Janet and Bob are just as adventurous when it comes to foods and eating as we are, so it is fun to make and try new things with them. I already shared our mushroom and leek spring rolls with you Mushroom and Leek Spring Rolls, so now I am going to share what our main meal was. The main part of our meal was Indonesian chicken and vegetables with a peanut butter sauce over rice. I served it with some green onion pancakes on the side as well, with a crisp, cool white wine. Green Onion Pancakes
The sauce was originally supposed to be as a marinade, but silly me, I didn’t see that part until too late, which means I totally created my own recipe yet again. What can I say? I guess not following directions is just a gift, though many would say it’s a curse. At least it is creative though. 🙂 Not only was it creative, but it was creatively delicious. Bob said it was one of the best peanut sauces he had ever tasted. WHOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!
Indonesian Chicken and Vegetables with Peanut Sauce
Peanut sauce is an Indonesian creation that found its way to Indonesia via Portugal and Spain through Mexico in the 16th century. It is also known as a satay sauce or in Indonesian, bumbu kacang. I have to admit, I always thought of a peanut sauce, or bumbu kacang, as a Thai dish, but it really is an Indonesian or Malaysian dish. It is an honest mistake though, since there are so many delicious Thai recipes that use peanuts in many various ways, such as for flavorings, thickening agents and garnishes, just to name a few. Thai foods and Indonesian foods are all about balancing the salty, sweet, spicy, sour and creamy flavors together. These five flavors compose the essence of the Thai flavors in their foods. When cooking Thai, or Indonesian foods, balance is key and if the flavors are out of proportion, the whole dish will be “off”. A basic peanut sauce is made of peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, a sweetener, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, a spice and water, or in some more traditional versions, coconut milk is used instead of water. And that is exactly how I made my sauce too. I used water this time, but I usually use coconut milk. As you all know, I like to change things up a bit. Well. OK, quite a bit. 🙂
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced “Asian” style or at an angle
1 cup snap peas
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 onion, sliced very thin
1 TBSP garlic
1 TBSP ginger
2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 TBSP lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
black pepper to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup water or coconut milk
1/4 cup rice vinegar
chopped peanuts for topping
chopped cilantro for topping
Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and water or coconut milk and set aside.
In a very hot skillet or wok, add some cooking oil, usually peanut or canola oil is use for Asian dishes, then add the vegetables, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. Cook until mostly tender.
Add the chicken and continue to cook until the chicken and vegetables are done.
Add the sauce and mix in thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 7-10 minutes, stirring often.
Serve over either noodles or rice and enjoy. A crisp, cool white wine, and even a slightly sweeter wine like a Riesling or a Gewürztraminer, will pair very nicely with this dish. The sweetness of the wine will balance out the spiciness of the sauce. Again, it is all about the balance of the flavors that make the meal really come together. Enjoy.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.