Park City Peanut Chicken and Rice

IMG_0993Howdy Ski Boots followers! I am sorry for the lack in posts lately, life has been a little busy! More on that later! I was just recovering from the craziness of the holidays and now Sundance has descended on Park City! It’s going to be 10 wild days of films, parties and lots of celebrity sitings! Last year I got to meet my cooking idol Giada! I’ll keep you posted on all the fun people I get to meet this year! When life gets busy, no one has a lot of time to spend on dinner and cooking.

This recipe for peanut chicken is so delicious plus its easy and quick! Everything you’ve always wanted from a meal. The recipe is originally one of Rachael Ray’s but her version was called Park City Cashew Chicken. I’ve made a few tweaks and since I am allergic to cashews, I decided to used peanuts instead. Happy Sundancing everyone and bon appetit!

Park City Peanut Chicken (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, divided, 1/4 finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Botan Calrose Rice (Japanese sticky rice)
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 pounds chicken meat (tenders; skinless, boneless breasts; skinless, boneless thighs), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend, such as McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, such as tamari
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup raw peanuts

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the 1/4 chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add the rice and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the chicken stock and cover the pot. Raise the heat and bring the stock to a rapid boil. Once the stock boils, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes.
  2. While the rice cooks, make the chicken. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Season the chicken with the grill seasoning. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and then the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with the soy sauce, then move the chicken to 1 side of the pan. Add remaining sliced onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then mix the vegetables and chicken together and add the chipotle chiles and cumin. Toss to coat. Glaze the chicken mixture with the honey and maple syrup and turn off the heat. Add the chopped cilantro and the peanuts.
  3. Spoon the rice into bowls, top with the peanut chicken and serve.
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Creamy Black Bean Soup

IMG_0423Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and FUN holiday! I know I did! Even though it was super cold over Christmas (I’m talking Northern New England kind of cold) it was beautiful and the skiing was great! Now that the holiday rush is over… everyone is SICK! Turns out that flu shot you got this year was the wrong strain of flu and now you’re screwed (and sick as a dog). So between the cold weather and all my friends being sick, I thought it would be nice to make some feel better soup!!

This black bean soup recipe is one of my favorites. It’s so easy and its ready in no time. A few other bonuses… its vegan (shhhh don’t tell anyone because they won’t be able to tell, its so delicious!!!) it’s dairy free (if you’re crazy enough to leave off the dollop of sour cream) its gluten free and its filling! Seriously, this soup is a meal on its own! So if you’re feeling a little under the weather, throw on a pot of this soup, you’ll be enjoying it in no time!! Cheers to 2015!

Creamy Black Bean Soup (Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 1 4oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 4 16oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups (or more) canned low salt vegetable or chicken broth (if you don’t want it to be vegan/vegetarian)
  • Sour cream, sliced green onions and diced avocado for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix in tomatoes with their juices, chilies, and thyme.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes more. Add beans and 2 cups of broth.
  4. Puree soup in batches or using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer.
  5. Thin with additional broth if necessary until soup reaches desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Garnish with sour cream, green onions and avocado.