Friday, June 14, 2013

Weeknight Dinner: Spicy Thai Garlic Chicken

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Since lately work has been busy (I absolutely believe I will be going full speed ahead until 2014...there is no "summer lull" in our office!), I have had John making dinner every night.  And believe me, if dinner isn't done by the time this starving girl gets home, well, let's just say you don't want to be anywhere near me.  Yes, I could pack a snack but that would take thoughtfulness and advanced planning.  These are two things that I have also been lacking lately, much to my chagrin.

Anyway, in order to get us both on board with dinners, I've been trying to find easy yet delicious dishes that we can eat without much fuss (i.e. John will not complain).  When I saw this chicken recipe, I knew it was just the thing.  The key here, folks, as I've said before, is to lure John in with flavors he loves so he gets excited about making dinner - rather than seeing it as an obstacle to be finished. I can't really complain - after long days, he also does the dishes.  Yup - I caught a good one.

When I told him exactly how delicious it was, I thought he'd be pleased.  Instead, he wrinkled his brow and said, "well next time you pick a recipe, can you make sure I have all the ingredients".  Whoops!  As I said earlier, advanced planning at home slips from my wheelhouse when work gets especially busy.  And please, everyone knows you can totally substitute light brown sugar for dark brown sugar, right?!  That might not have been the only ingredient missing but I had the main ones down.  It's the type of dish that transports you halfway around the world while in your very own dining room - we'll get there one day, but for now...I'll enjoy the tastes from here!
Spicy Thai Garlic Chicken (adapted from Fuss Free Cooking)
Serves:  4
2 chicken breasts
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons juice)
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil.  
1 birds eye chili*
1 cucumber, halved and sliced
Jasmine Rice, cooked

Dice chicken.  In a large bowl, combine garlic, brown sugar, sesame seed oil, soy sauce, and lemon juice.  Remove half the mixture and save.  Toss the remaining marinade with chicken to combine.  Marinate for at least 10 minutes, but up to overnight, if desired.   Take the chicken out of the marinade and drain.  Season with salt and pepper (and chili powder, if using dried).

Heat a wok over medium-high heat.   Add oil and once warmed, cooked the chicken, about 10-15 minutes, until fully browned.  Reduce the heat to low and add the reserved marinade.  Cook until the mixture is boiling and reduce the sauce until it is thick and coats the chicken.  Add the sliced chili (if using fresh).   

Serve with rice and top with chicken, remaining glaze, and cucumber.  Serve immediately. 

*For most people, the birds eye chili will be the hardest thing to find; we used a dried one that we ground into a powder.  You can substitute this with any spicy chili, depending on your spice tolerance (habaneros would be a good substitute; a serrano would bring less heat). 

Until the next time my oven is on...


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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