Stir-Fried Chicken With Broccoli


This weekend I was just clicking my way through You Tube when I came across a video about how to get the most from an all you can eat Chinese buffet.  The basic premise is most of us are doing it all wrong.  We fill up our plates and our bellies with the food that is cheap to make, like fried rice, lo mein and sweet and sour pork.  We then neglect the most expensive stuff, like crab legs.   In order to get the most of an all you can eat Chinese buffet, we should be concentrating more on eating the expensive stuff.

I guess I am doomed to never get the most out of all you can eat Chinese buffet because my favorites are all things that, according to the video, are the cheapest to make.  I love fried rice, lo mein, sweet and sour pork and stir-fried chicken and broccoli the best.  The rest is nice but if I don’t get to it I haven’t missed anything.  Well,  I don’t think I miss anything.  The gentlemen in the video might disagree.  Maybe, if I make more of the Chinese food I like at home, I’ll get more out of the next Chinese buffet I go to.

Stir-Fried Chicken With Broccoli

From How To Cook Everything The Basics

1 lb broccoli

2 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS minced ginger

1 medium onion, halved and sliced

1/2 cup water

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

2 TBS soy sauce,  sub coconut aminos and adjust salt for Whole 30

Prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking.  Once you start cooking things progress quickly.  Trim your broccoli and cut into 1 -2 inch pieces; set aside.   Mince your ginger and your garlic; set aside.  Peel and slice your onion; set aside.  Place your salt, pepper, water and soy sauce to the side with your vegetables.

Add 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat.  When hot, add the chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Stir it once, and then let it sit for at least one minute, until it begins to brown and sizzle before stirring again.  Add the garlic, ginger and onion to the chicken.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are soft, 3 -5 minutes.  Remove the chicken mixture from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan.  Add the broccoli right away and raise the heat to high.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli starts to char in some spots and turns bright green, 1- 2 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water and stir to scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the brown bits. Taste the broccoli, it should be tender but not mushy.  If it isn’t tender, cook for 1-2 more minutes.  Return the chicken mixture to the pan and toss to combine.  Add the soy sauce, and the remaining 1/4 cup water, if the mixture looks dry.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. 

Teryaki Chicken (Whole 30)

Hey Guys, if you have time, check out the Facebook page for Gallery 4 and see two of my feathered friends, Squeak and Beau, being extra cute and feathery.

So I can hear all you guys thinking, do I normally bring my bring my birds to art galleries? The answer is no but I was actually invited to bring my boys. A few weeks ago, my friend, Steph and I, were wondering around downtown after lunch. We ended up a Gallery 4 just looking around. There was an exhibit called For The Birds, which really spoke to me, of course.

I got to talking with the lady sitting at the front desk and discovered she was the artist who did all the bird pictures. I showed her pictures of Squeak and Beau. The artist said she always wanted to draw Cockatiels. I jokingly said if she needed live models, I would gladly bring them to the gallery.  I didn’t expect to get so excited about it and say sure bring them.

So this morning, I loaded Squeak and Beau into their carry box and headed for the bus.  I always love watching people’s reactions to seeing my birds.  People are always are always so surprised and delighted to see them.  Like there aren’t  birds flying around everyday.  I’ll admit my birds are exceptionally cute and feathery but not all that unusual.

I was a little worried about how they would behave in a strange environment around so many strange people after an unusual, for them, bus ride.  Squeak and Beau amazed me, as usual.  Once my friend, Steph, arrived and they got out of their travel box, they were exemplary gentlemen.  Squeak even let Marcy, the artist, take pictures and he hate cameras and phones with a mad passion.

Squeak and Beau enjoyed waddling around the gallery and looking at the pictures with me and Steph.  They enjoyed the attention, not only from Marcy, but from every person we came across who realized I had birds in that box.  It was quite the enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

Teriyaki Chicken

adapted from I Heart Umami
1 1/2 lb chicken thighs with skin on

salt and pepper, taste

Toasted white sesame seeds, optional

Chopped scallions, optional

1 1/2 tsp ghee

Teriyaki sauce

3 1/2 TBS coconut aminos

1 TBS fish sauce

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp grate fresh garlic

Pat and dry the  thighs and remove the bone.  Lightly season the chicken skin with salt.  Heat the 1 1/2   teaspoons  ghee over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken skin side down.  Fry until the skin is crispy about 10 minutes.  Flip the chicken thighs and fry until cooked through.  Set the chicken  aside and wipe out the pan .

