This is probably one of my favorite meals. I might say that a lot but this is definitely up there on the repeat meal list. And I don’t repeat too many meals – I get bored and like to try new things each week. This is similar to a recipe I made a few months ago that I ate as lettuce wraps. This time it’s just a bowl full of tastiness. Lettuce wraps are hard to fill with enough protein and get messy because the lettuce is never as neat and bowl-shaped as it is at PF Chang’s.
I’m updating this several months later with new pictures and I realize that across several batches of this it has changed a bit. I like this version the best though. One time we actually made our own carrot and purple cabbage slaw by grating it all by hand. (pain in the ass, right?). Another time we made it with carrots and peas as the vegetables. Until the last time I made it I had not found a great sauce recipe that actually made enough without requiring a whole bottle of soy sauce.
The version I’m content with now just has crockpot chicken, sauteed peppers, a much better sauce recipe, and I serve it with brown rice topped with sesame seeds and green onions. I wouldn’t mind mixing it up with peas and carrots again though. Basically it’s a meal you can add your own little twist to if you want.
The prep for this is a bit of work but with the newer version it’s much less labor intensive. You can put the chicken in the crockpot on high for 2-3 hours. When it’s about 30 minutes away from being done, start prepping your sauce and sauteing the vegetables. Put your rice or quinoa on the stove as well. Simmer your sauce in a separate pan to thicken it. Then when everything is done, shred the chicken with 2 forks or my much perferred way – in my Kitchenaid stand mixer, and then mix it all up together!
I like the separated way of cooking everything in this version because then portioning it out for meals during the week is easier. You’re not guessing how much rice or chicken is in each bowl. So it makes for a great batch-cooked meal!
Thai Peanut Chicken Salad Bowls
- 5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 bags sweet mini bell peppers
- Optional: green onions and peanuts for topping
For the Peanut sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic 2-3 cloves
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 1.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth low sodium
- 1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- juice from 1 lime
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger* about 1"
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper more to taste**
For the chicken
Trim chicken breasts and place in a large Crockpot covered with water. Cook on high for 2.5 hours
While chicken is cooking, begin cooking rice or quinoa according to package directions.
Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil over medium-high heat and add peppers. Sautee them for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally
For the sauce
Whisk all ingredients except oil and garlic in a large bowl
heat another tbsp of oil in a separate (medium-large) skillet over medium-high heat
Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant, stirring often
Pour the sauce mixture into pan and bring to a boil
lower heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring consistently.
When the sauce is thick, remove from heat
Toss the shredded chicken with sauce and peppers. Top chopped green onions, sesame seeds, or peanuts. Serve on top of brown rice or quinoa.
*I freeze fresh ginger. This way it keeps for a while and it's super easy to peel and then grate with a zester. **Cayenne pepper amount depends on how spicy you like it. I may have used a bit more than 1/2 tsp and it was mildly spicy along with all the red pepper flakes that were in there too.