Doesn’t it look yummy? Setting up and taking that photo was harder than preparing this classic Thai dish.
My first experience with Panang Gai (or Chicken Panang for those of us who don’t butcher the Thai language like my husband) was nearly eight years ago … on my very FIRST date with Hubby. He had only been back in the states for a couple of months, following a nine-month stint in Thailand.
He was craving Thai food… and I wanted to impress this boy I liked.
So, I assured him that I LOVED Thai food (which, I’d never eaten in my life) and then ordered the Panang.
Lucky for both of us (and our future marriage), the Panang was DIVINE and became my favorite item off any Thai restaurant menu. But, with 2.5 kiddos, heading out for Thai food just isn’t as easy as it used to be.
(They tend to fling rice. Not on purpose … it just … happens.)
While I finally figured out how to make Thom Kha Gai (our family’s favorite Thai soup), Chicken Panang was elusive … no matter how many recipes and variations I tried, I could never get it “right.”
Then, I realized I had been missing a key ingredient: peanut butter. With this knowledge, my world (and our Thai Dinner Nights) changed forever. The recipes I had tried called for whole peanuts or simply left out the legume all together. But adding peanut butter? NOW we had Chicken Panang.
And, yes — my children (even picky Mr. Boy) LOVE this dish.
Disclosure: This recipe was originally sponsored as part of an H-E-B recipe challenge; I was provided with products, promotional items and compensation. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.