18 Jan Chicken with soy and peanuts
12 mins! Thats the amount of time i took through my journey of defrosting the bird to serving it on the table…This is how quick and fast this amazingly simple yet scrumptious receipe is.. An absolutely quick fix way of making your chicken in a jiffy.. A surefire way to impress your guests i say..
Its amazing how a bit of soy can just transform the dish and give a succulent flavor to it ..Anything with soy just makes it so chinese and just uplifts the dish..Whether chinese or not, it does taste oriental.That’s the most amazing element of soy sauce that a combination with other spices and sauces can give out a new invented taste totally and never ever fails to satisfy..Even a dish gone totally wrong can be revived with a new taste by adding soy sauce. In fact, when at times I am just short of spices or i get that uncanny feeling that my dish is not turning out well,i most often dab in a bit of soy or Worcestershire sauce to my regular dishes to arrive at an pleasurable unique taste.Without much spice, just ketchup and soy , this recipe is extremely easy and gives out a wonderful aroma apart from being a visual treat, and lets not forget the juicy, spicy ,sweet and sour taste with a certain crunchiness..for experts on oriental cuisine, the taste would be somewhat towards the “kung pao chicken” , yet different in its own since it does not have the sherry that is added in kung pao chicken..
When monotony sets in and you are in a fix how to change the dish into something different then your regular chicken recipe , when the appeal of the same dish shines off and there is a diabolic disregard to the dish if served on many occasions, when your cuilnary skills are being threatened ,this one comes in handy .A oriental way, but a very easy one with outstanding flavor. As an appetizer or a maincourse, its your pick depending on how you want it to be cooked.
soy sauce- 1 tbsp(you could add more also if you want it to have a soya gravy)
Tomato ketchup-4 tbsp
red chilli sauce-1tbsp
Onion- 1 small chopped finely
dried red chilli -1 broken into chunks
ginger- 1 inch chopped
salt as per taste
chicken stock/water-1/4th cup
cornflour- 1tsp( mixed in few drops of water )
rosted peanuts- a handful
In a pressure cooker or a pan/wok ( i used the cooker), although its advisable to cook in a pan/wok which is the base of chinese cooking , add oil, drop the red chillis and garlic and ginger..Fry on high flame.. The trick of chinese cooking is that it should be fried on high flame to the extent that you almost get the burnt aroma of the garlic and the red chlli…Add the onions,fry and add the chicken..Stir for a minute or so and add the soy sauce, vinegar, tomato ketchup, red chilli sauce , salt, sugar..stir and add water/stock if you want(you need to add very little water coz this is not a gravy, it is supposed to be a dry dish, the water is required so that the chicken does not stick to the bottom and gets burnt). Close the lid and let the chicken cook, After a whistle, lower the flame and cook for about 7 minutes..Open the lid, and if there is a gravy like consistency, add the cornflour(mixed in a little water) to the gravy and keep stiring until the gravy thicken and attains a very pulpy dry like consistency which sticks to the chicken pieces..
For cooking on a pan/wok, you need to keep cooking on open flame uncovered until the chicken is tender and cooked and the sauce thickens and you get the desired form. Add roasted peanuts and spring onions and enjoy it like a starter or like a main course with steamed rice..Addition of peanuts is very malaysian..Many of indonesian and malaysian dishes will have garnishing of roasted peanuts and it does add a touch of crunchiness to your dish i must say.
The piquancy of the soy and vinegar, the crunch of the peanuts and the bite of the ginger pieces is all that blends to gives that all so glorious taste to this recipe.
You could add red bell peppers and baby corn as well.. But there are far too many dishes with chicken and bell peppers in oriental style of cooking..This dish painly focusses on the chicken and the flavour of the soy and the tomato ketchup which adds a certain chinese style to the chicken.
But there is nothing perfect about this recipe..It can change its color and taste as per your quantities of the sauces and spices..Either it can have a garlic flavour ,or a strong ginger flavour..Its all about how you want it to taste..Also, too much of soy will give a very soya sauce and manchurian feel to it while more of tomato ketchup will dilute it and give it a sweeter taste..So you really can make your own iterations to the list of ingredients to arrive at your own taste..The combination of the ingredients is what makes the subtle change in taste.
You could even make it like a gravy if you wish by adding more amount of chicken stock, but i personally believe it tastes best when dry with the sauce and the ginger n garlic sticking to the chicken pieces as you lift them for a bite.Steamed basil rice alongwith some stir fry veggies and bean sprouts would make a perfect serving with this dish..
This one “s for my dinner today for sure..whts yours?????