One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken

Have you ever had an idea for something you want to eat, and it comes together exactly as you hoped it would? This Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken dish was that meal. Quite often, we start talking about our “weekend food” early in the week (like, Tuesday morning 😉 ). If we can, we try to cook something new, because it can often take longer to make than a standard weeknight meal.

I had made a batch of my slider buns the previous weekend, so the plan was to do something with those. Our first thought went to pulled pork (because we love it), but then I saw a few recipes floating by online that used tantalizing words like Vietnamese and lemongrass  and slow-cooked.

So my brain took those words and ran in a completely different direction: chicken breast, poached in a Thai broth, shredded and tossed in a spicy peanut sauce. The only similarity was the lemongrass 🙂 | One-pot Thai peanut shredded chicken | One-pot Thai peanut shredded chicken

Have you ever used the poaching method to cook anything other than eggs? We have poached fish before, but nothing else. I must say, this method of cooking is extremely quick and easy, and keeps your meat juicy and flavourful. This is probably the main reason this meal came together so quickly. | One-pot Thai peanut shredded chicken

Honestly, this was so quick to make that it could easily be moved into the weeknight meal category.

…And it only uses one pot.

…And you get super tasty leftovers.

What’s not to love! | One-pot Thai peanut shredded chicken

We ate this Thai peanut shredded chicken piled high on our slider buns, topped with slices of fresh, juicy pineapple. It was a match made in Saturday-night food heaven.

I bet it would be equally fantastic in a taco or alongside a crunchy salad, or simply straight from the pan. This wild-card recipe is definitely going to be added to our weeknight rotation!

One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 500 g boneless skinless chicken breast, or 750 g bone-in chicken breast / thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 4 Thai red chilis (depending on how spicy you like your food)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (bottom ⅓ thinly sliced, middle ⅓ chopped into large pieces, upper ⅓ discarded)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 - 3 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lime, zest + juice
  • 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil, or neutral oil
  1. In a large pot, saute the garlic, ginger, lemongrass slices and red Thai chilis in peanut oil until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken broth, chicken pieces and lemongrass chunks. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and poach the chicken until the meat is cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, shred the meat with 2 forks.
  4. Skim off any fat from the chicken broth and return the pot (with broth) back to the stove top. Add the peanut butter and soy sauce and whisk to combine. Over medium-low heat, allow the mixture to reduce and thicken. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and zest and chopped cilantro.
  5. Add in the shredded chicken and stir to combine. Once the chicken is warmed through, it's ready to serve.

Enjoy this One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken! | One-pot Thai peanut shredded chicken

Saturday Snippets: 25.March.2017

We’re entering the last week of March, how the heck did that happen already? I think I’ve finally gotten used to the time change, and the 6 am wake-up calls don’t feel as bad as they did the last week, and it’s been nice to have brighter evenings.

Here’s what caught our eye online during the week of 25.March.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Royal Robbins, one of the big-name American Yosemite climbers back in the 50’s and 60’s, passed away this week. If you’ve never seen Valley Uprising (it’s on Netflix), be sure to give it a watch. It provides a good history of North American climbing over the last 50 years. Quite interesting, even if you’re not a climber!
  • These marinated white beans looks like a great keep-in-the-fridge-to-eat-all-week kind of dish. I’m down with that!
  • I feel like these cookies might be in my weekend plans…
  • We’ve been off to a slow start, on the springtime weather. Jonty and I figure the cherry blossoms are around 2 weeks late. If you’re in Vancouver, here’s the interactive map, to show you where all the trees are blooming currently. So grab your umbrella and take a walk!
  • This book popped up on my library “to borrow” list last week, and I finished it a few days after I started it. I knew it was popular, but didn’t read the synopsis, thus didn’t really understand the first few chapters. Then I got completely absorbed, and stayed up waaay past my bedtime to finish it!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Electrical work and in-floor heating:

  • We tried to time the weather this past week so that any under-the-van work could be done on the dry days. Jonty’s been working at adding more electrical components (like wiring up the fans) and tidying up the wiring.
  • The main job was adding in the hydronic-heating component and associated wiring. We got it working on Monday, which meant we could enjoy nice warm feet, with in-floor heating all week. In-floor heating in a Sprinter conversion? Yup, when we go in, we go ALL in 😉 After dealing with cold, wet weather, being able to work in a warm van (without running the engine) feels like a luxury!
  • Unfortunately, another central battery-management component is not working correctly and needs sending back to the supplier… sigh. | Sprinter van conversion - electrical work | 20170325-Sprinter-conversion-in-floor-heating

Yup, these floors in the Sprinter Van are warm, thanks to the in-floor heating!

