Hoisin Chicken with Steamed Vegetables

This chicken dish is the second installment of the Healthy Cooking on the Cheap Series and is a simple and quick recipe that you can easily prepare for you and a friend in 30 minutes tops! I don’t know how hectic your weekday schedule is but I know mine is pretty busy and this dish is perfect for a last minute dinner.

I happen to really enjoy preparation of this recipe because of how incredibly easy and fast it is. Often times, the first time I cook a dish it takes twice as long. This is probably common for most cooks because a good cook READS THE ENTIRE RECIPE FIRST. It usually takes at least two preparations to really get familiar with a recipe, which usually quickens the preparation time. But even someone who has NEVER cooked before can make Hoisin Chicken with Steamed Vegetables in their sleep.

It’s fairly common for me to multi-task in the kitchen and this dish complements a busy lifestyle quite well. I recommend marinating the chicken in the Hoisin sauce, or other Asian-inspired marinade you might have on hand, in advance. Most chicken tastes better when it has marinated for a longer period of time, so feel free to let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator while you are prepping your vegetables. I usually tend to throw in whatever vegetables or spices I have on hand to make the dish a little more interesting and spicy, since you all know by now how much I enjoy spicy foods. Some of the ingredients I’ve added in the past are chopped garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, sriracha, and hot chili flakes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and experiment with the ingredients you have laying around YOUR kitchen! Unfortunately I was unable to post the pictures of this dish today but check back tomorrow for photos.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce (can subsitute for Teriyaki, Soy Vey, or your marinade of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons Sesame Seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chopped Garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 – 1 lb chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into bite-sizes pieces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup butternut squash (or any vegetable of your choice)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 package pre-cooked brown rice
  • 1 Ziploc Steam Bag
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce (optional)
  • Sriracha (optional)

Preparation

1. Combine the chicken tenders, garlic, Hoisin Sauce, chili flakes, and sesame seeds in a plastic bag and marinate for at least a half hour.

2. Dice vegetables and prepare rice (if not using pre-cooked brown rice).

Hoisin Chicken Sautee3. Coat and heat a medium or large saucepan sprayed with Pam. Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and cook in sautee pan for about 3-4 minutes or until the tops of the chicken tenders become less pink.

Hoisin Chicken with Green OnionsSteamed Vegetables4. Once the chicken starts cooking through turn the tenders over and add the green onions. While the chicken finishes cooking, microwave the pre-cooked rice and the vegetables (in the Ziploc steam bag) and heat them based on the package directions. Be sure to steam the spinach separately as it takes a very short time to steam.

5. Once the vegetables, rice, and chicken have finished cooking, place 3/4 cup of rice, 1 cup of vegetables, and three chicken tenders in each of two bowls and serve. Feel free to top with soy sauce or sriracha.

Hoisin Chicken with Steamed Vegetables

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Curried Chicken Penne with Peach Chutney

Maybe it’s because I live in “Curry Hill” but I’ve really taken a liking to curry and just Indian food in general. I’ve made a few curries in my day and this is my favorite recipe so far. Usually I head over to Kalustyan’s, which is a great specialty food shop in the neighborhood. I get all my exotic spices there, as it’s very convenient and reasonably priced!

I initially saw the recipe for Curried Chicken Penne with Fresh Mango Chutney on Cooking Light.com and never got around to making it. I slightly altered the recipe, as the original was a bit too sweet for my taste. But I must admit that the addition of pasta is a great substitute for rice given its texture and tastes even better when served the next day! This dish was teriffic and very easy to make, though it does require using multiple pans. If you have mango chutney on hand or can make it a day ahead I would recommend using it so there is less of a cleanup. Using something on hand also cuts back on cooking time.

I also substituted peach for the mango in the chutney and only used 1 tbsp brown sugar total to reduce the sweetness. I tend to like my curry a little spicy so I added 1/2 tsp of tumeric and used chili paste instead of red curry paste.

Before you go ahead an make this delicious dish, I would like to pass on a few pointers:

  • If you cook curries or thai food on somewhat of a regular basis, I suggest purchasing a bottle of fish sauce as the flavor is much more suited to this dish (though soy sauce would suffice)
  • You should probably cook the three main components of this dish simultaneously (pasta, chutney, & chicken) so be mindful of the cooking time each part is called for
  • I also suggest simmering the chutney on low heat after it boils to synchronize the timing with the chicken and pasta. The great thing about the chutney is that you can continue to add small amounts of water as it simmers, without lessening the flavor, if it begins to dry out

Ingredients

Chutney:

  • 2 cups diced peeled ripe mangos or peaches (about 2)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water (use accordingly)
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger (or ground ginger)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Chicken:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste (or red chilli paste)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cups hot cooked penne rigate (about 2 cups uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
Cookware:
  • 2 medium – large saucepans
  • 1 medium pot (pasta)

Preparation

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates and mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.

2. While the chutney is simmering, heat oil in a separate large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chicken; sauté 5 minutes. Combine coconut milk and next 4 ingredients (coconut milk through fish sauce), stirring with a whisk. Add coconut mixture to pan; bring to a simmer. Add broccoli and cauliflower; cover and cook 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in chutney and pasta; toss well to combine.