Kitchen Scoop

Peanut sauce makes Thai chicken tempting

By: Alicia Ross, for the Auburn Journal
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Start to finish: less than 10 minutes
Yield: makes about 1/2 cup
1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (see Cook’s Note)
Combine peanut butter, vegetable oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
(Cook’s Note: Control the level of heat in the Spicy Peanut Sauce with the amount of ground cayenne pepper. For those who really like hot sauce, throw in some crushed hot red pepper to taste.)

Start to finish: less than 30 minutes
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2/3 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon bottled chopped ginger
1 to 2 bunches green onions (makes 3/4 cup chopped)
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
Spicy peanut sauce (see recipe above)
Hot steamed rice for serving
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cut the chicken into short strips about 1/2-inch wide, adding them to the skillet as you cut. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
While the chicken cooks, chop the green onions into 1/4-inch slices, using the white and enough of the tender green tops to make 3/4 cup; chop the peanuts. Set each aside.
When the chicken is no longer pink, add the green onions, peanuts, soy sauce, sherry and sugar. Stir well, then add the Spicy Peanut Sauce and stir well again. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve over a bed of rice.
Approximate values per serving (1/3 serving without rice): 455 calories, 28 g fat (6 g saturated), 58 mg cholesterol, 30 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 11 g sugar, 3 g dietary fiber, 681 mg sodium.

Going back to a recipe I developed more than 20 years ago is like seeing a dear friend. Lately, I’ve been re-visiting recipes from my first cookbook, “Desperation Dinners!” (Workman, 1997).
It was written at a time when preparing dinner in less than 30 minutes was simply not done, unless you ate leftovers or swung through a drive-thru on the way home from work.
My goal (and co-author Beverly Mills’ goal) at the time was to create delicious meals that took only 20 minutes to prepare. But now I have more time in the kitchen than I did then, so for today’s Tempting Thai Chicken, I’ve opted to use regular rice and fresh chicken, instead of frozen. Other than that, the recipe is much the same, just reduced to two servings instead of four.
The recipe doubles very easily and can still be done in only 20 minutes. Just use instant rice, and if you use frozen chicken, partially defrost it in the microwave before slicing it and cooking it in the skillet.
No matter how you make this delicious dinner, I hope you get to sit down and enjoy it!
Alicia Ross is the co-author of “Desperation Dinners!” (Workman, 1997), “Desperation Entertaining!” (Workman, 2002) and “Cheap. Fast. Good!” (Workman, 2006). Contact her at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, send email to, or visit the Kitchen Scoop website at