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Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Broccoli - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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March 1st, 2008

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01:01 am - Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Broccoli
Not only am I an avid carnivore, I also dislike most vegetables. I love peas, green beans, all types of onions, tomatoes, and most tubers. However, green vegetables are things I mostly avoid. So, I was naturally dubious when I saw recipes for how to make broccoli that even someone who normally doesn't like broccoli would like. Both recipes involved roasting it in the oven at 425 for 10-15 minutes. I wasn't all that interested in a big plate of broccoli and rarely make side dishes. However, long ago in a restaurant, I had Thai chicken with broccoli and peanut sauce that was acceptable, if not delicious, and I wondered if I could make a version that was actually something I'd love, and so I made this dish a few days ago. I succeeded, here's the recipe. I used chicken, but I'm positive that a completely vegan version could be made using baked tofu, and thinly sliced pork would also work well. In any case, as I hoped, the broccoli was tender, faintly sweet, and quite honestly good, and I definitely do not normally like it.

This dish is made in three parts, which are then assembled. Here's the recipe:

Note: My recipe for red curry paste can be found near the bottom of this link.

Thai Chicken
½ TBS sesame oil
1 finely minced shallot
1 tsp red curry paste
1 tsp minced garlic
2 finely sliced and chopped kaffir lime leaves
8 oz boneless chicken, sliced into 1/8 thick slices 1-2" long (I use chicken breast)
1 TBS fish sauce
2 sliced scallions

Heat wok and oil, stir-fry shallot, curry paste, and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken, stir fry until cooked, add fish sauce and scallions.

Peanut Sauce
1/3 cup natural, unsweetened salted peanut butter (I prefer chunky)
½ cup light coconut milk
1 TBS fish sauce
2 tsp red curry paste
1 TBS lime juice (lemon also works)
1 tsp brown sugar
1/16 to 1/4 tsp ground red pepper (I prefer ground chipotle pepper) – to taste

Microwave or otherwise heat the peanut butter and coconut milk. When hot, stir to combine, and add the other ingredients. Stir in additional warm water if the sauce is too thick – it should form a thick, but pourable sauce.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Ideally, you should do this no more than a minute or two before the broccoli comes out of the oven.

Oven Roasted Broccoli
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

8 oz broccoli
1 TBS sesame oil

Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices. Place the broccoli into a bowl and toss with 1/8 tsp salt and sesame oil, then spread on a sheet pan - do not crowd the broccoli on the pan.

Roast broccoli for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and toss into the wok with the chicken and peanut sauce and stir on medium heat for 1 minute.

Serve over rice.

Ordinary white rice would work perfectly well, but I was feeling fancy, and so I made a version of a Thai yellow rice.

Thai Yellow Rice

2/3s cup of long grain rice (I prefer jasmine rice)
2/3s cup of water
1/3 cup of light coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric
1 large (or two small) kaffir lime leaves
2 fresh bay leaves (dried works, but less well)
1/8 tsp salt
1 TBS Chinese Shao Xing cooking wine

Wash and drain the rice, add all other ingredients stir well, and cook in a rice cooker or pot until done. Remove lime and bay leaves and serve with the chicken.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 1st, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
The coconut milk and peanut butter combination sounds good.

Preparation style makes a big difference in how much I like certain vegetables. Just about any vegetable except tubers tastes much better to me stir-fried than boiled. Roasting sounds interesting too.
[User Picture]
Date:March 2nd, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
That particular peanut sauce is my favorite, and it can be used in all manner of dishes. Also soy sauce can replace fish sauce throughout the dish with only a mild change in flavor.
[User Picture]
Date:March 1st, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
I would never have guessed you could roast broccoli. In my previous experience, retty much all the coles are made instantly inedible by being even the slightest bit burnt (unlike asparagus, which has a very nice taste burnt). On the other hand, roasting works well for cauliflower, so I guess it isn't that surprising.
[User Picture]
Date:March 2nd, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that the key is to roast it for not very long. There is not the slightest bit of burning, or even browning on the broccoli when prepared in this fashion. I certainly wouldn't roast it for more than 15 minutes, since it think it would brown and that sounds not particularly good.
[User Picture]
Date:March 2nd, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I intentionally roast broccoli until it turns brown. It gets sweet and caramelized. I've had Thai recipes with broccoli scorched on the skillet that way with butter and sauce, very tasty. In general, I like to steam broccoli, tender but not soft, and I eat the stalks, not the fluffy part.

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