rice.
Rice:  In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice. Add instant rice when it comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and cover for 7 – 9 minutes.  While waiting for the rice to absorb all the liquid, make the toasted coconut.

Tip -  The coconut can be toasted ahead of time.  Store in a zip top bag until you are ready for it.
I put my coconut in a cake pan and put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes.  Shake it around every minute or so and watch it CAREFULLY!!! It is fabulous toasted, but will burn in an instant if you neglect it!   Stir toasted coconut into the cooked rice.  Fluff with a fork.
Plate....  Serve chicken over coconut rice with lime wedges, a bit more toasted coconut, and chopped cilantro for garnish. 

1 comment:

  1. one of the best chicken recipes I've encountered! I'll be making this later thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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