Monday, July 27, 2009

Thai Spicy Peanut Chicken

Today's lunch was just a simple sandwich of two ounces of turkey breast, lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bread smothered with Dijon mustard and five black olives on the side. For dessert, to balance out the meal, a half of a medium banana hit the spot. A lunch such as this tallies out at 2 protein exchanges, 1 vegetable exchange, and 3 carbohydrate exchanges.
Dinner this evening will be special. Influenced by the classic Asian dish this spicy peanut chicken lends an exotic twist to dinner. Its rich, creamy sauce is moderate in heat but you can turn up the flame as you like it. Quick to prepare, it's a winner for a weeknight supper. I hope you also give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do.
Thai Spicy Peanut Chicken
For the Marinade:
4 - 4 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 garlic cloves, minced (reserve one minced clove)
1 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
white pepper to taste
For the dish:
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter (preferably all natural or no salt or sugar added)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup fat free evaporated milk
2 green onions, sliced thin for garnish
1/4 cup crushed dry-roasted peanuts for garnish (optional)
4 cups cooked angel hair pasta
Combine the chicken with the cornstarch, soy sauce, 1 clove of the garlic and white pepper in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 10 to 15 minutes to marinate.
Preheat a large saute pan on medium high and add the canola oil. Saute the chicken cubes until they become lightly browned. Add the rest of the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Continue to brown the chicken until golden. Add the chicken stock and peanut butter, stirring gently to combine. The heat will soften the peanut butter and it will blend in well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add the evaporated milk, stirring it in a little at a time. Place back on low heat and continue to simmer for about 5 more minutes. The sauce will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when done. If the mixture is too thick, add more chicken stock or water a tablespoon at a time.
Top angel hair pasta with chicken and garnish with green onions and crushed peanuts.
Yields four servings. Each serving = 360 calories, 3 carbohydrate exchanges, 3 protein exchanges and 1 fat exchange.
Tip...use a separate cutting board that can fit into the dishwasher for preparing the raw chicken or any raw meats, for that matter. If you don't have a dishwasher, wash the cutting board in the hottest water you can tolerate with soap. I like to keep a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of chlorine bleach near the sink, too. Spray the board down and rinse once again to sanitize. This chlorine bleach spray is handy for cleaning and sanitizing your sink, drain, counter tops, microwave oven and cutting boards.

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