Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Peanut Chicken Recipe and Menu Plan

Originally, I had been looking for a copy-cat recipe of Cheesecake Factory's Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp (minus the shrimp for me) to make at home when I came across this recipe.  It was actually a recipe someone on the Menus 4 Moms boards shared.  I have tweaked it to our family's liking. 

I have since found copy-cat recipes for the Bang Bang Chicken, and I am anxious to give that a try.  But we will likely keep this favorite on our menu rotation for now. 

Oh, something else about my cooking... I don't measure most of the time.  I also don't remember from one time to the next how I have tweaked a recipe and whether we liked it better or not.  It drives my family mad.  But it is all part of the creative process for me!  I am trying to make notes here and there because I do want to pass the recipes on to my kids as well. 

Someday, I hope to even add pictures!  Ooohhh!

Peanut Chicken
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy seems to be best
1/2 cup vinegar, we typically use Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg's Liquid Amino's
1/4 cup brown sugar or Sucanat
1/2 - 1 tsp ginger, ground
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, more if you like more heat
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
2.5 cups chicken, cooked and diced
1.5 cups rice, quinoa, etc. or a blend (you may want to use additional coconut milk and/or broth in place of the water to cook the rice for flavor)
2 T coconut oil
Carrots, julienned
Zucchini (or Cucumber), julienned
Shredded coconut
Chopped peanuts
Green onions, sliced

Put rice on to cook.

Heat first eight ingredients in heavy saucepan until mixed and bubbly; stirring frequently.  Then add chicken.

While sauce heats, slice green onions, carrots and zucchini or cucumber. These are best ice cold.

To serve, scoop rice onto each plate and top with chicken and sauce. Top liberally with onions, cucumbers, carrots, coconut and peanuts. 

Notes: for presentation, it works nicely to scoop rice into a small bowl, packed tightly.  Place the plate on top of the bowl upside down.  Flip bowl and plate together, then lift the bowl, leaving the rice in a nice rounded mound.  Then spoon chicken and sauce over and around rice.  Then top with the carrots, coconut, peanuts, etc. 

Also, we double the sauce for our family. 

We often serve this with a stir-fry veggie medley (broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, maybe squash or peppers, and onions, chopped and 'wokked' in a little butter and lemon juice, please!).  When we have dessert on Peanut Chicken night, I like the Mandarin Napoleons from Robin Miller.  Yum!  (We double this recipe as well.  The sugared, baked won tons are so yummy all by themselves as well!)

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