Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chicken Teriyaki

Do you ever have one of those weeks when nothing seems to go your way? Last week, I was sick, so that kept me from cooking (and blogging) for a few days. When I finally felt like cooking again, it seemed like nothing turned out quite right. I managed to break my best platter (which brought me to tears) and I spilled a majority of the rice for this dish, all. over. the. floor.

Let me set that straight. I casually reached in the cabinet, for my container of rice, had a firm grip on the lid, when the lid decided to pop off, sending the container through the air and rice all over my kitchen. I managed to save some of it, because I was NOT going back to the store for rice (I had already grocery shopped that evening).  

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Thankfully I had just enough rice left to make for Mark and I. I managed to to make this dish with no more accidents and it turned out quite well.  I share all of this because sometimes, no matter how experienced you are, things don't always go well in the kitchen.

You will make mistakes.

Things will break.

Dishes won't turn out how you envisioned.

But you just have to plug away and keep cooking!

Onward now to this delicious teriyaki:

I created this chicken teriyaki two years ago when I wanted a quick skillet dish during the hot, summer months. I'm not fond of most Asian cuisine, but Mark loves it. So I tried to create a happy medium by using simple ingredients and amping up the natural flavors.

Start by heating some olive or canola oil in a skillet (you can also use a wok if you own one). Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and brown on all sides. Pour the chicken into a bowl and set aside. Return the skillet to the heat and add more oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes and cook until those are fragrant. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, water, sugar and cornstarch. Make sure the cornstarch is incorporated well and that they're no lumps. Whisk the sauce into the skillet and bring to a simmer. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the chicken back to the skillet.  Cover and allow to simmer and heat through for 5 minutes.

While the chicken and sauce are simmering, steam the broccoli. I like to use the entire head of broccoli, stalk and all. I peel the stalk a little bit so that the broccoli is tender. Rinse the broccoli under cold water and cut into desired size pieces. I like to cook the broccoli separately so that it does not absorb too much of the sauce. Use a saucepan and steamer basket and steam for 3-5 minute, until the broccoli is bright green and tender.

Pour the broccoli into the skillet and toss with the chicken and sauce. Serve over steamed, white or brown rice and you have yourself a complete meal! Meat, grain and veggies all in one! Sometimes, I also like to add carrot matchsticks to this dish as well. Just steam with broccoli and toss like usual. If you would like to add another vegetable I suggest serving with a side salad.

Teriyaki Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast--cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 head of broccoli (1/2 to 3/4 pound) cut into pieces
  • Olive or canola oil 
  • White rice, prepared

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive to the skillet and add onions. Saute the onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

2. Whisk together the soy sauce, water, sugar, and cornstarch. Add the liquid to the skillet and whisk until it begins to simmer. Simmer for one minute or until sauce begins to thicken. Return the cooked chicken to the skillet and cover. Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes.

3. In a separate pan, steam the broccoli until bright green and tender. About 3-5 minutes. Stir the broccoli into the chicken and sauce. Serve over rice.

Yields: 3-4 servings

From: Tasteful Cuisine

Friday, January 10, 2014

Homemade, Fluffy Pancakes

I'm not big on breakfast food, but every once in a while I enjoy a good "brinner" (breakfast + dinner). These pancakes are light and fluffy make a hearty addition to your breakfast menu. They are super easy to make and come together in 30 minutes or less!

One method I'll explain is the "sour milk" method. The recipe calls for milk and vinegar to be mixed together. This creates a sour milk or buttermilk base for your pancake. I typically make buttermilk this way. I rarely have it on hand, so when a recipe calls for buttermilk, I use this method and its subs just fine. Of course, if you have buttermilk, that will work just the same.

I mix all the ingredients together and pour into a large measuring cup like so. This make it's easier for pouring the pancakes.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. I also respray in between pancake batches as needed. I do not have a griddle so I used my cast iron skillet. It worked great, but you can only cook two at a time.

Pour the batter until desired pancake size. I used around 1/2 cup for larger pancakes, 1/4 cup for small pancakes (Of course, I just eyed it and didn't measure correctly because I'm too lazy to measure my pancakes). Pancakes are ready to flip when batter begins to bubble and edges are set.

Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

Fluffy Pancakes
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • Pam cooking spray

1. In a medium bowl, whisk milk and vinegar together. Allow to sit and "sour" for 5 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Once milk is ready, whisk in butter and eggs. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Stir until the dry is incorporated and there are no lumps remaining. Do not overmix.

3. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Pour pancake batter to desired pancake size: 1/2 cup for larger pancakes, 1/4 cup for small pancakes. Cook until bubbles appear and edges are set. Flip pancake and cook until browned on the other side. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

Yields: 9-10 Large pancakes or 18-20 small pancakes

Adapted from All Recipes