Making dinnertime into family time has been something I have talked about before, and on a recent weeknight I turned to my Garden-Fresh Cookbook to find just the right dish. It had to be easy to make, healthy, and packed with flavor. And did I mention filling? I had just returned from a long run, and I was hungry!
The Thai Chicken With Linguine (page 218) was perfect. I had most of the ingredients already in my pantry and fridge, and the rest was easy to get from a quick trip to the grocery store.
This recipe took only about 20 minutes to make, which for a family on the go is ideal for a home-cooked meal that is, yes . . . healthy! I used some of the excellent tips in The Garden-Fresh Cookbook from an item called Pasta Pointers to help me make the pasta to perfection. For instance, I added a tablespoon of olive oil to the boiling water before adding the uncooked pasta, which kept the noodles from sticking together. Also, per the Garden-Fresh, I added the pasta slowly to the water and stirred occasionally during cooking. The goal is to cook the pasta until it’s tender outside, with a chewy inside. It should be firm, but not hard. This is called “al dente,” which literally means “to the tooth.”
While the pasta was cooking, I prepared the chicken, adding sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste while tossing it in the pan with olive oil.
Once the chicken was ready, it was time to make the sauce, which uses one of my favorite ingredients—crunchy peanut butter! I learned when I was younger (and obsessed with making peanut butter cookies) that peanut butter can be a sticky mess to measure, but this can be fixed by wetting the cup with water and then lining it with flour. After this, you can easily scoop the appropriate amount of peanut butter, which in this case was 1/4 cup.
After whisking together all of the ingredients, I added the chicken and crisp red pepper. I paired the pasta with a simple Caesar salad and enjoyed a delicious meal at the dining room table with my mom. It was a wonderful time when we could relax and enjoy one another’s company—all thanks to a 20-minute meal!
Thai Chicken With Linguine
1 pound linguine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 scallions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
Cook the linguine according to the package directions, drain, set aside, and keep warm. In a saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until it loses its pink color. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Add the broth, honey, and soy sauce to the pan. Whisk in the peanut butter, cornstarch, and ginger. Add the scallions and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until blended. Add the red pepper and cooked chicken. Stir to coat and cook until the sauce has thickened. Serve over warm linguine. Makes 6 servings.
Jane received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at Western Washington University where she studied Creative Writing. She now lives in the greater Seattle area, where she writes and drinks copious amounts of coffee. When she isn’t writing, cooking, gardening, or taking photos, you can find her at local shows and concerts, or running to prepare for yet another half marathon.
Jane received her Bachelor's in Fine Arts at Western Washington University where she studied Creative Writing. She now lives in the greater Seattle area, where she writes and drinks copious amounts of coffee. When she isn't writing, cooking, gardening, or taking photos, you can find her at local shows and concerts, or running to prepare for yet another half marathon.