Now that it’s day ??? of the quarantine, we should all know exactly what restaurant food we miss. For me, it’s Asian takeout. There’s a Thai place in my town that makes amazing peanut satay. So when I sat down to plan the quarantine pantry cooking menu for the week, I knew I wanted chicken and peanut sauce of some kind, with a side of fried rice, of course!
Is it just me or is the quaratine like winter 2.0, food-wise? Bring me ALL the comfort foods. Fried rice is one of my favorite carbs. I could eat my weight in fried rice, any time. It’s too good for me to pass up! And let me tell you, I had to really restrain myself from downing all 6 servings this recipe makes! In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m helping myself to a second serving as a late night snack…
Now onto the details of this Asian classic dish. This chicken is simple: it’s dusted with spices and pan-fried to get the crispy outer layer. That perfect golden brown edge that crunches and then melts in your mouth; these juicy nuggets of pure Asian deliciousness will have you coming back over and over again.
And the peanut sauce! The peanut sauce is to die for! Okay maybe not literally, but definitely figuratively! It’s creamy and flavorful, and has quite a kick at the end. And it has a secret ingredient…all of the spice comes from the peanut butter!
I used a flavored peanut butter, one that my mother bought at a farmers market in Saratoga, NY, last summer. It’s the Slow Burn Garlic Peanut Butter. In all honesty, I was skeptical. I’m a Skippy or Smuckers fan, and I usually stick to creamy PB, but this blew my mind (and tastebuds)! There a powerful punch of spicy garlic, but it doesn’t overpower the peanut butter. I never would’ve put the two flavors together, but this proved me so wrong!
Because I wanted the garlic peanut butter to take center stage in the peanut sauce, I didn’t add much to it. I used a 1/2 cup of coconut milk/cream to cut the spice a tad (I live in a household of people who don’t enjoy their tongues being on fire, shocking). Canned coconut milk is the best option for this. Usually the milk solidifies at the top to create the cream. Scoop most of the cream out and save it to use in the rice. For this sauce, use the coconut milk thickened with a bit of cream so that the sauce doesn’t get too thin. This also gives the sauce a lovely buttery coconut flavor that complements the garlic well.
I also added a tablespoon of sesame oil to bump the flavor an extra notch. And lastly, there’s a bit of soy sauce to thin it to a dripping consistency, but you can omit if you want a thick hummus-like dip. Ooh maybe that’ll be my next project!
I didn’t work a miracle here, despite how I’ve been singing it’s praises. The simplicity is what makes this meal. Most of it is ingredients you already have in your pantry! Which is super convenient, due to the quarantine!
Tell me in the comments: what’s your favorite quarantine meal that you’ve been making?
Pʜᴏᴛᴏ Cʀᴇᴅɪᴛ : MᴄKᴇɴᴢɪᴇ Bʀᴏᴡɴ