Thank you for a GREAT summer season at the Carmel Farmers Market and the Fishers Farmers Market. We are looking forward to being at the Carmel Winter Farmers Market beginning October 16th and the Indy Winter Farmers Market beginning November 6th. We'll see you then!

Better than Take-Out Chinese Chicken

I love the savory combination of soy sauce, fresh ginger, and garlic, so when I was searching through recipes for a recent Cookbook Club get-together, I was immediately drawn to this dish.  Living in Mooreland (population: 270), it is safe to say that I do not have the option of take-out Chinese nearby, but, I can recall from my college days, that some Chinese take-out is definitely better than others.  This dish turned out super-yummy and something that I have made several times since.  I hope if you try it, you will agree! 

For the Chicken:
-1/4 c soy sauce (low-sodium works well, or substitute with coconut aminos, for a soy-free option)
-1/4 c water
-1.5 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, if you prefer)
-about 1/2 c whole wheat flour (or All-Purpose)
-several TBSP of coconut oil (approximately 4 to 6)

For the sauce:
-2 cloves of minced garlic
-1 to 2 tsp fresh ginger (grated/finely chopped)
-1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 TBSP rice vinegar
-2 TBSP honey 
-1/4 c soy sauce
-1/2 c water

1. Using either a knife or kitchen shears, cut the B/S chicken thighs into approximately 2-inch sized cubes.  Place in a shallow bowl (or zipper-style bag) with the soy sauce-water combination.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature; or, if you have the time, marinate in the refrigerator for up to 5 hours.  
2. Once the chicken pieces have marinated for the desired length of time, remove them and discard the liquid.  Place the flour in a shallow dish and one by one, coat each piece of chicken on all sides and place on a plate until all pieces are coated.  
3. In a large skillet (I often make a double-batch and use my electric skillet to cut down on time), heat the coconut oil over medium-heat.  Working in batches as necessary, use tongs to add the flour-coated chicken pieces in a single layer (and without crowding the pan).  Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden-brown and each piece is cooked-through.  Once done, place the chicken pieces on a plate while you work on the sauce. 
4. In the same skillet, over medium-heat, add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 1 minute.  Next, add in the vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and water; whisk and bring to a boil.  Continue cooking and scraping together the mixture until it begins to thicken, which should take just a few minutes.  Lastly, add the cooked chicken pieces back to the skillet and toss gently so the sauce covers each piece.  
5. I like to serve this with cooked brown or white rice and a mixture of either roasted or sautéed vegetables, such as carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, and onions.  I like to add sliced scallions to the sauce, top with toasted sesame seeds, or add a nice spoonful of kimchi (and sometimes, all three!).  Easy, versatile, filling, and good-for-you!  

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