Generally when people tell you not to judge a book by its cover, they aren’t talking about a literal book. I always judge a book by its cover, and I am talking about literal books. Or, in this particular case, I judged a cookbook based on the pictures it contained.
I read somewhere once that the best cookbooks contain no pictures. I’m probably not the best person to argue against this since I don’t tend to use picture-less cookbooks, but the pictures are most of the appeal to me. If something looks good, I want to make it. I saw this recipe in a cookbook, and I wanted it in my belly, so I bought the book. I think it was a good investment, because it’s been three years since the purchase of said cookbook, and we make this dish all the time in our house. It makes a lot, but it’s also fantastic reheated, so we like to make it when we know we’ll need a quick meal on hand during the week.
On a similar note, I encourage you to not judge this recipe based on the title of the book it came from. I was 19 and broke, looking for cheap and easy recipes. This one is a total gem.
Kevin didn’t so much help me cook this as get in my way as I tried to navigate the kitchen, but I suppose that falls under the umbrella of duties of a cat sous chef.
Recipe serves 6-8
Adapted from College Cooking
~1 lb chicken breasts – Or you can eyeball it. I usually use two medium-ish breasts.
1 lb angel hair or vermicelli pasta
1/2 onion, sliced into 1/4″ pieces – I was out of regular onions and used a handful of pearl onions instead.
2 T chili paste
2 T olive oil
1 t ground ginger – I use ginger paste in place of fresh grated ginger.
5-6 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1 T brown sugar
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c water
1/2-3/4 c chunky peanut butter
Optional (but recommended): green onions for garnish
1. In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, ginger, and chili paste. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add to bowl. Place in fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add brown sugar, and stir around until sugar melts. Add onions and stir until onions are caramelized and soft, about 7 minutes. Take chicken out of marinade and add to the skillet, but don’t discard the marinade. Stir occasionally until chicken has cooked, about 5 minutes.
4. Add marinade and water to skillet. Simmer and stir for about 5 minutes. Stir in peanut butter until it has melted and is fully incorporated. Remove from heat. Add pasta to skillet and toss until it is well coated and everything is evenly distributed. Garnish with green onions if desired (I forgot to pick them up before making this, but I recommend them as they are delish), and enjoy!