Wall panelling:

  • We finished CNC’ing and covering a few more wall panels at the back of the van, including the sections around the windows. It feels so much brighter in there now. | Sprinter van conversion - hanging wall panels | Sprinter van conversion - hanging wall panels

Next up:

  • Our True Induction two-burner induction cooktop arrived in the mail last week (thanks, Mom and Dad!!), and we’ve been testing it out in the apartment. It works like a charm! Hopefully in the coming weeks, we’ll start figuring out the kitchen galley.
  • We still have more wall panels to cover, but that will happen in due time.
  • Jonty is finishing his last welding class today, and now he’s thinking of all the things that he could weld, will a platform bed-frame be an upcoming project? | Sprinter van conversion - True Induction cooktop

Pictures for 25.March.2017:

Monday was a dry day for us, and we decided to make the most of it and get out for a quick bike ride in the morning! We had to pick up a few electrical wires from a store just around the corner from Granville Island. With coffee mugs in tow, we enjoyed a quiet, and slightly cool, breakfast along the water. We’re really hoping the weather is much better than last year, because we miss our early morning cycling + breakfast dates! | Granville Island - Vancouver BC | Granville Island - Vancouver BC | Architecture in downtown Vancouver BC | Architecture in downtown Vancouver BC

Happy Weekend!

Whole Wheat Za’atar Flatbread

As a gift from food-loving friends, we were given a 6-month subscription to the Raw Spice Bar. Every month we get three new spice blends in the mail, along with a variety of recipes to try them out with. Each month often focuses on a different ethnic region, and last month was filled with flavours of Navajo cuisine. We tried a few of the recipes (the posole was fantastic!) and the sumac za’atar spice blend had me super-excited. I baked a batch of whole-wheat za’atar flatbread and loved the flavour!

Sumac is a spice predominant in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. It has a wonderful, lemony flavour and brightens whatever dish it’s added to. Note to self: I really need to find my own source!

Za’atar is a mixture of spices, which starts with sumac and adds in sesame seeds and thyme. So, I just need to double my efforts in finding sumac, and the rest will fall into place 🙂

Flatbread is one of the easiest types of yeasted breads to make. You still have to play the waiting game, to give the dough time for an initial rise, but the baking time is quick compared to a standard loaf of bread (like sub 10 minutes). And because it’s a flat bread, you don’t have to worry about the bread not rising enough 🙂 Your house will smell amazing and your tummy will be filled with better-than-bought carbs. | Whole wheat za'atar flatbread

We ripped our za’atar flatbread into pieces and used it for dipping into a trio of spreads: homemade hummus, our weekly staple roasted beet dip, and a concoction of our red curry paste + yogurt + peanut butter. The flatbread also makes awesome, carby tacos and wraps. | Whole wheat za'atar flatbread

If you’ve never made bread before, but would like to ease into the world of yeasted baking, earmark this recipe for the weekend. Even without the za’atar spice-blend, a glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of your favourite spices (even just sea salt!) will ensure this flatbread tastes superb. | Whole wheat za'atar flatbread

Whole Wheat Za'atar Flatbread
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Flatbread is one of the easiest yeasted breads to make. In no time, your house will be filled with the wonderful aroma of freshly-baked bread.
  • 115 g (1/2 cup) warm water
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 4 g (1/2 pkg) instant yeast
  • 135 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) bread flour
  • 45 g (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) whole wheat flour
  • 3 g (1 tsp) sea salt
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp za'atar spice blend (or make your own using a recipe like this)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, sugar and yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until it starts to foam and bubble. If this doesn't happen, the yeast may not be active anymore, and you will have to start with fresh yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the bread flour, whole-wheat flour and salt. Add in the yeast mixture and knead briefly with the dough hook, until the dough just starts to come together. Let the dough rest 5 minutes, in order to allow the flour to hydrate fully.
  3. Using a dough hook (or by hand), knead for 6 to 7 minutes, until the dough turns into a soft, supple ball. Press a finger into the dough - the dough should stick to your finger for a moment, but then release. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour, 1 tbsp a a time, until it reaches this consistency. If the dough is too dry, add water (1 tbsp at a time), until you have the right consistency.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cotton dish towel. Place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and line an overturned baking tray with parchment paper.
  6. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Lightly dust a counter top with flour and use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into a thin (3 to 5 mm) oblong shape. Place the rolled dough onto the parchment-lined tray. Spread ½ tsp of olive oil onto the top of each piece, and sprinkle with 2 tsp of za'atar spice blend. Allow the dough to rise while the oven is heating up.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms of the flatbread turn a golden brown.
  8. Serve with your favourite dips or spreads.
The flatbread are best served warm. They will keep in the freezer, wrapped in a freezer-proof bag, for up to a month.

