The Daring Cooks Challenge – Homemade Nut Butter and a Chicken Peanut Curry

The Daring Cooks Challenge – Homemade Nut Butter and a Chicken Peanut Curry

The Daring Cooks Challenge for July was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. Their challenge was to make a nut butter from scratch and then use it is a savory dish. If you are not familiar with the Daring Cooks Challenges, this is a group (made up primarily of food bloggers), that participate each month in a cooking challenge. You can either make the suggested dish or get creative and do a variation on the recipes provided.

Nutrition research suggests that nuts are good for your health. Nut butters, or pureed nuts, make it easy to use nuts in cooking. Although peanut butter is a staple in North America, most popular as the star ingredient in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and beloved in peanut butter cookies and other sweets, it’s seldom used in preparing savory dishes. Nut butters — including not only peanut butter but almond, cashew, and walnut butters — are common ingredients in many Asian and African countries, used in a wide array of savory dishes. Nut butters add complex & interesting flavors to dishes, provide body & thickness to sauces, and can be used to replace the dairy fats or other oils in recipes.

Since it has been soooo hot, I was going to make an Asian style salad with a peanut dressing for this challenge. I thought that would be a perfect dinner, but decided that I would not do another salad post, since I just did the grilled chicken salad earlier in the week. Left with this dilemma of what then to prepare, I decided the next best thing was a dish with a bit of a kick, so I prepared Chicken Peanut Curry. We are really enjoying hot and spicy dishes these days, so why not have one more!

Now, I do have to say, that I love fresh nut butters and will grind my own peanut and almond butters at the store. Until this challenge, I had not made my own at home before. Unfortunately, Mr. Bunkycooks now thinks that homemade peanut butter is just incredibly delicious and obviously, very simple to prepare at home, so guess what?! I will not be buying the jarred stuff again. This is the same problem I now have with strawberry jam and homemade ice cream. I really just need to stop making this stuff…and he would never know the difference!

Of course, when I went to the store to buy shelled peanuts in bulk, this particular store had every nut available but peanuts. They even had a huge bin of filberts! What’s the chance of that?! Of course, they had bags and bags of peanuts in the shell, so you can guess what I had to do to get enough nuts to make my peanut butter.

Just so you know, one cup of nuts will equal approximately one half cup of nut butter. I used the roasted peanuts in the shell and put them in the food processor for about two to three minutes (as was suggested) and then had really yummy peanut butter! I did not salt it because I was using it in a dish. I would also recommend not using any type of salted nut to make a nut butter. I would use an unsalted roasted nut and then add salt to taste.

I chose to make a Chicken Peanut Curry recipe that is adapted from Simply Recipes. I made half of the recipe since it was just the two of us. The flavors were complex and there was a bit of heat. This dinner was a nice surprise. Definitely squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top. It brightens up the dish and adds another level of flavor. Serve it with Jasmine rice and you will have a delightful curry.

Thanks to Margie and Natashya for hosting this month’s challenge! Homemade peanut butter was very fresh tasting and so easy to make. I just have to now convince Mr. Bunkycooks that the stuff from the store is every bit as good, otherwise, I will be shelling peanuts indefinitely!

Chicken Peanut Curry

Adapted from (just barely) Simply Recipes
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken pieces (or you can use bone-in for added flavor), cut into 1 1/2 inch wide chunks or strips (I used boneless, skinless breasts)
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 serrano chili peppers, seeded, de-veined, minced (I could only find jalapenos, so that is what I used)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh peanut butter (If using freshly ground peanuts, add 2 teaspoons of sugar) – I did not add the sugar.
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
8 green onions, chopped, greens included
1/3 cup each finely chopped mint and cilantro (I did not use the mint)
2 limes cut into wedges
Hot, cooked Jasmine rice

Directions:

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. In a small sturdy paper bag, combine the flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Shake well. Add the chicken pieces and shake to coat well.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat. Add chicken pieces. Cook 5-10 minutes (depending on size of chicken pieces) tossing occasionally to cook chicken evenly. Add the ginger, garlic, chili pepper and 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to the saucepan. Cook for 3 minutes, scraping the pan with a spatula and stirring to combine everything well.

3. Add the peanut butter, stirring quickly to incorporate it with the chicken. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of broth slowly, stirring continuously to maintain an even texture. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Right before serving, add the coriander and green onions. Salt to taste.

4. Serve with rice. Top each serving with fresh cilantro and mint. Squeeze a little lime juice over it as well.

29 Responses to “The Daring Cooks Challenge – Homemade Nut Butter and a Chicken Peanut Curry”

  1. 1

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — July 14, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

    You know, I go back and forth on peanut sauce. It tends to work best when it has other herbs and spices in it and the combination of the homemade peanut butter and mint and ginger is just perfect. It’s great that you make your own nut butter… it proves (yet again) that you can make a lot of the foods you love from scratch… at home… and that they’ll taste WAY better than anything you’ll find at the store.

  2. 2

    Chef Dennis — July 14, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    hi Gwen

    I had no idea making nut butters were that easy…….Its been quite awhile since I have made any peanut sauces…in schools we try to stay away from anything that isn’t obvious…..but your use in that sauce sound delicious!
    thanks for posting such a wonderful recipe and giving us so much information about nut butters!
    Dennis

  3. 3

    penny aka jeroxie — July 15, 2010 @ 12:28 am

    peanuts make such good nutter butters ;)

  4. 4

    Monet — July 15, 2010 @ 1:09 am

    I adore peanut sauces, and like Dennis said, I didn’t know how easy it was to make nut butters. I’m going to save the bother of going to the store to buy another jar of peanut butter and try to make my own at home this week. Great, informative post!

