SIMPLE IS AS SIMPLE DOES
A quick and easy recipe from “Simple: The Easiest Cookbook in the World“, by Jean- Francois Mallet, a cookbook with recipes with very few ingredients, and very few steps. This is perfect for a quick meal at the end of a hard day.
I remember my mother telling me that it was so tiring that every single day she was asked what was for dinner. “But, dinner is exciting!” I thought. Well, now I am the one who is asked “Have you given any thought to dinner?” every day and I’m beginning to understand the tedium of it. But, I also know that I only have a limited amount of time in life to make all the great dishes that are out there. So, I encourage eating at home the vast majority of the time, and eat out only occasionally. I love to cook – and mostly I love the sense of accomplishment of going from nothing to scrumptiousness in no time.
Indeed, this looks like an extremely simple recipe. But is it delicious? We will see. I will mention that despite the book saying that no recipe has more than 4 steps, or 6 ingredients…they do.
To make the Peanut Chicken Sauté, all you do according to this cookbook, is to cut the chicken into bite size pieces, cook it for 15 minutes in a pan with peanut oil on medium-high heat, add soy sauce and peanut butter, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for another 10 minutes.
While that is simmering, you wash and tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, put it on a platter, put the chicken on top, sprinkle it with the crushed peanuts and you’re done.
Sure enough! That’s exactly how easy it was.
I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER…
My husband told me not to toast the peanuts stovetop. Put them on a cookie sheet, he said, and pop them into the oven on 350 degrees for a few minutes, and then stir them and let them cook for a few more minutes. He was right. But I had already started doing it this way.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, and saute in the peanut oil, until it’s done – just about 10-15 minutes or so. The book says 15. I think that 10 minutes is plenty.
There will be a lot of liquid in the pan at this point. Do not drain it off, as you won’t have a sauce in the end. At this point, just add the soy sauce, and peanut butter and stir up everything in the pan. Then let it simmer until it’s the right consistency for your taste.
Make sure that you are using low- sodium soy sauce. Using regular soy sauce will cause this dish to be ridiculously salty.
WHILE IT SIMMERS – YOU CAN PREP
While it’s simmering, crush the peanuts in a chopping bowl, or with the back side of a knife, or however you like to crush nuts. You don’t want them pulverized. You want little pieces of peanuts. Scoop it over the lettuce, and sprinkle the top with peanuts and green onions, and you have a quick and beautiful dish that stands on it’s own.
This is a very simple dish to make, overall, and packs a lot of flavor. It feeds four. Enjoy it on a night when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
A quick and easy recipe from “Simple: The Easiest Cookbook in the World“, by Jean- Francois Mallet. This is perfect for a quick meal at the end of a hard day.
4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/3 cup peanuts, toasted and lightly chopped 6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
4 green onions, diced
Iceberg, or other lettuce
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Heat the oil over medium high heat, until it is shimmering.
- Add the chicken and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the pieces are cooked
- Toast the peanuts in the oven on 350 for about 10 minutes, or until toasted. Then chop lightly so that there are still some large pieces left.
- Add the soy sauce and peanut butter to the chicken, reduce the heat, stir and simmer for a few minutes.
- Tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces and arrange in a large serving dish.
- Spoon the chicken and sauce over the lettuce, top with the toasted peanuts, and green onions.