Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chile-soy grilled chicken with PEANUT SAUCE!

Grilled chicken on rice, covered in peanut sauce. Pepper and pea stir fry.
I would eat peanut sauce on anything--veggies, meat, a spoon, my fingers. I LOVE it. It's one of those things I'm very judge-y about in restaurants--whenever I order satay I think the peanut sauce is too sweet, or not spicy enough, or needs lime. Mine is better. Then I eat it anyway. Less than ideal peanut sauce is still fabulous. 
Speaking of peanut sauce, the first time I saw someone make it at home was right after I moved to Denver. I was living in a shitty apartment on Colorado Blvd and was about to start my new job at DSST. My sister and Michelle came over to make a dinner party at my house, even though I had no furniture and only a couple of pots (and one knife I got from the Goodwill--we had to share). 
Me  in 2008, recently arrived from Nicaragua. Dinner party in world's worst apartment!
We are eating salad out of coffee mugs because I had zero kitchen supplies back then.
At this party, Michelle made peanut sauce and little fried tofu triangles, Bridget made Asian crunch salad (it includes smashed ramen and is the shit), and I made curry. The peanut sauce was the best part. We all ended up putting it on all the other parts of the meal.
So after that, I experimented with making peanut sauce from scratch and now, I must say, it comes out fabulous every time. 
I made a batch of peanut sauce to go with some grilled chicken and stir-fried veggies. It was Sunday night, and I wanted to make something that would do well as lunches all week. 
This turned out GREAT. I've had mixed results in the past with grilling chicken, but this chicken turned out fantastic--juicy and flavorful. The peanut sauce was perfect, and I made some quick stir-fried veggies to go with. Delightful. 

Peanut Sauce 

1 can of coconut milk 
3/4 cup peanut butter (any kind is fine) 
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, lightly salted (don't use dry-roasted) 
Juice of 4 limes 
1 TB chili-garlic sauce (or Sriracha) 
1 TB Thai fish sauce 
2-inch piece of ginger
1 TB brown sugar 
2 TB soy sauce 

What to do: 
1. Put all of the ingredients into the blender and blitz them smooth. 
2. Pour the contents into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, then simmer for 8 or 10 minutes. Taste: does it need salt? Sugar? Lime? Add a pinch of this or that till it tastes perfect.
3. Pour on whatever!!! 

Sauce in the blender

Chili-soy Grilled Chicken 

3-4 pounds (or however much you want) boneless, skinless chicken fillets--either breast or thigh (thigh will taste better) 
2/3 cup soy sauce 
3 TB chili-garlic sauce or Sriracha 
3 TB brown sugar 

What to do: 
1. Mix the soy sauce, chili sauce and sugar in a bowl. 
2. Place chicken in the bowl of marinate. Allow to sit for at least an hour
3. Grill the chicken! I used a charcoal grill, very hot, about 10 min per side. Brush chicken with leftover marinate as it grills
4. Allow to rest about 10 minutes, then dribble with peanut sauce. Serve over rice. 

Marinating chicken. I used both thighs and breasts.
Chicken grilling on our teeny hibachi.
Gorgeous spring night in the backyard.
To go with the chicken, sauce and rice, I made a stir-fry of carrots, red bell peppers, and sugar-snap peas. 
I think this same marinade would work great for pork chops or flank steak. 

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