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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Heat of the Moment

Asia is not just a lame 80s band. Here's a run-down of tonight's Asian-inspired menu.

I have made this chicken a couple of times. I vaguely remember it being based on a recipe, but it has been sufficiently tweaked to make it mine. My son, Scrappy, thinks this is the very best thing he's ever eaten.

Before we get to the chicken, let's prep the broccoli. I was supposed to make a broccoli rabe dish from Eating Well magazine. Well, my local store doesn't carry broccoli rabe. Here I was, all ready to try something new! I figure, hmmm. Broccoli. Broccoli rabe. I'll just buy broccoli and maybe the sauce will be good on that. I'm here to say--it is!!!

So, chop up your broccoli (I am a horrible person who prefers the tops, but the rest of you can peel and chop the stem too). Steam it until it is just shy of being done. Seriously, you can invest in a steamer basket. It is the best way to cook broccoli and they are like $2 at Target. Run a little cool water over them so they'll stop cooking and set them aside. Nobody wants to eat your mushy, over-cooked broccoli.

Vietnamese-Flavored Broccoli

In a small bowl, combine:
1 tbsp. fish sauce (nam pla)
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8-1/4 tsp. crushed pepper flakes

Stir until the sugar dissolves, and set it aside until we're ready.

As for fish sauce, I kept seeing it over and over again in recipes. I would just omit it in the past. But I have to say, I am happy I finally broke down and bought it.

Honey-Soy Chicken

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half to make 6 pieces (you can just use 6 breasts if you want, but I'm cheap and we don't need to eat that much meat)
soy sauce
garlic powder (or some fresh minced garlic)

Place the chicken pieces in a dish or bowl. Pour soy sauce over top and about halfway up the sides. I probably used about 1/2 cup. Sprinkle your garlic and pepper over top. Let it sit there a while (on your counter is fine; it won't kill you)--at least 10 minutes (or however long it takes to prep the carrots).


Garlic Carrots

4 -6 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. oil of choice
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. thyme (more or less)

Heat the oil in a pot (choose one that has a lid) over medium-high. Saute the carrots and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the water, and the seasonings (season to taste). Cover with lid. Start small with your seasonings, because you can just add more at the end. Trust yourself. You can do it. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the carrots steam. They need to cook about 8-10 minutes.

Back to the chicken.

Heat up your skillet to medium-high with about 2-3 tbsp. of canola oil. Put the chicken in the pan, along with the marinade. Mmmmmm....

Pause to enjoy the smell of your tasty dinner. Your chicken is so happy. It's browning, so leave it alone. After a couple minutes, flip the chicken. Let it brown on the second side for a minute or two. Turn it down to medium and cover the pan for about 5-7 minutes (this depends on the thickness and quantity of your chicken). Take the lid off, and drizzle the chicken with some honey. Flip it over so the honey starts to caramelize. You weren't sure until I said, "caramelize." But now you know you have to make this, huh? Drizzle more honey and flip again. Try to control your drooling. When your chicken is done, put it on a plate. I like to pour a little bit of the sauce over top.

I'm sorry this isn't the greatest photo. But face it, I'm not a photographer.

Let's see. The chicken is done. The carrots are done. Now, the broccoli.

Heat up another skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp. canola oil. Toss in the broccoli, and cook about 1-2 minutes to heat up. Pour the sauce over top and toss. Heat about 1 more minute.

Dinner is done.

Go. Try it. And you can kiss me later. (After your brush your teeth.)


  1. this dish looks really good! I know the fish sauce adds so much flavor to asian dishes...but fish doesn't agree with me so I miss out on that. then i have to rely on sesame oil for lots of flavor.


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