Enjoy the whole wheat za’atar flatbread! | Whole wheat za'atar flatbread


Saturday Snippets: 18.March.2017

Earlier in the week, we were reminiscing about where we were this time two years ago. Spoiler – we were in Joshua Tree and made a strawberry tart for Pi Day, made Guinness Chocolate Pots for St. Patrick’s Day, and cycling in Riverside during our rest days. Does anyone else remember where they were, based on the food they made / ate? We also tried our best to remember how nice it felt to be in warm sunshine, instead of cold rain (Vancouver, we’re okay whenever you want to allow spring to come…).

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online during the week of 18.March.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • We just started our power training rotation last week. I find campus training quite intense and tricky for me, so I’m always looking for new exercises to try, to improve my power movement. This video is a good intro to campus training, if you’ve never done any before.
  • Being a Prairie girl, is it a sacrilege that I’ve never had a Flapper Pie? I’m thinking, with Canada turning 150 this year, I should start a series of posts, trying to make all the classic Canadian dishes.
  • I love the flavour of lemongrass (have you tried making our red curry paste?) and this Vietnamese bowl looks like one to try.
  • Here’s a little hearing test to try. I got to the second last one, before I couldn’t make out the words anymore.
  • How awesome does this lego tape look! I’m thinking of all our nephews here… 🙂

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Headliner Insulation

  • We finished insulating the last section of the van this week – the cabin, which involves taking off the headliner. I read a good post in the Sprinter Forum on how to do it and it seemed easy enough. In real life? It was a battle.
  • Taking off the trim and the sun visor shelves was pretty easy, with only a good amount of muscle power to get the screws out.
  • You want to know what the sound of a sinking stomach feels like? Hearing the sound of the screw you were trying to remove, rattle its way down the inner channels of the van.
  • You want to know what elation feels like? Removing more parts of the cabin panel, seeing said screw, and actually being able to retrieve it!
  • The headliner removal was tricky as we didn’t want to damage the air bags along the sides of the windows. And getting the headliner back in was harder than we thought! It’s quite rigid, and the space is a tight fit. But after a few starts and re-starts, and jiggling and jostling, we got it back into place.
  • We both think it sounds much quieter in the van while we’re driving! | Spriner conversion - removing the headliner

The headliner removed. | Sprinter conversion - insulating the headliner space

The cab insulated with Thinsulate, before putting the headliner back on.

Room dividers:

  • As a friend of mine said – “You have rooms!” We have the walls separating the galley and the bedroom CNC’d and stained and installed! We used 1/8-inch plywood, to minimize the weight. They do feel a bit delicate, so we’ll probably end up adding some trim along the edges, for added sturdiness.
  • Next step is to finish off covering a few more ceiling and wall panels, and then start working on the main kitchen. | Sprinter conversion - separating walls

Heating system:

  • Jonty spent most of the week getting the Espar heating system fully connected. This will include the hydronic, in-floor heating, as well as the forced-air heat. Despite the cold, wet week we’ve had, he managed to get under the van to hook up almost everything. Hopefully by this time next week, we’ll have a fully functioning independent heating system! | Sprinter conversion - electrical components for the Espar heater

Things always look worse before they look better 🙂 | Sprinter conversion - expansion tank for the Espar heater

Filling the expansion tank with water, to make sure the in-floor hydronic heating works,

Pictures during the week of 18.March.2017:

Hmm, I’m afraid I slacked off this week. It was a running around / doing van work / climbing training / sitting in the office week, so the best I can do is the following 🙂 | cycling picture

I managed one quick cycle this week, and shared a bike rack with these cool wheels. | Grey skies in Vancouver

So many grey days in Vancouver this week. | rainy day

Rainy day murals at Maker Lab. | climbing training

Boulder warm-ups before campus board training.

Happy Weekend!

