Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lunch Week 12: Chicken & Broccoli

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Chicken & Broccoli

Getting back to cooking and blogging, I did a pretty poor job with taking pictures (as you will see). But I'm glad that I'm back to cooking in general. I missed it so much. Now I have to make some time for some baking.

First, I prepped my chicken. You may have read about the velveting method recently mentioned on Serious Eats. Well, I've been marinating my chicken like that for a really long time (with slight variations, of course). And so here are some skinless, boneless chicken thighs. I cut them into strips then marinated them with dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, mirin (sweetener; use sugar if you don't have this), corn starch, salt, and oil. The consistency should be a loose paste around the chicken pieces. Put it aside until the chicken becomes even more tender.
While the chicken marinates, I cut up a couple of crowns of broccoli into bite sized pieces.
I also sliced up some carrots. I didn't feel the need to peel them.
And of course some garlic.
Normally, I would let the chicken marinate for an hour or even overnight in the fridge. When you're ready to cook it, take it out of the cold and let it come to room temperature. Anyway, heat up a pan with canola or vegetable oil until hot. Then add your chicken. Let it form a nice crust then stir fry it until fully cooked through. This method is especially easy when using a wok. I don't have one so I just use a skillet.
Then this is where I forget to take pictures. Sorry! Anyway, stir fry the chicken until full cooked and remove to a large bowl. Add slightly more oil and then broccoli and carrots. Add some water and some salt. Cover and let it steam for a bit (about 5 minutes). Then carefully take your spatula and scrape up the bottom and sides of the pan to release any stuck on marinated sauce from the chicken. Stir to coat vegetables. When cooked through, add back to the chicken and mix. The sauce should loosen up the chicken a bit (which should look a little pasty from the cornstarch).
And there you go, easy chicken and broccoli. The chicken became really juicy and tender. I really liked it. The broccoli and carrots were well cooked and survived through microwaving the next day.

I think this method of cooking really suits meats that may be a little more lean like chicken breast. Even though I used my preferred chicken cut (thighs), I still think it benefited from the marination. It was extra smooth and silky. Spoon some of this over rice with some sauce and you have yourself a complete meal.

2 comments:

  1. Hi I would like to know the recipe for marinating the chicken. And how many garlic cloves you used?

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    Replies
    1. I believe I used a full head of garlic.

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