Weekend Kitchen Experiment 1: Grilled Chicken Fillet with Peanut-Cilantro "Sauce"

After two weeks of hectic schedules, seminars, personal commitments here and hundreds of kilometers away, I finally got my first uninterrupted weekend (before I go back to the same pace of work starting tomorrow). So aside from catching up on some sleep, I took the time to cook, which is my way of detox as well.

Yesterday, I cooked macaroni with carbonara sauce. Nothing new. But I did cook the pasta using the microwave. Interestingly, my post on cooking pasta using the microwave is the most read article on this site. I also had fun using the electric stove for a change, and using the ceramic pots, instead of the metal pots and pans. I put bacon and chicken bits on the white sauce. And of course, lots of cheese! Had a great time eating it, while I chatted with a friend.

I’ve resolved to cook outside my comfort zone more often, which I did today. I’ve always wondered what the combination of peanuts and cilantro (also known as coriander or wansoy in Filipino) would taste like, so I ended up with this dish. The end product was a very pleasant surprise, and it was quite a hit with my “worst” critics — my family. I will definitely do this dish again. There’s still room for improvement for this dish, but I was very satisfied with the taste, which is why I am already posting it.

The second dish, which I expect to post by tomorrow, if just a few hours, is a cake, which is a story in itself.

Grilled Chicken Fillet with Peanut-Cilantro “Sauce”

7 pieces chicken fillet
2 lemons
1 bunch, cilantro/coriander/wansoy leaves
7 cloves garlic for the “sauce” plus extra garlic for the chicken
250 grams packed peanuts
salt and pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
Chicken: Marinade the chicken fillet in melted butter, garlic, pepper, juice from 1 lemon. Marinade for at least one hour. Grill chicken (I used an electric grill) on each side until golden brown. Set aside and keep warm.

“Sauce”: Toast the peanuts until golden brown. Toast garlic cloves separately until golden brown. Transfer both to a food processor. Combine with coriander leaves, juice from 1 lemon, pepper, 1/4 cup melted butter, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Process until very fine.

Serve with Chicken. Serves 4 to 5.

Note: My final product so far for the peanut-cilantro combination isn’t very much a sauce, but a fine, solid, but delicious mixture. I’m still finding the proper tool or ingredient, so that I could really come up with a liquid sauce. Perhaps I could add more butter in the future, or use one of those food grinders I always see on t.v. Any ideas?

Also, I could even use cashew nuts later on, or combine the coriander with satay sauce or even peanut butter. I wonder how these would taste!

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