Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken


One of the things I’m learning with cooking at a lower calorie level is sometimes a dish doesn’t turn out as large of a portion as I would expect.  I know this with beef stews, but I’ve also learned this with recipes that just use chicken thighs as a protein.  In stews, there is a lot of other stuff that bulks out the dish.  Otherwise, you get a really small portion.  They guys don’t like small portions, and frankly, neither do I.  When I came across this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens for Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken, I knew I needed to do some bulking.   I’m going to use my trusty lentils to bulk out this dish.  I know it’s not traditional Thai cuisine to add them, however, no matter what ethnic dish I make they fit most things.  One thing to note for many Thai dishes, be careful with the curry paste.  A mild Thai dish has the same spice level as a medium Chinese or Mexican.  If you are a spice wimp (I know there are those of you out there), be VERY careful with how much Thai curry paste you add.  You may even want to make your own.  If you need a recipe, here is one from Recipe Tin Eats: Thai Red Curry Paste.

Here are the original stats:

  • 318 Calories
  • 11g Fat
  • 128mg Cholesterol
  • 786mg Sodium
  • 246mg Potassium
  • 19g Carbohydrates
  • 35g Protein
  • 126% Vitamin A
  • 65% Vitamin C
  • 7% Calcium
  • 16% Iron

Here’s what I changed:

  • I added two red bell peppers to increase the vitamin C.
  • I replaced the soy sauce to reduce the sodium with a ultra low sodium soy sauce.
  • I replaced the coconut milk with light coconut milk to reduce the calories.
  • I increased the servings from 6 to 10 to lower the calories.
  • I added one cup of lentils to the recipe for more volume.

Here are the final stats:

  • 236 Calories
  • 7g Fat
  • 77mg Cholesterol
  • 317mg Sodium
  • 196mg Potassium
  • 21g Carbohydrates
  • 26g Protein
  • 90% Vitamin A
  • 91% Vitamin C
  • 2% Calcium
  • 185% Iron


Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken

Serves 10

  • medium onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrot 
  • red sweet pepper, cut into bite-size strips
  • pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
  • tablespoons lime juice
  • tablespoons soy sauce
  • tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons red curry paste
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  1. In a slow cooker, place onions, carrot, and sweet pepper. Top with chicken. In a microwave safe medium bowl, whisk together broth, peanut butter, lime peel, lime juice, soy sauce, tapioca, ginger, curry paste, and garlic until smooth. Heat the liquid for 2 minutes to ensure the peanut butter is fully incorporated.  Pour over all in cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
  3. Stir in boiling water and lentils.  Cook on high for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in coconut milk and peas. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve chicken mixture over hot cooked rice.

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