Monday, May 26, 2014

Spicy Peanut Chicken with Coconut Rice and Fennel-Cucumber Salad

Yes, I'm still alive!  Just in the middle of graduating, finishing my dissertation, packing up our apartment, moving across the country and starting a new job!  Whew!  Makes for a pretty crazy month.  :)  Our pots and pans are mostly packed up now, but I made this fantastic chicken dish before all the craziness really set in.  It's just the right amount of spicy, with creamy peanut butter, coconut rice, and crispy salad to cool things off.  I love the combination of the tender chicken with crunchy fennel and cucumber...this dish hits all the right notes! I'm looking forward to cooking it again once we get our kitchen set up in Boston.  And, if you have any recommendations for favorite spots in or around Boston, please pass them my way!

Spicy Peanut Chicken with Coconut Rice and Fennel-Cucumber Salad (adapted from Cooking Light)
Serves 2-4, depending how hungry you are!

For the rice
1 cup jasmine rice
1 T coconut oil

For the chicken
1 T honey
1 T soy sauce
1 T minced fresh ginger
1 T coconut oil
1 pound chicken tenders

For the peanut sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter sauce
2 T water
1-2 tsp chile garlic paste (depending on how spicy you want the sauce)

For the fennel-cucumber salad
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cored, thinly sliced
1 smallish cucumber, trimmed and thinly sliced
1-1/2 T rice vinegar
1 T dark sesame oil
1 T vegetable oil
1 tsp soy sauce
A few grinds freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the rice.  Bring 1-1/2 cups of water to a boil in a pot.  Add the rice, coconut oil, and a generous pinch of salt.  Cover, return to a boil, and simmer about 20 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked.
2. Make the chicken.  Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ginger, and coconut oil.  Toss in the chicken tenders.
3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook on both sides until nicely browned and cook through (3-5 minutes per side).
4. Make the peanut sauce.  Stir all the ingredients together.  Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and toss with the peanut sauce.  Taste and adjust seasoning.
5. Make the fennel-cucumber salad.  Toss the vegetables together, and then add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more vegetable oil if the salad looks too dry.

Here I am getting "hooded" at our graduation ceremony.  Love the funny hats!


  1. So proud of you Sara!! Congrats! I think I need to try fennel again - its been a while.

    Boston is on my bucket list - so many great things happening for you!

  2. I love the flavors going on in this dish! Congratulations on your graduation! We love Boston! Here is a link on Barbara Lynch who owns several restaurants in the Boston area. She's fabulous!

    1. Thanks for the tip! We will need to check her spots out! :)