Weeknight Shorts: Thai Peanut Chicken

As many of us struggle to find a back to school routine, cut yourself a bit of slack and recognize how much easier it can be if you have a handful of quick, healthy, fun meal plans on hand to feed your family without having to stress about how to make it happen. In honor of everyone trying to keep juggling everything without skipping meals, we're featuring a few fast, healthy meals that can be assembled in about a half hour. And, if that's not enough, check out archives for the Weeknight Shorts features - simple meals that get you in and out of the kitchen quickly.

This time around, we're bringing the flavors of Thailand to your table. Before you close this page and walk away, know that you can make a dish like this as sweet or spicy as you'd like. Curry powder comes in many, many varieties and some are deeply mild and fragrant without any hint of heat. Choose a variety you and your family will enjoy. You can also reduce the red curry paste a bit, but don't skip it entirely - it gives the chicken a complex color and flavor. Besides, any heat it brings to the dish is offset by the coconut milk and sugar you add.

Part of what I love about this dish is that it's very easy to prep in advance. I like to get the chicken in the marinade either in the evening after my daughter is in bed or in the morning when we're waiting for the coffee to be done. Then in the evening, it's just a matter of heating some oil in the skillet and cooking the chicken until it's done.

I like serving this with a mild curry rice, lightly vinegary sliced cucumbers, and a generous amount of my favorite peanut sauce, which I almost always have in the refrigerator. Beyond that, some Thai iced tea, a cold beer, or a chilled glass of white wine are all great for washing it all down!

Thai Peanut Chicken

  • ¼ c. coconut milk
  • 1 T. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. red curry paste
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into strips
  • Canola oil for sautéing

Mix the coconut milk, curry powder, sugar, curry paste, and salt to form a marinade. Add the chicken strips and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, or overnight.

Heat the oil in a large non stick pan over medium high heat. Cook chicken in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden. Serve with peanut sauce, if desired.

  • Yields: 2-3 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus marinading time

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