Spicy Peanut Crusted Chicken with Coconut Peanut Dipping Sauce

I’m always looking to do something a little different with plain chicken and love adding a little spice to things, so I decided to try making a Spicy Peanut Crusted Chicken with a Coconut Peanut Dipping Sauce. I used chicken thighs for this recipe, but it would work great for chicken breasts too.

The Fresh Roasted Almond Company sent me a great sample box with a variety of their nuts and flavors. I ate some, shared some and still had a lot left so I got the idea to try using their buffalo flavored peanuts instead of the usual plain peanuts I use when I make this dish. They have a sweet and spicy taste (not an overtly a “buffalo wings” kind of flavor) that I thought would go well with the sauce I usually make with Thai peanut chicken.

I started with 1/2 cup of flavored peanuts. I usually just crush them with a mortar and pestle but I found these a little harder than the plain nuts due to their flavored coating. After a few rounds I gave in and brought out the food processor so I could grind them up better. You still want them to be a little crumbly though, so don’t grind them to dust!

Buffalo Peanuts by the Fresh Roasted Almond Co.

I combined the peanuts with 1/2 cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) that I gave a few extra crushes to so they were a little smoother than usual. You can use regular breadcrumbs, but all I had was the panko or seasoned breadcrumbs and I didn’t want to throw the flavor off with the extra seasoning.

Next beat two eggs in a separate bowl and mix together your peanut and breadcrumbs in their own bowl. First dip the chicken in the eggs, then the crumb mix. Press the chicken into the crumb mix really well on both sides so you get a good coating.

I baked them on a Copper Crisper, but you can also just use a baking sheet or pan. Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 min. I always check after 30 minutes and see if they need more time. While the chicken is cooking, it’s time to make the sauce!

img_0676

Really Easy Coconut Peanut Sauce:

1/2 can of coconut milk (Give or take depending on how thick you want it. I usually pour a little in, mix, then pour more in. You will probably have to stir the coconut milk in the can first because it usually separates)

1/3 cup of peanut butter (At can be creamy or chunky. And again, you can add more or less depending on taste)

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Dash of red pepper flakes if you like it a little hot.

Stir it up until it’s bubbling, then lower the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

All done and ready to serve!

img_0677.jpgThis meal goes great with plain white rice and green beans. You can also pour some of the sauce on the rice or drizzle it on the chicken. I like to put it in a little bowl for dipping but my husband takes the bowl and just dumps it on everything.

You can make this with any kind of nuts too! The Fresh Roasted Almond Co. even makes nut crumbles so you can skip the food processor part and just go straight to the dipping.

You can check them out on Facebook and Instagram, as well as their website Fresh Roasted Almond Co.

*There’s a Buy 2 Get 2 Free special on their website right now, where if you buy two of any item, you get another two products free – details on the site.

Sweet Potatoes in the Copper Crisper

My grandmother surprised me with a Copper Crisper, so I had to give it a try right away. My husband keeps getting sweet potatoes with the intention of cutting them up and making little tater tot type things for his lunch, and then doesn’t follow through with it, so I figured this would be the perfect thing to use for that.

I chopped up three sweet potatoes into cubes, and in hindsight that was too many to fit on the pan but I went through with it anyway!

I didn’t want all the sugar and sweetness so I just tossed the potatoes in a little olive oil and sea salt and then put them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, as per the directions. I was very skeptical that 20 minutes was going to be enough, and I was right, so I put them back in for 20 more. And then a little longer.

I took them out and mix them in the butter like the recipe said, but I probably would’ve been better off skipping that part. They were OK, but not as crunchy as I’d hoped. I realize this was probably my fault for overloading the pan, although I did go in and move them around every time I added more time so that they could all cook.

Here’s the recipe if you are interested in trying it yourself!

I do plan on giving it another try but with less sweet potatoes next time and no butter! I have started using the Copper Crisper for other things like breaded fish and chicken and it actually works pretty good so I’m sure I can get a crisper potato if I adjust the amount.

Anybody else use one of these? Any tips or favorite things to cook in it?

Let’s Get Popping with Malaysian Palm Oil

I use a lot of different oils in my cooking so I was excited about the opportunity from Moms Meet to try a free bottle of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and see what it was like. I learned the palm oil has very high smoke point and won’t break down into harmful chemicals when used at higher temperatures so it would be perfect to replace some of my other cooking oils. It’s also packed with potent phytonutrients like carotene and tocotrienols (an ultra-potent form of vitamin E) not found in other oils.

The suggested recipe was for popcorn and I admit I was skeptical about making it in a pot! I guess I thought you needed some kind of special air popper, old school tin foil bubble or microwave package to make it, but nope! All you need is a pot, oil and kernels.

