Really, I’ll get to that theological debate. I swear.
For now, enjoy what I made for dinner last night:
THAI CHICKEN STIR-FRY WITH SPICY PEANUT SAUCE
2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned & cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 to 4 c. sliced broccoli or spinach
In a small bowl, blend peanut butter, water, soy sauce and sugar; set aside. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add garlic and pepper; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add chicken, stir-fry until firm and white, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli or spinach, stir-fry until bright green, about 3 minutes. Stir in peanut butter mixture. Cook, stirring constantly until sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes. Serves 4.
NOTES: This is the recipe as it appears on cooks.com. I splash a little Thai Garlic Chili Sauce in instead of the crushed red pepper, and I add that and soy sauce to the chicken while it’s cooking. I also use both broccoli and spinach. You can use either crunchy or smooth peanut butter; just don’t use all-natural peanut butter because (unfortunately) the lack of hydrogonated oils causes the sauce to separate. Toasted sesame oil also works instead of peanut oil. For the noodles, I take two packages of the Maruchan Oriental Flavor Ramen Noodles (two servings per pack) and put them into water in a saucepan and then let the water boil (instead of waiting until the water boils to add the noodles — that way they’re sticky). Once they’ve come to a boil, drain them, and then add only one of the spice packets (or none if you’re trying to cut back on your sodium intake).
***** ADDITIONAL VARIATIONS ********
At one lucky reader’s request, there is a way to make this dish vegetarian: use tofu! Here’s what allrecipes.com has to say about preparing tofu before using it as a meat substitute:
Extra-firm tofu is chewier and more substantial. It absorbs marinades well because it’s not as saturated with moisture to begin with. Tofu will stay together and absorb marinades even better if you drain it before using it. To do this, place a few layers of paper towels on a plate, set the block of tofu on top of it, then set another plate on top of the tofu, weighting down the plate with a can or a heavy bowl. (The weight should be heavy enough that the sides of the tofu bulge, but don’t split.) Drain for 15 to 30 minutes. Once drained, you can slice, dice, marinate and cook the tofu just as you would meat. Firm tofu varieties are best for deep-frying, stir-frying and grilling because they’re more sturdy. You can also freeze firm tofu to make the texture chewy and hearty – similar to that of ground beef.
My suggestion: buy two blocks of extra-firm tofu; drain as instructed above; then cube into bite-size pieces and add them into the recipe where you would normally use chicken. It won’t “taste like chicken” (ha ha), but it is still a nice dish nonetheless.