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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ann_in_grace said...

Sounds extremely yummy!

The Squirrel said...

A short story about me and spices -- I had lunch with my sister a few weeks back, and I ordered a fried-shrimp dish that was listed as spicy.

I didn't think it was all that spicy.

My sister tried it... and rapidly reached for her water glass!

I'm biased, I guess... or immune... or something.



Herding Grasshoppers said...

Ooooo, I'll have to adjust a bit in our non-spicy house, but it sure sounds good!

We all know how squirrels love peanuts :0)

Fred Butler said...

I will have you know that I am a unashamed sissy mouth. I'll try not to knock any thing off the table when I swish around in my skirt.

Sir Aaron said...


I have a similar story when I took my family to Chilis. I ordered some Jalapeno poppers (they were sliced and deep fried Jalapenos). Two different waiters told me they were extremely hot and tried to convince me not to get them. I got them anyways and thought they were really mild. The waiters were in awe.

Your wife is allergic to what kinds of peppers? How do you compensate for taste?

Sir Aaron said...

BTW, I am convinced that you do build up a tolerance to peppers. I have Jalapenos on my salads everyday now (freshly cut is always best) and they seem to effect me less now (although I have to say that peppers of the same type don't always have the same heat).

The Squirrel said...


Skirts? I didn't know you were Scottish!

(ponders posting haggis recipe...)



The Squirrel said...

"Your wife is allergic to what kinds of peppers? How do you compensate for taste?"


Mrs. Squirrel is allergic to peppers of all kinds (not life threatening, but unpleasant intestinal discomfort,) meaning that I would not serve this recipe to her due to the bell peppers alone. She likes my stir-fry, but I fix it with other veggies for her.

Cayenne is OK, as are chili & curry powders, as long as I don't make it too hot. I can also cook with mild green chilies, which she does not react to to the same degree (I guess chilies are different enough from peppers that the allergies don't react the same.)

As for taste... I tend to cook at sissy-mouth spice levels, and add hot sauces, chili pastes, and such to my portions.


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Or do what they do at our favorite Thai restaurant - bring a spice rack to the table and let everyone 'doctor' their own :0)

Fred Butler said...

Just a suggestion to improve this weekly gastronomical extravaganza: Perhaps provide some pictures (a video would be awesome, but that takes time), of your work so we can get an idea of what our creations are to look like.

Mrs. Squirrel said...

Fred -

If you'd like, I can slap him for you.


Sir Aaron said...


I think Squirrel should send us samples of his creations.

Joshua Cookingham said...