Ginger-Citrus Marmalade

I used to be a picky eater as a child (and probably into my early 20’s, if I’m honest). Some of my food dislikes were due to strong tastes that I wasn’t used to (like blue cheese or olives). Other dislikes were due to a fear of the unknown (enter fish, of all types), and some might have been due to a texture dislike (mashed potatoes and cooked peas). Now that I’m all grown up, I can safely say that I’m over most of my picky tendencies – I will try anything at least once – and even though I still don’t love mashed potatoes, Grandma no longer needs to leave me one plain boiled potato to eat 🙂 | Ginger-citrus | Ginger-citrus marmalade

One of those foods I remember not being keen on was marmalade. As a child, I think I found the jam too bitter with the pith and peel. Jonty attests to being in the same boat.

We were at the supermarket a few months ago, looking for another jar of honey, when we started perusing all the different jams. When we saw the marmalade, we bought a jar, wondering if our palates had changed over the years. I think we were both convinced that our adult taste buds would over-rule our childhood dislike.

And guess what? We were totally wrong! Our first spoonful had us each thinking, “Yup, this is what it tasted like as a child.” But because we’re loath to waste food, we finished the jar over the next few weeks.

The funny thing was, though, that by the time we finished the jar our taste buds had adapted and we didn’t mind the taste of the marmalade! While still a bit bitter for both of us, it was definitely elevated from our childhood memories. | Ginger-citrus marmalade

Through the process of finishing this jar, I was convinced that I could make a better marmalade – one with the bitter edge taken off. I scoured the internet and found that marmalade is one of the easier jams to make, because citrus peel is naturally abundant in pectin, so you don’t need to add additional pectin to get the jam to gel. Most of the recipes, however, call to do crazy things with the pith + peel + muslin cloths + straining.

I couldn’t be bothered for that.

Then, the March issue of Bon Appetit came to my rescue – a recipe for grapefruit marmalade, and it looked really easy. | Ginger-citrus marmalade

I tweaked the recipe and turned it into a ginger-citrus marmalade, the major difference being the amount of sugar I added. The original recipe called for 2 grapefruits + 2 full cups of sugar.

I couldn’t bring myself to add that much sugar!

Fruit is naturally sweet – there’s absolutely no need to add so much sugar, especially when you’re making a small batch and you don’t need to preserve it. | Ginger-citrus marmalade

For my first marmalade attempt, I cut the sugar down by half, to 1 cup. It tasted fantastic! Jonty deemed it to be “what marmalade is supposed to taste like”! I told him about my sugar reduction and we both wondered if I could reduce it more, and so I did.

My second batch took the sugar amount down to a 1/2 cup (and from the original recipe, requiring 2 cups, this is pretty significant). We had a bit of the first batch left, so we did a blind-taste-test! Both looked similar, so there were no give-aways there.

Jonty ended up preferring the second batch with less sugar – he actually thought it was the first batch because he thought it tasted brighter. So there you go! Marmalade has officially entered our small rotation of Pearson-approved jams (raspberry being our first true love). | Ginger-citrus marmalade

You start by adding the oranges, ginger, a small amount of orange peel, vanilla and water to a pot and reduce this down. This will take about 1 to 1.5 hours. Then add the sugar. I recommend tasting the orange mixture before you add the sugar. If you think it tastes pretty good as it is, add in 1/2 cup of sugar. If you would like your marmalade to be slightly sweeter, add a little bit more, up to 1 cup. Continue to simmer to reduce the mixture again, another hour or so. You know the jam is finished when it sticks to the back of a spoon without sliding off. At this point, stir in a bit of lemon juice and transfer it to a container with a tight-fitting lid.

That’s all it takes to make the best marmalade of your life! 😉

Ginger-Citrus Marmalade
Recipe type: Condiments
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This version of marmalade uses only a small amount of orange peel, and none of the bitter white pith. With no pectin required, you can have homemade jam in only a few hours.
  • 350 - 375 g (2 medium) oranges, diced (peel and white pith removed)
  • Peel from of ⅓ orange, julienned (no white pith attached)
  • 2.5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar (I used ¼ cup brown sugar + ¼ cup white sugar)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the diced oranges, orange peel, diced ginger, vanilla extract and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat and allow to simmer until the mixture has reduced by ¾. This will take about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  2. Taste the reduced orange mixture to decide on the amount of sugar needed. If you prefer a very sweet marmalade, stir in up to 1 cup of sugar. Otherwise, ½ cup is enough.
  3. Continue to simmer until the jam starts to bubble and the mixture sticks to the back of a spoon, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Transfer to a glass container with a tight-fitting lid and allow to cool, uncovered, before eating.
This jam will keep in the fridge, in a well-sealed glass container, for at least few weeks, up to one month.

Enjoy this Ginger-Citrus Marmalade! | Ginger-citrus marmalade