Everyone has a handful of recipes that they rely on as a quick fix for chicken. This is one of ours.
Quite possibly the best we've ever tasted, this peanut sauce has several incarnations. Leftover sauce may be used a versatile dressing to be spooned over shredded chicken, julienned jicama, apples and carrots. Or toss it with cooked rice noodles, grilled shrimp and sliced scallions. Or just reserve it as a dipping sauce, hot or cold, for plain chicken.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, skin on or skinless
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Mild vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon green curry paste
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste or concentrate (may substitute lime juice)
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts, plus additional for garnish
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
Preheat the grill. Pat the chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle lightly with oil and rub to coat. Set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the curry paste, garlic, fish sauce, peanut butter, tamarind paste, brown sugar, peanuts and coconut milk. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring, until thickened and reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, grill the chicken, turning as necessary, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
To serve, sprinkle the chicken with peanuts and cilantro and set the lime wedges on the side. Scrape the sauce into individual dipping bowls and serve immediately.
Adapted from "Firehouse Food" by George Dolese and Steve Siegelman (Chronicle, 2003).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
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