Friday, February 28, 2014

Peanut Ginger Chicken with Coconut Rice and Mango Salsa

Oh boy. I can't say enough good about this meal. Big time winner! There are so many flavors going on here, and I love the fact that you get so many food groups in every bite. I also love the fact that I can make this quite inexpensively, but it has such a gourmet feel to it. It's a staple in our menu!

I appreciated the suggestion made on The Sisters Cafe, so I'll share:

"I know that this recipe might seem intimidating. But when you break it down, it is actually one of the simplest meals ever:
Step 1-make the marinade the night before and put the raw chicken in it.
Step 2-chop up the mango and cucumber and mix up the salsa that afternoon.
Step 3-just before dinner, put the rice on to cook.
Step 4-cook the chicken."

Peanut-Ginger Chicken Marinade
2-3 lbs raw chicken, diced
1/2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. bottled chili sauce (the Asian kind, not the ketchup-y kind)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. ground ginger

In a medium mixing bowl, gradually stir water into peanut butter. Stir in chili sauce, soy sauce, olive oil, vinegar, and ginger. Add chicken; stir to coat it with marinade. Chill in refrigerator for at least 12 hours or for up to 24 hours.

Mango Salsa
1 c. peeled and diced fresh mango
1 c. peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

In a medium mixing bowl, combine chopped mango, cilantro, cucumber, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Coconut Rice
2 c. coconut milk
1 1/2 c. white rice
1 c. water
3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine the coconut milk, rice, water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm until serving.
Note: I have found that some coconut milk does not work well and the rice stays crunchy. If that happens, just add more water and continue cooking until rice softens.

To Serve
At dinner time, cook chicken chunks (I just cook them in a frying pan over medium-high heat with all of the marinade). Serve chicken with the mango salsa over the hot coconut rice.

Feel free to play around with ratios--I almost always double the rice and salsa because I have an exceptionally hungry husband to fill up on a small budget. It tastes wonderful even with proportionately less chicken.

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