To make the sauce, add the coconut aminos, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, ginger and garlic to the pan.  Heat the sauce over medium to medium-low heat.  When the sauce starts to get thick, add the chicken back to the pan.  Coat the chicken with the sauce.

Wait 5 minutes before slicing  the chicken.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions, if you want.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce


This couple came through my line at work the other day, complaining about the lack of good Chinese or Japanese  restraunts in Fargo.  They asked me if I knew of any but since they named my favorite Chinese restraunt as one of the worst they went to I thought it prudent not to give them a recommendation.

I also thought if you are that unhappy with the restraunts food learn how to cook it yourself at home that way you can always get your food exactly the way you want it.  When I got home I started combing my files to see if I had any Chinese or Japenese recipes to try.  I found this Teriyaki sauce recipe on one of my pintrest boards so I decided to give it a try.

I decided to make a Teriyaki chicken and I have to say it turned out way better then anything I have had at my favorite restraunt.  If you don’t thicken it the sauce can be used as a marinade. The thickened sauce would also be great as a dipping sauce or a stir fry sauce.

Teriyaki Sauce

1 tsp garlic, minced

1/8 tsp ground ginger

2 1/2 TBS dried onion flakes

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 TBS Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 TBS cornstarch

6 TBS sugar

1 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp canola oil

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients, except for the cornstarch, stirring it until the sugar dissolves.  This is a great place to stop if you would like to marinate something.

To make it Teriyaki sauce, place the marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat until lightly boiling.  Slowly stir in the cornstarch.  Continue stirring until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat.  Enjoy.



Sweet and Sour Chicken

I really wanted to make fried chicken tonight but I forgot to buy milk after work. So instead of fried chicken for dinner, I made sweet and sour chicken. Sometimes, it is good to be forgetful.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

8 oz can pineapple chunks in juice, drained and juice reserved
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS ketchup
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 TBS vegetable oil
2 chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 green pepper, julienned
3 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces

In a medium bowl, combine the reserved pineapple juice, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, cornstarch and honey. Mix well; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet, add the chicken. Stir fry over high heat until lightly browned. Add green pepper and stir fry two minutes. Whisk the pineapple juice it to mixture well then add it to the chicken, along with pineapple chunks and scallions. Cook, stirring, for1 or 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Adapted from I don’t remember where

Fried Rice with Meat or Vegetables

WIN_20140622_134612One thing I struggle with as a solitary cook is food waste. No matter how hard I try or how careful I plan it seems I always have something that goes to waste before I use it. Some ingredients just aren’t packaged for the single cook so I am always on the lookout for recipes to use up leftover ingredients. A really good way to use those little bits of leftover meats and vegetables is to make fried rice as either a main or side dish. This morning I was looking for something quick and easy to make to take to lunch for work. I had leftover rice from a stir fry, baby corn from a failed moo shu pork recipe, and a little pork from the same recipe. None of it on its own was enough to make a meal but thrown together they became a lovely fried rice and along with a salad was more than enough for lunch. So I got my lunch and used up several little bits of things that would otherwise gone to waste. Win and win!

Fried Rice

2 TBS neutral oil
2 cups cold, cooked rice
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
½ tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil
protein choice

Put a tablespoon of neutral oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and brown, 5-10 minutes. When done, transfer to a bowl. Add the protein and cook 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Put remaining oil in the skillet, followed by the garlic and ginger, about 15 seconds later begin to add the rice a little bit at a time, breaking up the lumps and stirring into the oil. Return the meat and vegetables to the pan and mix well. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well. 2 servings

Note: this recipe is incredibly versatile. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, stir-frying the hard or frozen vegetables until tender before adding then to the rice. Please to feel free to use any protein you have on hand. Remember, using day old, cold rice will prevent mushy fried rice.

Adapted from How To Cook Everything