One more grilling recipe while the weather is still warm!
Asian flavors make a frequent appearance at our dinner table. Thai is one of my personal favorites. It can be made as spicy or mild as you like by adjusting the curry paste or red peppers. This chicken can either be prepared on the grill, or inside in a skillet.
I used the last of the Thai basil from my garden in this, but it is also good with chopped cilantro.
When I cook it inside, I pound the chicken flat first, so that it will cook more quickly. On the grill, I leave the chicken pieces unpounded. The sauce is made from coconut milk, peanut butter and red curry paste, plus a few other standard Asian ingredients (ginger, garlic, soy sauce). The sauce goes together quickly with the use of a regular blender (although, after a cooking demo today, I am feeling some serious Vitamix envy!)
This Thai cucumber salad was a nice accompaniment to the chicken. It is light, just a little sweet, and a little spicy. Made with my favorite little pickling cucumbers.
Chicken with Red Thai Peanut Sauce
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar or 5 drops liquid stevia
2 tsp red Thai curry paste
1 tsp chicken bouillon
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
about 2 Tbs peanut oil
3-4 Tbs finely chopped Thai basil or cilantro
In a blender combine first 9 ingredients. Blend until combined.
Put each chicken breast inside plastic bag or between plastic wrap and pound to even 1/2 inch thickness. (*NOTE: Pounding the chicken will make it cook quickly on the stovetop. Alternately, you could grill the unpounded chicken breasts on an outdoor grill)
Heat 2T oil in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and black pepper, then add chicken to pan and sauté until chicken is cooked through. If you need to cook your chicken in batches, then keep chicken warm (on a plate under foil) while cooking additional chicken.
Add sauce to pan. Scrape off browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn off heat and mix in chopped Thai basil or cilantro. Serve immediately over warmed chicken breasts, with additional chopped Thai basil or cilantro for garnish, if desired.
Thai Cucumber Salad
4-6 small pickling cucumbers, sliced
½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar, unsweetened
¼ cup fresh lime juice (or use additional 1/4 cup rice vinegar)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs sesame oil
5 drops liquid stevia (or 1 Tbs sugar)
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
Mix sliced cucumbers, onion, and cilantro in a bowl. Stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over cucumbers.