Sunday, February 20, 2011

Inspiration Nation Peanut Chicken Stir Fry - 2/20/11


Marinade and Peanut Sauce:
1 medium onion, minced
½ cup peanut or other neutral oil (I use canola)
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup thin terikayi sauce (I use Mr. Yoshida’s Gourmet Marinade and Sauce)
½ cup dark rum (I used what I had, 151 proof – zowee!)
½  cup honey
2 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger root
6 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
1 – 13 oz. jar creamy whipped peanut butter (you will not use all of it)
2 tablespoons half and half

Main ingredients:
2 pounds chicken breast meat, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium or 2 small red bell peppers, large dice
1 medium onion, large dice
2 cups (approximately) stir fry vegetables (I used a 12 oz. bag of Eat Smart brand)
¼ cup thin teriyaki sauce (this is in addition to the ½ cup used in the marinade)

Wok on:
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger root
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

To serve:
½ pound angel hair pasta
2-3 green onions, white and some green parts, thinly sliced
Olive oil

For the Fancy Schmancy:
Chopped peanuts
Additional green onion, thinly sliced


Combine all of the marinade ingredients except for the peanut butter.  Pour over and marinate the chicken for several hours in refrigerator.  Stir occasionally while marinating.

When ready to prepare the dish, set out all the ingredients next to the wok. Mise en place is always important, but never more so than when making a stir fry dish!

Drain marinade from chicken.  Measure it, then put into a small saucepan and heat over medium until boiling. Watch it very carefully, as the alcohol will cause it to boil over. Measure out half as much peanut butter as marinade, then remove pan from heat and add the peanut butter, stirring until sauce is smooth.  Taste and adjust with more peanut butter if you like.  Stir in the half and half.  Let sit on stove at very low or warming heat.

Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions.  Do not run cold water over the hot pasta.  As soon as hot water is drained off, add a drizzle of olive oil and sliced green onions and toss to coat and combine.  Return to pot and hold over low or warming heat on stovetop.

In hot oil in wok, stir fry garlic and ginger till fragrant, but do not let brown. Immediately add the chicken to wok and stir fry till done, then remove and hold on side.

Add more oil if needed to wok. Stir fry onion and red bell pepper.  Add remaining vegetables to wok.  While stir frying, add about ¼ cup teriyaki sauce to vegetables to create steam.  When vegetables are tender, add back the chicken.  Lower the heat under the wok and add the warm peanut butter sauce, stirring with the chicken and vegetables.

To serve:  ladle peanut chicken and sauce over the pasta.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and green onion if desired.  Or skip the pasta and serve with rice, preferably the sticky Chinese type.

Incidentally, I used my trusty electric fry pan instead of my wok for this dish.  Worked great, and the chicken had the opportunity to pick up a nice brown color.  If you do use a wok, I recommend stir frying the chicken in two separate batches, so that the chicken browns instead of steams.

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