“I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’. I experimented with potato skin tea a few weeks ago. The less said about that the better.” —The Martian by Andy Weir
For my review of The Martian, click here.
Inspired by Mark Watney’s creativity with a potato, I tried my hand at a new recipe. While I don’t know that I can compete with a freeze dried potato dipped in Vicodin, I’m positive this Thai twist on a traditional baked potato is better than his potato skin tea. It’s easy to whip up and, if you manage to have leftovers, the chicken is delicious spooned over a bed of rice.
The chicken is best if allowed to marinate overnight, so plan ahead!
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 60 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
2 to 2 and 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 3 breasts)
2 bell peppers (I use 1 red and 1 yellow), sliced
2 cups of sliced mushrooms sliced
4 tablespoons of warm water
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon of ginger
1/2 cup of soy sauce
juice of 2 fresh limes
14 oz can coconut milk
4 medium sweet potatoes
chopped cashews or peanuts
- Place your chicken, bell peppers, and mushrooms in a gallon size plastic bag (or your preferred container for marinating meat).
- In a medium bowl, microwave 4 tablespoons of water until warm. It doesn’t need to be boiling. It just needs to be warm enough to help whisk the peanut butter. Whisk in the peanut butter, brown sugar, canola oil, red curry paste, curry powder, ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, and coconut milk.
- Pour the marinade into the plastic bag with your chicken. Place the plastic bag on a plate or in a small casserole dish so you don’t end up with chicken juice and marinade all over your fridge in case of spillage! Marinate overnight (or at least 4 hours). I like to flip the bag over in the morning so that the chicken gets evenly marinated.
- Once the chicken is properly marinated, adjust your oven racks so that one is in the center and another is near the top. Preheat the oven to 400°. While the oven is preheating, pour the chicken and vegetable mixture, along with the marinade, into a greased 9X13 pan. Cover with tinfoil.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes clean and stab each a few times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Once the oven has preheated, place the sweet potatoes on the top rack and the chicken to the center rack. Back for 50 minutes.
- After 50 minutes, remove the chicken and vegetable mix. The best way to check the chicken is to cut it open. The juices should be clear and the meat should not be pink. Check your potatoes by stabbing them with a fork. If the fork goes through the center easily, they are done. Mine needed to cook another 10 minutes.
- While the sweet potatoes are still cooking, remove the chicken breasts and shred them. You can do this with two forks, pulling the meat apart. I put mine in my KitchenAid with the paddle attachment .Yes, it works. Watch it carefully, though, or you’ll end up with chicken…threads. It only takes about 20 to 30 seconds.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the dish of vegetables and marinade. Mix together.
- Pull the sweet potatoes from the oven and check again to make sure they’re finished.
- Serve immediately while everything is hot. Slice the sweet potato lengthwise down the center. Heap the chicken and veggies on top, including a bit of the sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a some chopped cashews or peanuts for a nice crunch.
- To store, extract the chicken and veggies with a slotted spoon into a sealed container. You’ll get some of the juice this way. You don’t want to pour all of the juice in or you’ll end up with all the chicken fat as well, which doesn’t keep well.