Tuesday, March 8, 2011

(not so) fat tuesday dinner

Happy Fat Tuesday!  Oh how I wish I was down in NOLA to partake in the festivities...oh well maybe another year...

Tonight is a dinner for one night, so in honor of Mardi Gras I am cooking up a couldn't-be-anymore-non-completely-Mardi-Gras-inspired-meal (I made an awesome Jambalya last week a bit prematurely...will post the recipe and pics for that when I make it again).

Chicken & Broccolini Stir Fry

Recipe inspired by what I have in my fridge and pantry (hey it's better than ramen and hot dogs)

For the broccolini:
* 1 bunch broccolini
* 2 tsp sesame oil (or some other oil with a high smoke point.  If you're not sure, you can check here)
* 2 -3 TBS water
* 2-3 tsp low sodium soy sauce

For the chicken:
* 1 TBS sesame oil (or other high smoke point oil)
* 3 chicken breast fillets (I use the Purdue perfect portions)
* 1 TBS minced garlic
* 2 TBS finely chopped scallions

For the sauce:
* 1 TBS tomato paste
* 2-3 TBS low sodium chicken broth
* 2 tsp garlic and black bean sauce (purchased from the asian market [being chinese this is a staple in my fridge])
* 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
* 2 tsp sesame oil
* 1/2 tsp kosher salt
* 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
* 1 tsp sugar
* 1/4 tsp red chili flakes (or more depending on your heat tolerance)
The chili flakes are optional.  Since I love heat, I add them...plus it makes it a little Mardi Gras-esque since I'm adding heat no?

If you plan on eating this with rice, start cooking your rice now.  I enjoy this over a bed of hot, steamed Jasmine rice.

Wash the broccolini and chop into 1 inch pieces.  If you've never had broccolini, here's Wikipedia's definition.  If you want my definition...it's yum.  Imagine the best, crunchiest part of broccoli and add a little sweetness.  Don't mistake this treasure for it's cousin broccoli rabe, which cooked well is delish, but poorly is bitter city.

Rinse and prep your chicken.  The Purdue perfect portions come pretty flattened, but I just like using my tenderizer (especially after a long day at the office) so if the spirit moves you, pound away!

Slice the chicken into roughly 1 1/2 inch strips.  Add a pinch of salt and then set aside.

okay...maybe those aren't exactly 1.5 inch strips

On a clean cutting board, finely chop the scallions and mince the garlic.  Set aside.

Mix together your ingredients for your sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

I didn't add the wet ingredients to the sauce mixture yet
Now that the prep work is done, let's start cooking!

Start with the broccolini.  In a medium size saute pan (or if you got it, rock the wok...teehee, that rhymed), heat up the oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped broccolini and toss to coat with oil. And the water and stand back and watch out for jumping drops of hot oil but delight in the sound of the crackle and sizzle.  Let the broccolini simmer for about a minute then add the soy sauce.

Simmer for a few more minutes (let's just say 4) and remove to a bowl.  Admire the bright green color of your well cooked veggie.  Wipe down your cooking vesicle with a paper towel to remove some of the excess moisture left behind.

On to the chicken.  On medium-high heat, add the oil to the pan and let it heat up a bit (careful not to let the oil get too hot because you don't want to burn your aromatics).  Add the scallions and garlic and stir for about 15 seconds.

Take in a whiff of that delectable scent.  By now your little kitchen scavenger will be at your feet staring up at you.

Drop something..PLEASE!

Add your chicken and again, watch out for the jumping oil.  Stir the chicken (make sure those strips keep moving) and cook for about 6 minutes.  Add the sauce and continue to cook for another 6 or 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the broccolini, reduce heat to low and let cook until warmed throughout.

Serve over a bed of steamed rice (or whatever floats your boat), sit down and enjoy while watching Gwynnie and Shuester ridiculously flirt on Glee.
Take a picture of your pup who is ready to eat...

is that nomz for me?!

but then is pissed off at you for not sharing.
i see how it is, fine mom, you bitch!
*Btw...this recipe actually makes about two servings, so pack up the leftovers and bring them for lunch the next day!

{ cindie }


Heather said...

This sounds sooo yummy! I want some right now!!! I know I could never make it as good as you, but I am def going to try the broccolini since you said it is nothing like broccoli rabe.

Cindie said...

Yah broccoli rabe is hit or miss and when you miss it's not pretty! Funny thing is I discovered broccolini by accident thinking I was buying broccoli rabe one time. Was not happy till I cooked it and realized it's awesomeness :). It's super good if you blanche, shock then saute with some garlic and olive oil. mmmm

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