Sunday, August 17, 2008

Making some improvements to this Spicy Peanut Chicken over Rice...

Gus is officially 8 weeks old today! Woo! We had our first visit at the vet's office yesterday and he was thoroughly smothered with lots of love from everybody - I was afraid we were not going to get him back when they took him in the back to show him off! Gus still hasn't found his bark yet (and we're not complaining!), but I think it will be any day now before he is yappin' away.

We are very happy to say that Max has really taken a liking to the little guy and they are having a blast chasing each other around. Although, Max does get a little grumpy if the pup gets too close to his toys... hee hee!

A little lighter on the recipe front this time for us - 7 new recipes for this past week. Being extra choosy, our favorites this go 'round where the Fresh Corn and Basil Tart and those Cheesecake Thumbprints.

I made quite a few changes to this Spicy Peanut Chicken over Rice as I wanted to amp up the flavors a bit for our dinner tonight. One of the first changes I made was to add a few chicken thighs into the mix, rather than using completely breast meat as the original recipe called for. Besides staying a bit more moist throughout cooking, we both like the depth the darker meat adds in general. Rather than just tossing the tomato paste with a bunch of liquid into the pot, I added it to the cooked chicken meat before any other ingredients so it had a chance to intensify and caramelize.

The next change I made was the amount and type of peanut butter - the original called for less and used a chunky commercial version. Because I wanted a creamier texture without any added sweetness, I used our homemade natural peanut butter to amplify the nutty flavor. After seasoning the chicken in the saucepan with curry powder and crushed red pepper, we tossed in chopped plum tomatoes and a bit of chicken broth. After a good half-hour simmer, the sauce had thickened slightly, but was still runny enough to leave you with a generous sauce that yearned to be served over rice. I opted for a bed of brown basmati rice rice using the no-fuss method we've come to rely on. Just for added nutty insurance, we scattered the top with chopped peanuts for crunch.

While we did find this a little spicy, it was kind of one-dimensional as the only heat came from the crushed red pepper. We both felt it could have used a little help to ratchet up the spice and while the dollop of thick Greek yogurt on top was cooling, it would have been more beneficial if the heat was there. Other than that, the peanuttiness (is that even a word?) was definitely where we wanted it to be and Jeff and I both agree that the changes we made we needed as it might have been a little lackluster if we strictly followed the recipe.


  1. I love the picture of the two together. They already look like they are the best friends in the world. Dinner looks yummy.

  2. he sure is a little cutie....

    mmmm the chicken sounds great....

  3. Joe - OMG! Gus and Max look absolutely adorable together! And don't worry, I am sure he will find his bark soon enough. If not, I'm happy to send Zoe over to help teach him. She's quite talented in the barking department.

  4. Awwww Gus is soooo cute. Glad you got a little friend for Max. Lovely recipes as usual too. Thanks!

  5. I meant to comment on your earlier posts about Gus - he's just too cute for words! Those big blue eyes!

    And can't wait to try this recipe. It looks delish.


  6. Okay that puppy...SO DANG ADORABLE!

  7. That Gus is so adorable. I showed the photos to my husband and he ooohed and ahhhed over him, too. And he and Max are so cute together.

  8. Congratulations on your new addition, Joe! I hope you guys get some sleep pretty soon. Lizzie is getting better and better at sleeping through the night, but she still wakes us up no later than 6:45 AM. Then again, that's our usual wake-up time so it's no big deal.

    We are still feeding her Canidae All Life Stages. The vet is pushing Science Diet, though.

  9. Thanks for the photos of Gus! He's so cute, and his eyes are remarkable! Glad Max is getting along with him.

    I was inspired by your fresh corn and basil tart to create a sort of crustless corn quiche which turned out to be quite delicious. I'd never thought of using corn in a tart or quiche before, so thanks for sharing this idea!

  10. Gus is one the prettiest puppies I've ever seen, Joe - really. I love his markings and his blue eyes. Keep sharing puppy photos, please! :)

  11. omg, i want another dachsund!!

  12. OH MY GOODNESS, Gus is the cutest puppy! The two of them together are just gorgeous. The chicken looks good too ;)

  13. I am happy to hear that the dogs are getting along--it can always be a little nerve racking to bring in a "new" never know how the "old" one will react! But Gus is just so darn cute...I think he could win anyone over!


  14. Helene - We hope they will be!

    BV - Thanks

    Ed - when do they usually start barking? While we are enjoying the silence, we are just waiting for it to start!

    Pat - Thanks!

    Kelly - Let us know if you try it out.

    NP - I know! I don't know how we are going to resist those puppy dog eyes when he is naughty.

    AJ - Hopefully they will play well together for quite some time!

    Anna - Thanks! I responded over there.

    Sobaka - Great idea! I'm glad it worked for you.

    Elisabeth - We'll do our best!

    Randi - hee hee!

    Madeline - Thanks!

    Courtney - We were worried about that, but thankfully the two are doing well!