Today I made West African Peanut Chicken with Sauteed Kale & Rice, my first meal from Blue Apron. Let’s see how that went.
On Tuesday, I received my box of ingredients. I was quite dismayed when I took everything out and had this mess.
Right away, I was less than pleased. Hello Fresh had everything neatly boxed and here I was confronted with a jumble of groceries.
So, here is what we need for today.
I took the rest of the ingredients and organized them myself, just for sanity’s sake.
Blue Apron does not provide levels or lists of needed utensils. Guess we are on our own.
My Level: 3 Spoons. Wow. This is an expert level recipe, requiring multiple techniques, instruments, time management, and speed.
Blue Apron Prep Time: 15 minutes
My Prep Time: 9 minutes. There are 7 things you need to prep, all included in Step 1.
Blue Apron Cooking Time: 35 – 45 minutes (Come on. Commit to a time.)
My Cooking Time: 35 minutes, but only because I started the rice before I started the prep. Add 10 minutes to cooking time, if you forget to start the water boiling.
Here’s Blue Apron’s version of West African Peanut Chicken
Yes, today we will be cooking nature’s roofing material and voluntarily ingesting it.
So, Blue Apron has left me to ferret on my kitchen tools from a careful perusal of the instructions. It’s always a good idea to read the instruction ahead of time to get a feel for the flow of the meal. Here’s what I think I will need to cook today.
Did you notice my very distressed bamboo spoon? Don’t ever leave your spoons on the burner and walk away. Just saying.
Ok, do I have everything? Nooooooo! Bah. What else could I possibly need?
Fine. Now that all or tools and ingredients are collected, let’s go!
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients (15 minutes)
Prep all your stuff.
Wow. I’m tired now.
Step 2: Cook the Rice
I am super annoyed that this is Step 2. One should always start the water boiling first. That’s what I did and it cut 10 minutes off the total cooking time.
Step 3: Cook the Chicken
We seasoned the chicken during prep, so heat the pan, coat with the oil that you didn’t know you needed unless you read ahead, and cook through. Flip and finish.
Wow, here is where Blue Apron gets pretentious. Who uses the word “fond” for the brown bits at the bottom of the pan? Blue Apron, I guess. Save those to flavor the roofing material.
Step 4 Cook the Roofing Material
Honestly, Blue Apron wants me to cook these like regular greens with oil, garlic, water and the roofing material. The roofing material will reduce during cooking.
Step 5: Make the sauce & finish the chicken
I am not sure why these boxes are so fond of tricky sauces, but here goes.
Add the ginger, scallions, and “as much of the spice blend as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be.” Umm, WTF? How spicy are the spices? How would I know? They don’t list the spices on the pack. Guess it’s spice roulette. I gave the spices a good whiff and my eyes didn’t burn, so the whole thing went in and I stirred like mad for one minute.
Now, while simultaneous stirring the spices, so they don’t burn, whisk the peanut butter and coconut milk one more time and then pour them in the pan. This requires at least three hands. Good luck.
Add back the chicken and spoon the concoction over the chicken. Let it simmer for 8ish minutes. Add the rest of the that tiny bottle of vinegar.
Step 6: Plate your dish
Not sure why there are instructions for this. I guess maybe so you know to pour the sauce over the chicken. Oh, and don’t forget the green scallions that you forgot over on the counter. They go on top.
Taste: This was amazingly yummy. The chicken wasn’t too spicy. I’d give it a heat level of 1 out of 5. That shouldn’t be too challenging for anyone. The rice is very rice like. Even the roofing material was edible. Wonder of wonders!
Ease of Preparation: In desperation, I cheated. I drafted my teenage son as prepper and assistant photographer. Lot’s of these steps needed quick work and there would have been no time for pictures without him. I rate this dish Expert level.
Final Thoughts: Too many ingredients. Too many tools. By the time I was done the entire kitchen was trashed. Ugg. Although it was good, I would not make this again. I thought the idea of these boxes was to make my cooking easier. This most certainly did not.