Friday, October 18, 2013

Thai Bang Bang Chicken Bowl

Industry is fortune's right hand, and frugality its left. – John Ray 

I’m reminded of the Aesop’s fable of the Ant and Grasshopper. The ant labours all summer long gathering food for winter while the grasshopper plays and sings in the sun. When winter comes and the grasshopper realizes his folly he comes to a sobering conclusion:

“It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.” And then he dies. Nice fable for kids, eh?

We kind of did that with our garden this year – planned for the winter ahead. And I’m going to try to do my best to use the actual fruits of our labour. Some will be in beet form, some in carrots and some in squash.

We also have cucumbers, herbs and tomatoes (now in sauce). They will all be very helpful when the weather turns nasty. Waste not, want not.

It was with that in mind that I decided to use some of our bounty to make this meal. Thank goodness for the internet. It’s so easy to type in what you have and generate a list of recipes that answer your search.

My query was carrots, cucumbers and some chicken I had in the fridge. I was not disappointed. Too many to list popped up.

The thing about much Asian influenced cuisine is that it uses cilantro. I didn't have any fresh. I do want to grow it next year. It was an oversight this gardening season...

This recipe is sort of like a teriyaki salmon bowl, except there’s no teriyaki. It’s in a spicy peanut sauce. The similarity is that several of the ingredients are served raw, so it’s got to be a little healthier for you.

I know it tasted very good. The hot rice, chicken and sauce were just enough to elevate it from a “cold” salad. It’s also a dish where everyone assembles their own, so you can bring the ingredients to the table and let the family have at it.

It’s a great, fresh tasting way to enjoy some of the bounty you toiled so laboriously for during the summer months. Or scavenged from your local grocery... Hope you enjoy.

Bang Bang Chicken Bowl
Prep: 30 min  |  Serves 4
1 lb chicken pieces (legs, thighs or breasts)
1 cup long grain rice
1 medium cucumber, seeded and sliced
1 lg carrot (or similar small ones), julienned
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (or green onion)
chopped fresh cilantro, or dried
3 tbsp soy sauce (this is your saltiness)
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp red chilli flakes

Boil the chicken pieces in salted water for 15 minutes, until cooked through. Drain and let cool. Then remove and discard the skin and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Make the rice while the chicken is cooking. It usually is 1 rice to 2 water, simmer covered 15 minutes, let sit covered for 5. At the same time, prepare the carrots, cucumber and onion.

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 2.5 minutes. Stir well and set aside.

To assemble, divide the hot rice between 4 bowls. Top with some chicken, then carrot, onion and cucumber. Pour sauce over the top and sprinkle with cilantro.


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