Peanut Chicken and Broccoli with Coconut Rice
This recipe comes from Good and Cheap by Leanne Brown. Leanne recommends making the full batch of peanut sauce and using some for this dish, then saving the rest to use as a salad dressing, veggie dip or sauce for another night’s meat or beans.
- 1 ½ cups long-grain rice
- 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
- ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1 ½ lbs chicken (any part), chopped into bite-size pieces
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 6 cups chopped broccoli, stems and florets separated (about 1 large bunch)
- ½ cup Peanut Sauce
- Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 1 jalapeno pepper or other chile (remove seeds for less heat), or 2 tablespoons chile paste
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 shallot or small onion
- 1 tsp. Vegetable oil
- ½ to 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup sugar-free peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tsp. Ground turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
- ½ tsp. Sesame oil (optional)
- Finely chop the jalapeno, garlic, and shallot, or use a food processor to make them into a paste. (If you’re using chile paste instead of a fresh pepper, add it in Step 2.)
- Add the oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s warm, saute the pepper and garlic until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the ½ cup of coconut milk, turmeric, and chile paste if using.
- Let everything come to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Stir in the peanut butter, soy sauce, and brown sugar and sesame oil, if using. If the sauce is too thick, add more coconut milk to think it out. Once the mixture is well combined, taste it and add whatever you think it needs, concentrating on the salt and spices in particular.
To make the chicken and broccoli dish:
- Rinse the rice. Add it, along with the coconut milk, salt and 1 ½ cups water, to a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Let the rice simmer, covered, with the lid askew, until the liquid is gone, about 20 minutes. If the rice is done before the stir-fry, remove it from the heat, fluff it a bit with a fork so it doesn’t stick to the pot, and cover to keep it warm.
- While the rice cooks, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Place a large pan or wok over medium-high heat and add 1 tsp of the vegetable oil. Let it get hot and add the broccoli stems. Cook, stirring occasionally, to soften the stems, about 3 minutes. Add the tops of the broccoli and ¼ cup of water and cover the pan. It will steam and sizzle a lot, so watch out! Let the broccoli cook until the water evaporates, about 3 more minutes. Test a piece of broccoli with a fork. It should be just barely tender, but not soft. Turn off the heat and remove the broccoli from the pan.
- Add the remaining tsp of oil to the pan and put it back over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add another ¼ cup water and stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked all the way through, another 2 minutes.
- Add the peanut sauce and stir to coat the chicken. Don’t worry if the sauce seems too thick at first. It will blend with the water to become a glaze.
- Once the chicken is coated with sauce, put the broccoli back into the pan and stir it all together. Taste and add salt as needed.
- Scoop the coconut rice onto the plates and top with the broccoli, chicken and cilantro.