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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Chocolate Bark

Howdy friends! Its been another long break from blogging- I hate going too long with out posting something but I’ve been traveling a lot and busy getting the last of my holiday shopping finished. I was up until 1am last night wrapping my holiday gifts so I could ship them back East in time for Christmas. I thought I was so on top of things until I realized there was only one week until Christmas!

It’s not hard to believe that I love giving edible holiday gifts! Delicious holiday treats like cookies, candy and chocolates are always a welcomed gift at my house and people always appreciate a homemade gift. But lets be honest, with how busy the holidays get, finding time to bake 30 dozen cookies to give to all your friends isn’t always in the cards! Chocolate bark however only requires about 20 minutes of “cooking” and prep time before leaving it out to harden and voila… you’ve got a beautiful, homemade gift that everyone will love! I’ve always been intimidated with chocolate bark until I read this article from Food52 on how to make chocolate bark without a recipe- turns out its SO easy!

So I decided to experiment with two kinds and they both turned out great! The first bark is a classic made with dark chocolate, cherries, apricots and roasted peanuts. Feel free to swap the peanuts for almonds, cashews or pistachios or the cherries for dried cranberries or blueberries! The second bark I made was a dark chocolate and peanut butter swirl with cherries, coconut and pretzels. The salty sweet comb was to die for! Whip up a batch to bring to your holiday party this weekend, its sure to be a hit!! Enjoy!

Classic Chocolate Bark

  • 16 oz (4 bars) Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet baking bar
  • 3/4 cup chopped apricots
  • 3/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Melt the chopped chocolate bars in a large Pyrex bowl set over a pot of boiling water until a few large chunks still remain. Remove from heat and continue stirring until all the large chunks have melted. Using a rubber spatula, pour chocolate onto baking sheet with parchment paper and spread evenly.
  3. Generously sprinkle apricots, peanuts and cherries over the chocolate. If you prefer to add more or less of each feel free!
  4. Set aside and let the chocolate cool for at least 2 hours. Chop into 1″-2″ pieces. Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bark

  • 8oz (2 bars) Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet baking bar
  • 8oz (2 bars) Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking bar
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup dried coconut
  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Melt two of the 60% chocolate bars in a large Pyrex bowl set over a pot of boiling water until almost smooth. Remove from heat and continue stirring until all the large chunks have melted. Using a rubber spatula, pour chocolate onto baking sheet with parchment paper and spread evenly.
  3. Return the bowl over the boiling pot and melt the two remaining semi-sweet chocolate bars with the 1/4 cup peanut butter until smooth. Pour this mixture on top of other chocolate mixture and swirl using a fork or spatula.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate with pretzels, cherries and coconut.
  5. Set aside and let the chocolate cool for at least 2 hours. Chop into 1″-2″ pieces. Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!