Thank you for a great Carmel Winter Farmers Market season! We will see you beginning on May 4th at the Carmel Farmers Market and the Fishers Farmers Market!

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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