Last week, my friend Claire told me about a yummy Thai peanut dressing/sauce that she found at Costco. Based on her recommendation, I bought a bottle without really knowing what to expect. Well, today-almost a week and a half later-curiosity got the best of me, and I finally got around to opening it up. I wanted to take a wee taste to see what it was like...after all, it was just sitting there in the fridge begging to be sampled. I peeled the little safety disk off the lid-opening and took a finger full of sauce. Oh man!!! This stuff is awesome!!! Seriously, even straight from the bottle it is fan-freakin'-tastic...YUM! I gave my 3 year old son a little taste, too. His eyes lit up and he said, "ummmmmmm....more, Mommy!". So, the two of us finished licking the safety lid until it was squeaky clean (except for our germs) and then disposed of it. (Yes, I realize that was gross...but it was in the privacy of our own home for Pete's sake!)
I immediately decided to bump the recipe that I had scheduled for tonight, so I could make something with this sauce, instead. After a quick swap-a-roo on my menu plan and a peek in my fridge, I got my game plan together.
I have a ton of whole wheat spaghetti noodles leftover from last night. Also, I still have a half of bag of cole slaw salad greens (without the dressing) that need to be used. I figured I would re-purpose both of those items into a dish similar to the one that Claire made last night with the very same sauce (here is her blog post link to Peanutty Udon Noodles with Tofu so you can see what she did with this marvelous condiment). We are not tofu fans, so I am going to use chicken tenders as my main protein. Also, my recipe will not be as precise since the bulk of my ingredients are from leftovers. I don't really have a set recipe, so I am going to write one on the fly. I will let you know how it all turns out. If anything changes significantly, I will make sure to amend the recipe with my 'results' post later on.
Thai Peanut Chicken with Noodles
2 Tablespoons of canola oil, divided
1 lb. of chicken breast tenders (with tendons removed)
1/2 cup of flour
cooked whole wheat spaghetti noodles
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 small bag of Asian-style frozen vegetables
1/2 bag of pre-shredded cole slaw salad greens (without cole slaw dressing)
1 cup of Thai Peanut Sauce (Rikki Rikki brand)
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek chili sauce
1/3 cup of peanuts, unsalted and toasted in a dry pan
1 Tablespoon of lime juice
chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
chopped green onions, for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Place flour into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and dredge into seasoned flour, making sure to shake off any excess. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown chicken tenders in 1 Tablespoon canola oil on both sides. Once chicken is brown and cooked, remove to a plate and set aside. Add additional 1 Tablespoon of canola oil to hot skillet, and add frozen veggies to pan. When veggies are still crisp and warmed through, add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Then, add cooked spaghetti noodles,Sambal Oelek, and chicken stock. Simmer until liquid reduces by half. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Add cooked chicken, and Thai sauce; stir to combine. Add shredded cole slaw greens and mix thoroughly, until slightly wilted. Add lime juice and stir to combine. Remove from heat and top with cilantro, green onions, and toasted peanuts. Serve immediately.
I think this is my new favorite dinner. It was everything I anticipated...and then some. Savory, peanutty, just a touch spicy on the finish...sigh...I need some better adjectives, because my description is not doing this meal justice. Let's just say that I am ridiculously pleased with myself for pulling this dish together! (Okay, I can't take full credit for this dish since the sauce was pre-made...but it was still soooo super-yummy.) I did have to make a couple changes, while I was cooking. I amended the recipe to show the additional ingredients and directions. The cook time was pretty fast, considering most of the ingredients were already cooked to some degree. Overall, this turned out very well balanced and delicious!