Friday, May 1, 2009

The Squirrel Can Cook - Spicy Peanut Chicken

You must understand, I’m giving it to you the way I would make it, if Mrs. Squirrel didn’t have pepper allergies. In other words, this is the HOT version, got it? (For you sissy-mouths out there, just reduce the amount of, or leave out entirely, the red pepper flakes and the cayenne.)

Here are your ingredients:

1/4 cup canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (about 2 breasts) – cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 to 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (We like garlic, so too much is never enough)
1 medium red onion – cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1ea medium red & green bell peppers – cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts
2 medium scallions (those long skinny green onion things) – sliced (about 2-3 tablespoons)

This one goes really fast once you start cooking, so make sure all your ingredients are prepared and ready before you throw anything into the wok.

Mix the chicken broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne pepper in a jar with a tight lid. Use a jar with a good lid, because you’re going to want to shake this very well before you add it to the pan. But, for now, just give it a stir and set it aside.

If you have a wok handy, you’ll want to use that, but, if not, a 12-inch or larger cast iron or stainless steel skillet will work. Heat your wok or skillet (hereafter known as The Pan) over high heat. Add oil; rotate The Pan to coat side. Add the red pepper flakes to the oil, and cook the pepper flakes for about 30 seconds before adding the chicken to let the heat defuse through the oil. Add the chicken and the garlic to The Pan and stir-fry about 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Now add the onion and the bell pepper to The Pan and stir-fry for about another 1 to 2 minutes.

Grab that jar with the chicken broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and cayenne pepper and shake it well and good. You really want to get this mixed well. Once mixed, add it slowly to The Pan while stirring. Cook and stir about 1 minute or until sauce is thickened. Stir in the peanuts and top with the scallions. Serve with rice.

The Squirrel shall not live by nuts alone!

UPDATE: Fred suggested that I include pictures. So, Fred, this is what it should look like when you are all done...

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