tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal

20Jan/130

Warm goopy food

Dear Dinner People -

Instead of aliening your friends, Saturday was be mean to your spouse day - chicken. Hater will hate. And well, he and I had a lot of beef while his family was in town a couple of weeks ago. I initally selected a chicken and chickpea dish, but decided I need to change after I saw your chicken and chickpea stew. Should. Not. Repeat.

I looked for inspiration from the foodblogsphere and food magazines all week long .. nothing ... I blame the foggy weather, which also fogged my brain.  Finally, Saturday morning, a search with braise and chicken came up with a Chicken and Vegetable braised in peanut sauce recipe.  It is a boring looking recipe, but a good starting point. After I pulled the ingredients together, I modified it by adding lots of ginger, cilantro stems, shallot, and taramind pulp, to turn the dish into a south east Asian, a cross of a Thai peanut sauce and Singapore / Malay rempah. Really, from a recipe that was classified 'African' to some unrecognizable Asian inspire, it was make it up as I go along.

Untitled caution: do not inhale deeply, this paste made me teary

I browned the chicken in my now favorite Le Creuset Dutch oven, rendered a lot of fat from the drumsticks and thighs ... (can you say latkes!) then I sweat the flavoring paste in the pot, scraped up the bits, dumped in two cans of fire roasted tomatoes, 2 giant scoop of peanut butter, chicken broth... taste.. Couldn't put my finger on what's missing - added some shrimp paste, sweet dark soy sauce, splash of rice vinegar... Simmer for a couple of hours. Taste, still missing something. Pulled the chicken out to remove skin and debone. Cooled the liquid, and surprisingly, there was no layer of fat. Where did all the fat go?

Before serving, simmered the sweet potatoes for about half an hour to fork tender, put the chicken back in .. then stirred in giant handfuls of spinach. I did not anticipate the chicken turning into shred. Not part of the plan. Fortunately, whatever flavor that seemed to be missing, may have been mitigated by the last touch of salt and pepper. I think it turned out ok. Phew.

Peanut sauced chicken and sweet potatoes and spinachJ's plate, with extra fresh spinach

A couple of weeks ago, I called my mon to find out which white rice she uses - Golden Phoenix, Jasmine, New Crop, from Thailand. I was very excited when I lifted the lid of the pot, the rice smell so good, reminded me of home. White rice, one of my guilty pleasure. Yum.

After some goopy food and white rice, you were so kind to suggest we play Acquire...  You are also right on that Everyone is getting better at this game. Nick still cleaned house.

Untitledshould have, could have, woud have, sold ...

We threw in the towel and ended the nice evening with more coffee. See you next time!

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