Peanut Chicken Stew

Listen up, dear ones.

I made chicken stew with peanut butter.  Crunchy peanut butter.

Is this the best day ever?

Every day, I used to ask my personal chef mom around 5pm what was for dinner.  Every day, I'd be surprised and delighted by whatever it was she chose to make for us (well, except Shake 'n Bake).  That was fun.  I had the life.

Nowadays, I no longer have the luxury of being surprised by the entree du jour that I serve up in the family kitchen.  While I totally enjoy meal planning, it does require some planning ahead.

I think planning is my most favorite essential life skill.

This week, planning ahead didn't include consulting the Weather Channel.  Cold weather used to be a given in March.  Things have changed, apparently.  It was 74 degrees yesterday!

Husband: Hey, what's for dinner tonight?

Me: Peanut-y chicken stew.  It's sorta like a cross between a stew and a chili.  Ok, yeah, we probably should be grilling like everyone else.  But, that's the way it goes!  You get what you get, and you don't get upset!

Husband's face:  I wasn't even close to questioning your dinner choice, psycho.

Ok, so maybe I felt the need to justify this meal considering that yesterday our neighborhood smelled like Bobby Flay's backyard.  Maybe I feel the need to justify this meal to you, here and now.

So, I give you peanut butter.  If you've ever wanted to eat a hearty bowl of peanut butter and not feel like an animal, now's your chance.

Do you have room in your hearts for one last cold-weather, one-pot meal?  Please say yes. 

This peanut chicken stew is pretty interesting.  Who would have thought that peanut butter and tomatoes would work together?  Suspend your disbelief.  They work!  And then your lean chicken infuses with the rich and flavorful peanut sauce, resulting in a hearty, healthy chicken stew to serve over rice.

And if your instinct is to add some chopped peanuts as a finishing touch, we are best friends.

Just try it!

By the way, "You get what you get" is a totally fun phrase to say.  Try it on your kids!  Don't try it on your boss.

Peanut Chicken Stew
Adapted from Dinner with Julie
Yields 4 servings

 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tbs canola oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbs minced garlic
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes (I chopped 2 fresh plum tomatoes instead)
2 c tomato sauce
1/2 c natural peanut butter (I used crunchy!)
1 tsp cumin
1 c brown rice, cooked
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Handful of peanuts (optional)

Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with 1/2 tbs of the oil.  Cook the chicken approximately 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness.  Remove from the pan, and set aside.  When cool, slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Add the remaining oil to the pan, and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until translucent and soft.  If you are using fresh tomatoes, add them and cook for another few minutes, until soft.

Add the diced tomatoes (if using), tomato sauce, peanut butter, cumin, and salt/pepper, and mix well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.

Add the sliced chicken into the sauce, and let the sauce continue to simmer and infuse the chicken, about 3-4 minutes.  Serve over rice, and garnish with parsley and peanuts as desired.

1 comment:

Eating Local in the Lou said...

What a great blog! Congrats on being the featured fan in the latest issue of Cooking Light mag (p. 27)- that should bring a lot of traffic your way!! Would love it if you get a chance to stop by my blog, Eating Local in the Lou :)

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