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Monday, September 29, 2014

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

I don't get to eat enough stir fry. I miss working down the street from a small Chinese restaurant where I could just drive down and pick up lunch once a week. I miss fried rice and saucy chicken and vegetables and since I don't get to make it often at home I have to compromise and make it for Yaya and Nana for our Monday night dinners.

My dad and my brother make a peanut butter based stir fry sauce that includes a little bourbon and some jam to sweeten it. My brother adds more peanut butter making it kind of thick. Dad adds more bourbon, thinning his out and causing it to caramelize on the chicken as it cooks down.

Unfortunately I forgot to ask them for the recipe so I found this one on Pinterest. It's sweetened with brown sugar and has lots of sesame oil and soy sauce to give it an Asian flavor and then a bit of peanut butter that reminds me of Thai food.

I went with some simple veggies this time. Broccoli, carrots, and sugar snap peas are some of my favorite stir fry vegetables. They're easy to work with and pick up the flavors of the sauce nicely.

If you don't know how to make fried rice this stuff goes great with plain white or brown rice, jasmine rice, or even basmati rice. I just used some of my oven-baked brown rice mixed with carrots, soy sauce, sesame oil, and then scrambled a couple of eggs into it.

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

Source: Adapted from Love Food Eat

For the sauce:
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp sesame seeds

For the stir fry:
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into discs
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets (about 2 crowns of broccoli)
1/2 cup sugar snap peas (or snow peas)
garlic powder to taste

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Stir the sauce until smooth and set aside.

Spray a large skillet or wok with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and season with garlic powder (don't add salt because the soy sauce in your sauce could make your stir fry overly salty). Cook until no longer pink and most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Spray the skillet with vegetable oil spray again and add the carrots. Season again with garlic powder and cook until the carrots just begin to soften. Deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup of water and add the broccoli and sugar snap peas. Season once more with garlic powder and cook until the broccoli is cooked to your liking. I like mine a little crunchy so I only cooked mine for about 5 minutes but if you like yours a little softer you can cook it longer.

Return the chicken to the pan and add the sauce.

Reduce the heat to low and stir until all of the chicken and vegetables are coated in the sauce.

Serve warm with rice. A couple of frozen egg rolls would add to the take-out vibe but I didn't have any on hand tonight.

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