Mess Hall Diaries: Spicy Peanut Chicken stir fry.

Oh boy oh boy.

What a crazy couple of weeks huh? All culminating in one of the greatest food holidays of all time. Thanksgiving.

If you’re like me, you decided to avoid all conversation about the recent election through food and drink. I found that the rhythmic movement of my jaw eating turkey, stuffing, veggies, pie, etc…was a good way to meditate and drown out the rest of it.

I also found that avoiding eye contact and nearly crying at as each serving plate was passed away from me kept people from talking as well.

Ok, food.

Right after the election, I went over to a friend’s house to make dinner for a few people. I was looking for something to feed a group at a decent cost and decided on a stir fry.

This is a pretty simple dish and parts of it are interchangeable depending on your preference so no need to follow this one as gospel. Or do, I dunno how you like to cook and honestly? Who am I to judge.

The Sauce:

Sooooo I didn’t take a picture of this, I’m sorry. I was trying to get this done fast and made it at my house before going over to ma pal’s. But it’s really easy, just combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic chili pepper paste and limes into a small bowl and whisk it together. Salt and pepper to taste.

The meat:

20161115_193749Use about 3/4 of the sauce to marinate the meat while you prepare the veggies. I added 3 table spoons of corn starch to help coat the chicken.

In a hot wok, or pan, (or a shovel over an open fire if you’re into that) add a half cup of peanuts and fry for a few minutes. Add the chicken and 1/2 the cilantro to the pan and brown.

Once you’ve browned the chicken, remove it from the pan and let sit.


You can use any vegetables that you want, in this case, I picked peppers, mushrooms, carrots and broccoli. Chop those bad boys up and toss them in the hot pan your chicken was just in. They will look something like this:

20161115_194105So many colors!

As the veg cooks down, you can add the other half of the cilantro and the rest of the sauce from earlier. You can add some extra soy sauce if you want at this point instead of salt and then add pepper

I let the veg cook down by about half, because unlike me veggies can lose water weight quickly.

Once the voogtables are cooked near to completion, add the chicken back in and cook for about 5 more minutes to combine the flavors.


At this point, you can serve over brown rice or…if you want, you can quick pick some j-peps.



This was really easy to do, just slice the jalaps thin, place in a bowl and cover with rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and salt and pepper. Stir every few minutes till ready to eat.

Pro Tip: Do this first so the pickle sticks (hehe)


If you do it right and if you have a spouse who is good at photography, the dish will look like this.


If you do it wrong and you don’t have a spouse who is good at photography, it probably won’t look like that but it’ll still taste delicious.

If you’re afraid of flavors outside of your comfort zone, this is an easy recipe to try your hand out at something different. I hope you like it!


Ingredient List:


1 lb chicken breast (or thighs, thighs are better)


1/2 cup of soy sauce

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

3 tbs garlic chili paste

2 tbs of smooth peanut butter

2 whole limes

Salt and pepper


Whatever you want!  Here’s what I used:

2 peppers (1 read and 1 great)

2 cups of broccoli

2 cups of carrots

1 1/2 cups of mushrooms chopped.

1 cup cilantro (chopped)

Mess Hall

toddagarcia View All →

I’m an acting/improvising optimizing son of a gun.

I’ve been living and working and performing in Chicago since 2005. I love to eat, travel, talk and make people laugh. So for me this blog stuff is pretty neat.

I also like you. Whoever you are. I like you. For coming to my blog and sharing in my thoughts. I appreciate you. And I think you’re hot. So here’s to you, readers of my blog. Thanks for being awesome. Share and share a like!

Follow me on Twitter @toddawatomi and listen to my podcast with my besticle Ethan at!

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