Sunday, May 15, 2016

Adventures in Creative Cooking: Sesame chicken... or maybe peanut chicken

Tahini chicken, except it's not really...
I don't often cook, but when I do I want to brag about it.
[Disclaimer: follow my recipes at your own risk!]

My brother-in-law, Jeff, made a great chicken dish when he was out here visiting a few years back. It was so good that I've wanted to enjoy it again ever since. So he sent me the recipe because in a moment of madness I offered to make dinner for my friend Laura, who was letting me do laundry at her house.

Of course this is me cooking. As I recalled (and I should know better, my memory being what it is), what Jeff had made for me years ago used tahini (yum!) as a base. That's the first challenge. I live here, in the middle of nowhere, so that while my choices for ingredients are much, much better than they were in the past, there's still not as much choice as one might wish for. And because this is me, I also waited until the morning of the laundry/dinner making evening to shop for ingredients in town.

Tahini? Here? Hahahaha! No.

So the compromise for tahini (which I finally - and too late - remembered I had gotten online in the past) was sesame oil. But not all sesame oils are equal. Just like with olive oils, some are stronger tasting than others (or is that my imaginative memory talking?). The store frowns on your opening sealed bottles of oils to sniff them... so I chose more or less at random. It wasn't like I had a lot of choices, mind you.

Unfortunately the oil I got is very mild. It could be generic vegetable oil. Very healthy and all, but I wanted flavor. By the time I discovered the blah taste of the oil it was practically time to sit at the dinner table. Okay... now what?

Simple: chunky peanut butter, because hey - anything is better with peanut butter, isn't it? And when it comes to peanut butter only chunky will do, organic and no sugar added thank you very much.

To be fair, Jeff's evolved recipe (that is, the recipe he sent me the other day, compared to what I remembered from years ago) did call for peanut oil, but there was no such thing in town so I was planning on using peanut butter anyway. But now I had a reason to use lots and lots of it.

The result was awesome (and pretty to look at, too), though I still want the tahini chicken someday.

Tahini/Sesame/Peanut Chicken

2 pounds chicken breasts, cut up
3 bunches of scallions or green onions, chopped in half inch slices
1/2 cup of peanut oil
1/4 cup of sesame oil.

Pan fry everything together over hot flame till chicken is cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Turn off as soon as the chicken goes from pink inside to white. Don't over-cook as the chicken will become tough.

Serve over brown rice and season with soy sauce to taste

  1. OK, I didn't cut up the chicken breasts because I didn't feel like it. You really should. Cooking big hunks of chicken like that for just 10 minutes means the insides won't be done. And no, I didn't check to see if the insides were pink before I served the meal.  Giving the chicken hunks a few minutes in the nuker fixed that.
  2. My asparagus is coming up like crazy, so I harvested some and sliced that up to add with the green onions. It was a great idea!
  3. My actual sesame oil was about 3/4 cup and my actual chunky peanut butter was about the same.  
  4. Um... I didn't notice till just now that there was only supposed to be a quarter cup of sesame oil....

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