I can’t tell you how many times I ordered #49 in college. I don’t remember the name of the Thai restaurant, the name of the street it was on, or even the name of the dish I ordered every single time. I only remember that it was #49. It was grilled chicken with steamed veggies topped with the most delicious tasting peanut sauce I have ever laid my tongue on. It was perfect to me because peanut sauce is pretty rich, so I liked the healthy balance of the grilled chicken/steamed veggies versus an oily stir fry. Looking back, the healthy balance went out the window when I asked for extra peanut sauce and crushed peanuts, and then doused everything in it including the fried rice. I tricked myself, similar to when I used to order the broccoli cheese soup in the bread bowl at Panera (back then I didn’t realize that the 600 bread calories counted).
So I tried to recreate 49 here, and while the flavor is damn close, it was missing the cozy Thai restaurant and my dinner date, best buddy, and little sister Bente. We shared so many fun nights there in Madison and both always ordered the same thing. Maybe if I …
Oh! There she is. #49 is complete.
Recipe (for 4)
- 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 heads broccoli, chopped
- 2 cups large/rough chopped carrots (I used the pre-bagged carrot chips)
- 1 can water chestnuts, drained
- 1/2 cup 2 tablespoons ‘simply’ or natural peanut butter (less sugar than regular ol’ Jif)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened Coconut milk (the Thai stuff in the can- make sure to stir first!)
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/3 cup – 2/3 cup hot water (depending on how thick you want it)
- Rice or Zoodles
- 1/4 cup crushed peanuts, for topping
The sauce is easy! Simply add the PB, coconut milk, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, sriracha, curry powder, and ginger to a food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly add the hot water, 1/3 cup for a thick sauce, up to 2/3 cup for a very thin sauce. I used 1/3 cup in the photo above so it was pretty thick. A couple notes about ingredients: try to use ‘simply skippy’ or ‘simply Jif’ or one of the natural peanut butters from whole foods. The regular ones will be a little too sweet. Also, make sure to use the Thai coconut milk in the Asian food aisle, not the coconut milk by the almond milk. Stir it all together before you measure the 1/3 cup, as coconut milk separates in the can. And finally, I think you could also make this with red curry paste instead of yellow curry powder. After you add the desired amount of hot water, set the sauce aside.
The rest is easy. I grilled my chicken breasts in a grill pan; pounded them thin and then about 3-4 minutes per side. I steamed the broccoli, carrots and water chestnuts in a little water over the stove for about 10 minutes until tender but slightly crisp. I served ours on Zoodles to be a little healthy, but rice is soooooo good with this peanut sauce. Drizzle the sauce on top along with some crushed peanuts and voila! #49.