Experimental Cooking

Photos by MJ Klein

While here in the US I was itching to try some cooking experiments that hopefully would lead to a new dish (for me). I love cooking and recipe sites, but when I am experimenting I like to try things on my own instead of downloading a recipe from someone else. This kind of cooking is different than trying to cook something already known. Here is a photograph of the pre-cooked experiment:

Cooking Experiment

Pictured above is a whole chicken that I’ve coated. The main ingredient of this dish is peanut butter.

I cut the PB down with some ingredients to make it thinner, and I minced some herbs to make a mixture to inject into the meat. I put the chicken into the icebox for a day to let the meat absorb the flavors. Then I patted the chicken dry and frosted it with pure peanut butter. I cooked it at 350 degrees F for 2:20. My mother thinks that I cooked it way too long but my experience has shown me that chicken tastes better when cooked for an extended time, just as long as you don’t dry it out.

The PB formed a soft coating that browned and released a wonderful nutty flavor. This coating also held the moisture in, so just as I predicted, the meat was very moist. Unfortunately the cooked dish doesn’t look so good because the PB gets dark during cooking. A photo of the cooked dish is available on my flickr album, so clicking on the above pic will get you in the neighborhood.

I’ve already come up with a few changes that I want to make to improve the flavor, so look for some more cooking experiments after we return to Taiwan next week. I’m sure there is a recipe for Peanut Butter Chicken on the web somewhere, but for me the fun is in the experimentation!

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14 comments

  1. Creamy? I wonder how chunky would fair?

    I think that pork chops would be rad stuffed with PB. With some apple sauce on the side.

    1. Colby » i used creamy because i was trying to inject it, that’s all. after spreading it on the bird though i do not think chunky would work as well. one modification that i intend to implement on Rev. 2 is the addition of raw peanuts to the body cavity to be cooked with the meat.

  2. MJ,

    That is brilliant. It is one of those dishes that is so obvious it would never occur to anyone to try. Are you going to try bread crumbs or some kind of glaze to cut down the darkness?

    What will you name the dish one you have it perfected?

    owshawngs last blog post..The Recession Hits Home

    1. owshawng » i’ve been thinking about it and i can’t think of anything that will keep it from getting so dark offhand. i thought about cutting it with flour to make it hold together better, but that will darken too. it’s not so bad though and what really counts is the flavor. i was surprised/pleased at how well the PB flavor translated. after cooking, the fat from the chicken was in the pan all mixed up with the peanut butter which had run off the outside and i gotta tell you – the flavor match was astonishing.

  3. Wow! That looks quite strange, but delicious. I’m not a huge peanut butter fan, although the moisture benefit makes it seem worth it. Too bad no one has yet invented a way to share taste and smell on the Internet, as the photo of the finished product looks like it’s waiting for eaters.

    I wonder if there are any other ingredients that might have similar properties…

    Hollys last blog post..To meet a blogger (dirty blogger secrets revealed!)

    1. Holly » haha, wouldn’t that be cool though? interesting question…. i supposed you could encrust it in bread if you wanted to. normally i oil the skin and it browns up and seals it pretty well. you just have to be careful not to puncture it before cooking. thanks Holly.

  4. I hope it tasted better than it looked 🙂

    I bet people that are allergic to peants and are looking looking at that pictures and saying one of thos things…

    1) I wish I wasn’t allergic to peanuts so I could try that

    or

    2) I’m glad I’m allergic to peanuts so I don’t have try that

    1. mike01905 » well, my manager used to say:

      “it doesn’t matter what people say about you, just as long as they are talking about you.”

      so, there you go!

  5. Wow MJ. What an experiment. The finished product didn’t look so bad a nice dark brown. I look forward to version 2. I do like peanut butter but have never thought of putting it on a chicken.

    I used to go the the bakery late at night on a Friday evening when I was a kid to get an uncut loaf from the cooling rack. It would be bagged and I would race home on my bike to put margarine that would melt and then peanut butter, vegemite or my absolute favourite, homemade jam and real whipped cream.

    Again more great memories.

    Bruntys last blog post..Lunch on the River with Friends. Thailand.

    1. Brunty » those sound like great memories to me! i used to live in Boston’s North End and i would walk by the bakery every day. there’s nothing quite like freshly baked bread, hot from the oven. the homemade jam and whipped cream sounds great!

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