Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken in Peanut Sauce

This dish takes a bit long for a weeknight meal, but it's tasty and satisfying. It was pointed out to me that I seem to like cooking with peanuts a lot, so I fear I may be stuck in a rut with them and should perhaps be venturing onto something new.

I scaled this dish down a lot and substituted whole canned tomatoes for broiled tomatoes. It may've been better with broiled, but expedience won out. I used only skinless, boneless breast diced into tiny pieces as that's what was hiding in my freezer. The header notes state that the sauce is not very spicy, so I went ahead and doubled the chiles in my scaled down version to make the spice head happier. The original suggests serving with small boiled potatoes and that seems like a tasty and very filling idea to me!

One year ago: Heirloom Tomato and Rice Tart

Chicken in Peanut Sauce (from The Essential Cuisines of Mexico)

2 kg chicken parts
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 - 5 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 medium white onion, cut into 4 pieces
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 inch cinnamon stick
6 peppercorns
6 whole cloves
1 1/4 cup peanuts
450 tomatoes, broiled
4 chipotle chiles in adobo
3 tbsp vegetable oil (I used peanut)
2 cups water

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and lime juice and set aside.
2. Heat small, ungreased frying pan and toast onion and garlic until soft. Peel garlic and set aside.
3. Toss spices in pan and toast lightly. Set aside.
4. Toast peanuts until golden.
5. Put tomatoes, chiles, onion, garlic, and toasted spices in a blender and blend until smooth.
6. Add peanuts and blend until smooth.
7. Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy casserole and fry chicken until golden brown. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
8. Fry blended ingredients in remaining oil (about 1/4 cup) over medium heat for 3 minutes, constantly stirring.
9. Lower heat and let sauce cook for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
10. Add chicken and 2 cups water. Adjust seasoning and cook over low heat until chicken is tender, 35 - 40 minutes.

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