“Family, friends, food. These are what matter most.” Pandaren saying
Yes, Yes! Week three of cooking from the World of Warcraft Official Cookbook is upon us as we work our way, slowly and steadily, through the pages and treats of Azeroth. For the intro and why, see the first post here. Otherwise, let’s move on and dive right into this Pandaren specialty. Because I know ya’ll are scrollers right? I admit to being a scroller when I am hunting down recipes and I don’t mind if you want to bypass my cute little stories. No really.
“This Pandaren specialty features tender, flavorful chicken, doused in a rich, creamy peanut sauce. Served over a bed of rice (or noodles), and garnished with fresh tomatoes and snap peas, who could want more?” – World of Warcraft the Official Cookbook
Do you remember what buff was on this yummy recipe? Crit, aka Critical Strike.
|Skewered Peanut Chicken
Item Level 90
Use: Restores 30000 health over 20 sec. Must remain seated while eating. If you spend at least 10 seconds eating you will become well fed and gain 30 critical strike for 1 hour.
Requires Level 90
Max Stack: 20
Sell Price: 13
Oh the good old days of grinding Pandaren cuisine to get my Master of the Ways achievement and title. Fun times. But seriously, this recipe inspired me, as many in the game did, to try something in my own kitchen. Prior to knowing about this cookbook, occasionally we would try something similar at home. This WoW version of chicken satay is really very simple and a good choice for apprentice level cooks. It does require marinating at least 4 hours, so make sure to build that into your prep time. I almost always choose to marinate meats overnight, because it’s easier for me and it builds more flavor. Probably the hardest part of this recipe is building the sauce, because you want a nice, smooth, creamy texture and balanced flavor that has depth and complexity. Of course, you could always get a store-bought peanut sauce (Trader Joe’s has a decent Thai style peanut dressing) and save yourself the trouble. But I like a challenge, especially when it comes to cooking, hence the reason I am cooking through this book! The secret to building a good sauce is to reduce it, watch it, stir it, taste it, and re-season. It takes a little time and some patience, as does any kind of creating (or skill building at all really).
“Slow down. Life is to be savored.” Pandaren saying
I lightly adapted this recipe from the book.
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or mixture of thighs and breasts)
- 4-6 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 15 minutes
- Cherry tomatoes and snap peas for garnish, optional
- Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional
For the Marinade:
- 1/2 c soy sauce
- 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger (yes, it matters)
- 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 c chicken broth
- Optional: 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Whisk together all ingredients into a bowl. Place chicken in the bottom of one or two ziploc bags, pour in marinade. Squeeze air out and zip. Shake to coat well. Place in refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight.
If you have really large chicken breasts, cut them in half lengthwise. Thread the chicken breasts and/or thighs onto the skewers with an “in and out” weaving. Grill over medium-high heat, flipping halfway through, until the meat is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Brush with sauce for the last minute or two of grilling time. Garnish with tomatoes and snap peas after grilling.
For the Sauce:
- 1/4 c creamy peanut butter- watch your salt content as it may affect the flavor of the sauce. We used fresh ground honey roasted peanut butter from the grocery store because we were lucky enough to have some leftover and it added a wonderful dimension.
- One can of coconut milk, shake well.
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp (or more if you like it) sriracha sauce
Make the sauce by combining the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gently stir everything together until the mixture is creamy and smooth. TASTE for seasoning. Do you want more heat? More acid (lime)? Sweetness if it’s too salty? Make sure you taste to your preferences. Optionally, if you are a more skilled cook (i.e., higher level cook, lol) you can choose to use the marinade as the base of your sauce and build on it with the rest of the ingredients. I would definitely not recommend this if you are a beginner cook, because you need to boil the marinade long enough to decontaminate it and kill any bacteria before you can start building the sauce. You’ll also need to run it through a food processor or immersion blender to get it smooth. But if you do want to do that, you’ll need to reduce it for about 15-20 minutes, then blend it smooth. Then add your other sauce ingredients. A good sauce texture will coat the back of a spoon when dipped.
Plate the chicken over rice or noodles (we made a Thai style noodle and veggie salad), drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!