How many times have you craved something, only to realize that you’re missing the one key ingredient? Yeah, that happens to me. Way too much. 99% of the time, that craving is chocolate related (what can I say? I’m a typical girl). But this time, it was for Chinese.
Weird, right? I never crave Chinese food. Ever. Maybe I’ve just never tasted the good stuff. Maybe I just need to take a trip to Asia and taste the authentic Chinese cooking. But my limited dining experiences in the US basically drove me away from that type of cuisine. Gelatinous sauces, tough and fatty cuts of meat, and a mountain of white rice that filled a large dinner plate while the entrée barely covered the bottom of a teacup saucer. Not exactly appetizing.
Step inside my kitchen, and it’s a whole different ballgame. One that won’t clog your arteries, give you a food coma, or find you hungry 2 hours later.
Although it’s hardly authentic, it’s still a delicious twist on a Chinese menu staple—cashew chicken. (Except with peanuts, since the key ingredient, cashews, were obviously lacking in my pantry…)
Peanut Chicken with Bell Peppers
To be honest, I didn’t measure out the liquids very precisely for the sauce, so tweak according to your tastes. The more veggies, the merrier! Serve with rice.
1 small chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ of a bell pepper, cut into thin strips
¼ c. peanuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
⅛ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cornstarch
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce through cornstarch. Set aside.
- Heat 1-2 tsp of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Cook chicken for 4-6 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Cook longer to brown the chicken pieces. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add another tsp olive oil back to the pan, and sauté the bell peppers for 3-4 minutes, or until desired doneness. Remove from pan and set aside with the chicken.
- Add peanuts to the pan and toast for 1-2 minutes, or until they begin to smell. Remove pan from heat. Re-whisk sauce, and add to the pan. The pan should be hot enough that the sauce immediately thickens, but if it doesn’t, put the skillet back over low heat and stir constantly until it thickens. Add chicken and peppers back to the pan, and stir until everything is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.