Cook With Confidence: Sesame-Chicken Thigh Paillard with Peanut Sauce
In March's issue of Southern Living, there is a sesame chicken dish so tantalizingly delicious looking that I just knew I had to make it. I don't know if it was the crunchy panko breading or the peanut sauce that reeled me in, but my goodness, am I glad it did. Come along with me as I show you how I got down to business and cooked up this dish for me and a few friends to enjoy in this week's adventure in Cooking With Confidence.
To get started, you'll want to use a meat mallet to thin each piece of chicken. If you don't have a meat mallet, you can do what I did and just use thinly sliced chicken cutlets instead. When you're ready for the next step, you'll want to establish your breading station. It's easy if you just set out each dish in the order that you'll use them. For instance, flour first, then the eggs, and then the star of the show, the Panko crumbs.
Once your chicken is thoroughly breaded and you've successfully cleaned off your hands, (that breading is hard to wash off!) it's finally time to get them in the pan.
Although a myriad of side dishes could go wonderfully with this recipe, I opted for seasoned asparagus just as the recipe photo depicted and used one of my favorite cooking oils, grapeseed oil, to cook both the asparagus and the chicken.
In a surprisingly short amount of time, the chicken will sizzle and crackle and quickly turn a nice golden brown. This process will not take long, so be sure not to wait longer than a few minutes to flip each piece to avoid burning the breading. Once I had each piece of chicken cooked, I put them on a foil-lined metal pan and placed them into the oven (set at 200 degrees) to keep warm while I finished cooking the asparagus and whipped up the accompanying peanut sauce.
This sauce was seriously so good I could have eaten it by the spoonful. If you have a food processor, you'll want to place all of the ingredients for the sauce into the chamber and churn it up that way. If you don't have a food processor, you can opt to improvise a bit like I did and microwave it for just a few seconds to compensate for the lack of heat, and then whip it in a circular motion to create a frothy finish. Because my sauce turned out a little too thick to drizzle over the chicken (I may or may not have added a little too much peanut butter...), I served it on the side as a nice accompanying dipping sauce.
What resulted was one of my favorite meals I've ever made and a dish that will definitely make an encore performance in the future. If you'd like to try out this recipe, please do! In turn, spread the word on Twitter and Instagram to help encourage others like you to branch out of their culinary comfort zones and learn how to #CookWithConfidence!