Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Baked Peanut Chicken with Peanut Sauce
Since working on 12-hour shifts, our family had spent more and more time eating at a Chinese restaurant nearby, which is open until 9pm. My husband has developed a liking for their fried rice, peanut chicken, chicken pepper, and general tso chicken. The peanut chicken seemed like it was baked as whole breast with coating of crumbs with chopped peanuts, sliced into strips then poured with peanut sauce. I thought it was easy enough to re-create. The chicken pepper looked like they were small pieces of chicken meat (as if they were scraped from the bones), dipped in some sweet batter then deep fried, then stir-fried with bell peppers. I imagined it to be a very tedious task for some recipe made out as an afterthought of what to do with the small almost insignificant pieces of chicken meat, so I was not at all interested to re-create it at home the way I imagined it to be. Maybe someday I will try to come up with my own version. General Tso recipe can be found everywhere, but I am not too inclined to have it -- too sweet and hot for me.
The first time I tried to make peanut chicken, I did good with the baked chicken, but not the sauce (trying to make it without a recipe as a reference). This time, I looked for a recipe that had a photo that looked like the peanut sauce we are familiar with now, then looked for an alternate recipe that had almost the same ingredients except the coconut milk, since I never imagined the peanut sauce from that Chinese restaurant having any coconut taste.
I baked the chicken using my nu-wave since I was gonna cook only one breast (I marinated the other breast along with other cuts for grilling sometime later). To supplement this (I knew it was not enough to feed my family for one supper), I cooked shrimps with ketchup sauce (a favorite of my sons), and stir-fried some small chicken meat pieces with zucchini for the vegetables (All the chicken came from one whole that I pulled out from my freezer last night to thaw. The bones were almost stripped of all meat, but I still simmered it for stock). All were eaten with plain rice. Husband likes eating plain rice flavored with nutmeg, salt and sugar, and half n half. This peanut chicken earned his approval!
I ended up having some leftover chicken and shrimps, and lots of leftover stir-fry.
Baked Peanut Chicken
1 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (I got raw Spanish peanuts from Spice of Life)
1 packet Shake n Bake (extra crispy)
1-2 tsbp soy sauce
1 whole chicken breast
1 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned style or freshly ground)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth (I used my homemade chicken stock)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (I actually used lemon; that's what I had on hand)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Marinate the chicken breast with the soy sauce for about 30 minutes to one hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce ingredients.
Mix peanut butter with chicken broth thoroughly, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Bake the chicken at 350 deg F on one side for about 15-20 minutes then flip over and cook another 15-20 minutes or until done. If it tends to burn easily on a 4-inch high grate, use the 2-inch. (I am still trying to get to know nu-wave, so I am still groping my way through here.)
(For conventional oven, pre-heat oven to 400 deg F, then grill chicken for about 20-25 minutes on each side. Bake until done.)
While waiting for chicken to cook, simmer the peanut sauce for about 30 minutes or until you achieve desired thickness.
Slice chicken pieces then pour peanut sauce over.