Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thai Chicken Angel Hair Pasta

There is something I have been meaning to share with you for some time. I am really not sure why I haven't yet. I'd like to introduce you to the Sterling Performances cookbook. This book was put together by The Guilds of Orange County Performing Arts Center as a fundraiser. My mother was on one of the committees that helped with the promotion of the book in 1994. The recipes were donated by "members and friends" of the Center's Guilds.

Now I have only made a handful of recipes from this book. But they all have come out so well. The recipes are all pretty simple. The ones I have tried are packed with flavor. This one is especially flavorful and intriguing. One begins by marinating the chicken in vinegars, oil, soy sauce, peanut butter and spices. Later this marinade is reserved and heated to create the sauce for the multitude of flavors packed into the dish. The thing that is so wonderful and tasty in this pasta is that the flavors of the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, cilantro, lime, spices and jalapeno are all present yet none overpowers the other. Each element is perfectly balanced to lend the hint of flavor in each bite in such a subtle and unique way. This was the third or fourth time making this dish and I have yet to be disappointed.

Thai Chicken Angel Hair Pasta

1 tbls. peanut butter
1 cup peanut oil
1 tbls. sesame oil
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbls. soy sauce
2 tbls. chopped fresh cilantro (I put in a bit more than this)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 to 4 green onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (I love garlic so much I generally always add an extra clove or two to all recipes)
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, boned and skinned
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. angel hair pasta
1/2 pound fresh snow peas, strings removed
3 medium carrots, julienned, about 1/2 pound
1/2 cup salted peanuts
2 tbls. chopped cilantro

In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the peanut butter, peanut oil, sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, green onions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce, and white pepper. Rub the chicken breasts with the salt and slice into thin strips. Add to marinade; set aside for 2 hours. Drain chicken; pat dry and reserve marinade. Grill or pan-fry chicken strips until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain. In a large saute pan, bring reserved marinade to a boil, add snow peas and carrots; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Combine with the chicken strips and pasta; sprinkle with peanuts. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

The book suggests serving this dish with Vichon Chevrignon.

My only regret this last time was that after serving the kids, we were so hungry that we started eating before I remembered to take any photos! So I had to quickly revamp the serving bowl with peanuts and cilantro and my dish has been eaten from so it isn't quite as fresh and appetizing looking as this meal truly is. But trust me on this one. If you like Thai food, TRY IT!

FYI: The book mentions that for information or phone orders to call 714-556-2122, Ext. 558 I do not know how current this information is or whether or not the book is still in print or if they have done any more since.


Darius T. Williams said...

That thai chicken looks divine...I'm really feeling asain inspired dishes lately...this helps me understand why!


Robin Sue said...

I like all things Thai especially if it has noodles in it. The book looks nice, fundraiser cookbooks are usually the best.

Gloria said...

Nicole this look wonderful and tasty!!!Really!!
Love your header's Blog! Look beauty!! Gloria

Emily said...

ooo this sounds really good. I love Thai and Indonesian food. It is very fresh.

That Girl said...

This is such a great idea. Do they still do them? Cause if not, I have a friend that works for the Symphony Hall who could always use a fundraiser idea...

A World in a PAN said...

I am sending the link to this post to a friend who last night said she felt like having Thai pasta this weekend. THanks!

Lori Lynn said...

I especially like that marinade with peanut butter!

Nicole said...

Darius- I totally get inspired with Asian dishes too. There are so many options and variations.

Robin Sue- Isn't Thai food the best! Stay tuned for another post from the book soon.

Gloria- You are a dear. I just love your compliments and sincerity.

Emily- Fresh food is the best!

Kate- I don't know if they still do them. They mention the "award winning cookbook" on their site but no mention of how to buy it except in the book. I may be in violation of copyright by posting it... not sure all the rules w/ blogging here.

Laura- Oh how perfect. I hope your friend does in fact try this. It has been well received by all of my guests.

Lori Lynn- Peanut butter in Asian and Thai food is so good. Thick or subtle, I like it.

Erin said...

I love any kind of Asian noodles. Sounds like a great recipe!

melissa said...

Ooo that sounds perfect for me. The only thing I don't see on the ingredient list that I know I would be tempted to add are Thai chilis. I love the heat they add to so many Thai dishes. Must try at home.

Nicole said...

Erin- You should try it then. It is good.

Melissa- Ohhhhh. The little Thai red chilis! You're right. Those would be great in it. I would probably skip the red pepper flakes and add the Thai chilies. I will have to do that next time.

Sophie said...

Cookbooks like this are always nice to have on hand because you can count on the recipes being tasty, just like this dish :).

Nicole said...

Sophie- I agree. So nice to have recipes you can count on!