  5. 5

    Drick — July 15, 2010 @ 8:34 am

    nut butter….sounds like an old james brown tune….though I think curry and serrano would certainly liven up a song. The recipe is just grand, one I could see dining on and served a bit cool, esp in this heat…

  6. 6

    jo — July 15, 2010 @ 9:01 am

    Great job on your challenge and the chicken with the peanut sauce looks so delicious.

  7. 7

    Audax Artifex — July 15, 2010 @ 9:03 am

    I just love the idea of peanut nut butter in a spicy sauce with ginger, chillies, curry powder, coriander, mint and cilantro. The first photo is stunning but the last one of the sauce in the ramekin is exquisite. Well done on this challenge the perfect dish to have a very hot night. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  8. 8

    Margie — July 15, 2010 @ 9:25 am

    Gorgeous photos! Your peanut chicken curry looks so good. Can’t wait to give it a try. Sounds spicy and delicious. It’s a good problem when your homemade food is better than store-bought!

  9. 9

    Kelly — July 15, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    Mmm Chicken Peanut Curry sounds so good and I agree your photos are great.

  10. 10

    Josalyn — July 15, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

    I’m having the same problem with making it for everything now! I better not even start on the homemade ice cream. lol

  11. 11

    sensiblecooking — July 15, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    oh I want the creamy chicken so bad. The combination of spice, herbs and peanut making me drool.

  12. 12

    pegasuslegend — July 15, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

    I had a peanut sauce on pork in an Hawaian luau years ago, always looked for that again, in taste, loved it.. This sounds like these ingredients might do the trick will try and hope for the best looks awesome thanks for posting!

  13. 13

    SMITH BITES — July 15, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

    I love peanut curries and in fact, just did one tonight but instead of using chicken, I made ours vegetarian and tossed the sauce with spaghetti noodles, sliced green onions, red bell pepper and edamame – fabulous! Another great dish from you Bunky!!

  14. 14

    Hyosun Ro — July 15, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    This looks so good. I am going to have to try.

  15. 15

    The Mom Chef — July 16, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    I’m loving seeing these peanut butter recipes. And, oh, I love curry. This looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  16. 16

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors — July 16, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

    Oh Gwen – This is wonderful and would be lovely for a simple aromatic and flavorful dinner. Once again you’ve proven that its best to make things from scratch at home for enormously satisfying results.

    Hope you are doing well :)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  17. 17

    My Man's Belly — July 16, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

    This sounds so delicious! I’ve made almond butter, but none of the other nut butters. But the whole dish is something that is definitely going on my list of things to make. Beautiful photo too.

  18. 18

    Anna — July 17, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

    Wow…peanut butter from scratch…that’s awesome. It looks delicious. Beautiful picture.

  19. 19

    Lazaro — July 18, 2010 @ 12:18 am

    Great job on a wonderful post. I am a big fan of curries and this one looks perfect!

  20. 20

    Kath — July 18, 2010 @ 10:21 am

    This looks fabulous! I think I might try using finely minced whole serrano chili peppers, seeds and veins included, since we like it hot.

  21. 21

    Magic of Spice — July 18, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    I think Iwould have given up at the shelling of the peanuts…lol This looks great, and I love the thought of that fresh peanut butter.

  22. 22

    marla {family fresh cooking} — July 18, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

    I love peanuts in everything…sweets & savories. Your peanut curry looks divine, wish I could dive into it now. This is a healthy & creative meal. The fresh peanut butter sounds amazing. Great work!

  23. 23

    Patty Price — July 19, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

    Wow, this looks good too! What a delicious looking curry:-)

  24. 24

    The Duo Dishes — July 21, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

    We love grinding down nuts to make butters. Of course, we always add a little honey and a dash of salt, but we’re crazy like that. What a great thickener for a sauce! This would work nicely for a fresh peanut sauce too.

  25. 25

    denise @ quickies on the dinner table — July 22, 2010 @ 2:56 am

    Brava Gwen!! You sometimes make me ashamed of the kind of foodie I am – the very lazy variety :P

    That is one gorgeous curry and damn! You made your own nut butter woman!!!

  26. 26

    David & Stacy — July 24, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    Is it really a bad thing that you are getting requests to re-do the things you are putting together?

    We stayed with the almonds for this and overall it was our favorite dish, although we didn’t get much (if any) almond flavor come through. Maybe peanuts help to keep the nuttiness out front? It’s on the to-do-again list so we’ll have the chance to experiment.

    Well done on a great looking dish!
    Stay JOLLY!
    D&S

  27. 27

    Pretty. Good. Food. — September 1, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

    This looks delicious! Your photographs are beautiful as well!
    I’ve recently launched my own blog, I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! :) http://www.prettygoodfood.com Thanks and Happy Cooking!

  28. 28

    luvcurries — September 14, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

    Made this beautiful for dinner tonight. It was very easy (though a bit time consuming) to make. Tasted FANTASTIC served over brown basmati rice with the green onions and cilantro and lime juice. Very flavorful with a little bite (I used the serrano pepper suggested in the recipe and Sands Brand West Indian Style Hot curry Powder). This recipe goes in the favorite recipes box!!!

    • bunkycooks replied: — September 14th, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

      Hi,

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad that you enjoyed the recipe and I like the idea of the brown basmati rice. I am sure that was an excellent addition. We were just talking about this curry today and saying how good it was. Now, I will definitely be making it myself this week! :)

      Gwen

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