Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cooking with Ryan: Thai peanut chicken

Have you ever had Thai food? I have only had it a couple of times, and I was surprised at how subtle the flavors were. I think it takes a different level of cooking than I am used to, infusing those subtle but still evident flavors. I mean, it's pretty easy to get to "spicy" or "citrus-y", you know? But "peanut", like I find with my limited Thai experience, isn't a terribly aggressive flavor.
I had a salad with it and put together another vinaigrette, which was delightfully complex. Along with the olive oil (I used the stuff my parents bought me in Greece!), it had sesame oil, white wine vinegar, dried mustard and sugar. It was incredible that each of those ingredients were identifiable on their own.
The problem was, the vinaigrette was thin and I used too much of it. This overwhelmed the flavor from the TPC. Later, I had a second helping without the salad, and the subtle complexity really came through. It was amazing how just a little peanut butter could really stand out as a flavor.
There was also Catalina dressing involved early in the process. It didn't really show up as a flavor, but it did turn the chicken pink. Here is the meal as a whole. I need a food photographer.

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