Celery Chicken Saute

Celery fresh from the garden.
Celery fresh from the garden. This bunch is about one-sixth of the amount I harvested. Co-workers assured me it was exceptionally flavorful celery, which perhaps explains why, I discovered, I wasn’t a big fan of it.

What to do when your homegrown celery threatens to grow into a small, unchewable forest? Chop it all down, make celery chicken, (and take the rest to work). This is a combination I started around 2006 on one of those days when there wasn’t much left in the fridge and I thought, “what goes good with celery?” oh, peanut butter, of course..

Celery Chicken Sautee
Serves 2.5
Prep time: 5 min
Total time: ~Less than 30 minutes

Ingredients:
3 shoots celery, chopped in small pieces for saute
2 boneless chicken breast (or chicken thigh, whatever you like), chopped for saute
4 Tbs peanut butter (extra crunchy pref.)
hot boiling water
5 dashes soy sauce
1 dash sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
optional: toasted sesame seeds
optional: 1 tsp chili pepper flakes or 1/2 tsp chili powder
optional, but recommended if you have peanut butter without salt and sugar additives: 1 Tbs honey (or to taste)
optional to try: toast cashews and add.

Steps:

      1. Put chicken in a bowl with soy sauce, a little sesame oil, and garlic, mix around, let marinate for at least 10 minutes.
      2. Heat saute pan on medium heat with a little olive oil until hot.
      3. Saute chicken mixture (optional: and chili pepper flakes) until chicken looks half done, about 4 minutes.
        Meanwhile, Prepare the peanut butter sauce:
      4. Dollop peanut butter in a cup with hot water per amount of chicken and celery, mix until it’s a relatively smooth sludge. Try to use as little water as possible, just enough to melt the mix.
      5. In the pan, add celery (optional: and sesame seeds), pour peanut butter sauce on top and add a little extra soy sauce to taste/color, (optional: add honey) then cook until desired singed-ness in 5-8 minutes (do not cover), scraping sticky parts occasionally.
      6. Add more soy sauce to taste if needed.
      7. Serve atop brown rice.
      8. Optional: add toasted cashews at end.

 

2. marinate, 3. saute, 1.chop, 4. combine.
2. marinate, 3. saute, 1.chop, 4. combine.

Today’s Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating:
3.5 of 5 stars.
I may have been making variations for 10 years, but it should be new to you..
Likelihood of Repeat: 100%
So convenient as a fallback dish if you find old celery in your fridge, peanut butter in your pantry, and maybe have some frozen chicken hiding in the back of your freezer.
Lesson Learned: It’s much easier to cut more even, thinner slices of chicken if you do so while it’s still partially defrosted. The thing that really makes this dish is just enough browning of the chicken, and then caramelizing of sugars in the peanut butter mixture as you saute (to get crunchy sweet stuff in the mix).

Leave a Reply