There is a place called Jai Thai in the Fremont and Capital Hill neighborhoods of Seattle; almost every time I go, I order the Swimming Rama. Chicken smothered in coconut-laced peanut sauce, swimming on a bed of fresh spinach? Sign me up. Besides, then I don’t feel over-full from eating piles of carbs.
This is as good a time as any to insert this chicken recipe onto our family table: our garden is already producing ample spinach (yes even outdoor: I have my spinach/greens under a plastic ‘dome’). And what better way to eat it than clipped off a plant and toted directly to my plate? I don’t even dress it, cook it or anything. The heated peanut sauce ladled on top of the fresh spinach is all it needs for some token ‘cooking.’
I like this dish because it is easy to make ahead, then heat up… in some cases when I am off teaching an evening cooking class, it is an easy heat-up meal for my sons. Better than grabbing a frozen pizza or bowl of cereal—don’t you think?
Peanut Sauce (for Swimming Rama)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I suggest: use smooth peanut butter, and if you want some crunch: add chopped up peanuts on top)
1/4 cup soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 – 1 tsp garlic chili paste
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 can coconut milk
2 cloves of garlic
Fresh spinach 1lb
1/2 – 1lb of cooked chicken shredded with a fork (grilled, roasted, baked – whatever is easiest. This is also a great recipe for using up extra chicken pieces. Which reminds me… I need to go make chicken stock…)
Mix ingredients together (except chicken & spinach) and boil for 4 minutes; add cooked chicken just to warm. Line plate with fresh spinach, ladle on chicken peanut sauce. Note: it isn’t terribly ‘thick’ sauce. I don’t mind. But if you want it a bit thicker, add a quick slurry of cornstarch in cold water at the end (1 T cornstarch in 2 T cold water; stir to dissolve. Mix into sauce and let thicken for 2-3 minutes at the end).