I used a 6 qt. pot, 3 tbsp. of palm oil and just under 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels. The recipe called for 1/2 cup and an 8 qt. pot, so I adjusted for my smaller pot. I poured the 3 tbsp. in the pot, added three kernels, covered it with the lid and turned the heat to medium-high.

malaysian palm oil

It felt like it took forever to hear those three little pops, but really it was probably less than five minutes. After that I remove the pot from the heat and scooped the popped pieces out with a spoon. I then poured in the kernels and gave them a good shake to distribute the oil and heat evenly and ensure that everything pops at the same time. It’s an important step because otherwise it will pop unevenly and you will end up with burnt popcorn and leftover kernels.

I then put the pot back on the heat with a lid slightly askew so steam could escape. When it started popping, a few kernels escaped too!

The popping started pretty quickly and I had to adjust the lid a couple times because it kept slipping down. After a couple minutes I peeked in and there was a beautiful golden pile of popcorn. The palm oil is a rich red color from the same carotenoids found in carrots, oranges, squash and apricots and is loaded with provitamin A. The red color of the oil gives the popcorn a golden hue that makes it look like it’s right out of the movie theater.

I poured it into the bowl and found that almost every single kernel had popped and this was possibly the most perfect bowl of popcorn I had ever made. I didn’t even feel like I needed to add butter and just tossed it with a little bit of sea salt and it was delicious!

Popcorn made with palm oil

I’m really looking forward to trying the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil in other recipes like pan frying and stir fry, and making popcorn like this again! If you’d like to learn more about palm oil and its many benefits, check out www.PalmOilHealth.org .

Ready to Cook from Publix – Harissa Chicken

Last night I made Harissa Chicken, a fancy but easy meal from Publix’s ready-to-cook section, and added a spiced green bean dish on the side. Total cook time was about 30 minutes and everything was delicious!

harissa chicken ready to cook meal

On the menu: Harissa Chicken over Rice with Bhindi Masala Green Beans and Onions

I started by laying out all my ingredients. The meal clearly says it comes with asparagus, but on closer inspection, I noticed Publix seems to have forgotten to add that. Funny thing was, I was actually going to leave that out because I don’t like asparagus. However, if it is in the photo and the first ingredient listed on the package, I do still expect to see it in the box!

harissa chicken from publix
Hey Publix! See? No asparagus!

Next I chopped half a Vidalia onion in small slices  and prepped the green beans, oil and spices for the Bhindi Masala dish from Arora Creations.

indian green beans and onions

Easy Cooking Instructions: 

First pan fry chicken and cut into small pieces. Then add them to the sauce and let them simmer on low.

Next mix together zucchini and squash mix, rice, dried apricots and 1/2 tbsp of butter. Microwave 3 min.

While that’s microwaving, put 1/2 cup olive oil in a big pan with the green beans and cook them for 4 min on medium heat before adding the spice packet. Then cook them for 5 more minutes so they get good and flavored with the spices. Remove beans with tongs so you leave the spiced oil in the pan.

Next add the onions and sauté until soft. When the onions are ready, add the green beans back to pan and fold into onions. Give them a couple minutes to meld flavors.

Now take the rice mix out of microwave and top with chicken and sauce.

Add green beans on the side and sprinkle everything with the sliced almonds.

And done! Yum!

I have really liked all the meals I’ve gotten from the Publix Ready-to-Cook section. Have you guys tried any? Let me know! I’m curious if the chicken and dumplings slow cooker one is any good.

The Sneaky Zucchini Turkey Burger Recipe

Zucchini Turkey Burger
Viola! A super tasty turkey burger

Because sometimes you have to sneak those veggies in! But also, because the addition of grated zucchini makes these turkey burgers nice and juicy. I made these last night and was really happy with the result. They are a little mushy when raw, so it helps to stick them in the freezer before grilling. You can also pan fry or broil them without freezing first.

Ingredients for turkey burger recipeIngredients:
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup finely grated zucchini
1/3 cup mayo (I used Miracle Whip)
1/2 cup unflavored breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt (more or less to taste)

Makes 6 Burgers

Instructions:

  1. Use a large cheese grater to grate the zucchini. I followed up with a little extra chopping to make it nice and fine. Then put it into a paper towel and squeeze out the excess water.Grated zucchini
  2. Finely chop the sweet onion (I used Vidalia onions) and garlic. Or cheat like me and use minced garlic that comes ready-to-use.
  3. Chop the parsely
  4. Mix everything up in a big bowl
  5. Form into 6 pattiesIMG_9207
  6. Put them in the freezer until firm if you want to grill them, or you can pan fry or broil them.
  7. Enjoy a glass of wine while patties are firming up, if you chose that method. This is also a good reason to freeze them.A glass of wine for the cook
  8. Cook ’em up and enjoy 🙂

    *So how did the toddler react? He threw a fit, yelled “I don’t want the stinky burger!,” then ate all of it.