Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowls

I know you're shocked to see a new recipe from me, but see my last post for why I've been away.  The bottom line, however, is that I'm back, and I'm eating chicken yakitori rice bowls!

My sister had a baby two weeks ago, and I came to Houston to help her and her husband for a little while.  You know, making sure they have food and all of that good stuff.  Tonight I made this Asian dish that I'll be sure to repeat at home.  It's kind of funny because my sister and I both married Asian men, so we enjoy sharing recipes suited to their palates.  (Before you say it, yes, my sister's little Chinese baby is absolutely adorable!)

Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowls

2 (3.5-ounce) bags boil-in-bag basmati rice
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
8 ounces snow peas, halved lengthwise diagonally
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Combine soy sauce and next 4 ingredients (through broth) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken thighs to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer to a cutting board; cool slightly. Cut into (1-inch) strips.

Return pan to medium-high heat; add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add snow peas and onions; sauté 2 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture and chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is syrupy and chicken is thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Place 1 cup rice in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 cup chicken mixture.

Update: I just posted the Asian Broccoli served with this dish.

You need to look at all of one of my posts to realize I'm a huge fan of prep work.  Not like, "Oh, I enjoy it!" but more like, "This will keep me from completely screwing up this recipe."  I have especially come to appreciate prep as I've done more Asian recipes that involve high heat and quick cooking.  In short, when there's a stir-fry happening, it's not the time to try measuring out rice vinegar.  In the above picture, I've got my sugar in a Pinch Bowl with a Measuring Spoon sticking out, and my liquid ingredients are in Easy-Read Measuring Cups.  Then I've got a 1.5-Qt. Executive Saucepan, and everything is resting on the Flexible Cutting Mats.  Why two mats?  Because I was too lazy to get one out from underneath the other.  Sorry.

I like a knife that makes quick work of a full bunch of green onions.  The 5" Santoku Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection is my absolute favorite knife ever!  I use it constantly, and it's the one I always recommend people try first if they prefer to build a set one knife at a time.  Here, I'm using it on a Flexible Cutting Mat, and I'm putting my sliced onions in the 2-Qt. Stainless Mixing Bowl.

Soooo... Here's what happened with the chicken.  Betsy and I were going to make our mom's chicken & dumplings recipe, but we quickly decided that was a little ambitious considering that one of us just had a baby, and the other just wasn't up to trying and failing.  That decision was made after purchasing a whole chicken, so then came the question of what to do with the bird.  Ever the resourceful home chef, I decided I'd just cut the dark meat up for this recipe instead of buying boneless, skinless thighs.  Then I opened the package and found whatever this thing is.  Um, is that the spine or something?  There's only one thing to do when you're in charge of putting dinner on the table for new parents, and that's to power through.  Enter: wine.  A couple of hearty gulps, and I was able to manhandle the pieces of chicken that were actually, well, pieces of chicken.  Wash your hands between touching the meat and wine, kids.  No cross contamination!  (That's the Large Cutting Board, by the way.)

I cut the chicken before cooking it since I used whole. pieces. of. the. dead. bird., so my pictures are going to look different from what you'll read in the recipe.  That's the Stir-Fry Skillet, and I'm making magic with the Bamboo Spatula Set.

Then comes the color!  How great does it look with those snow peas and onions?  Oh, and you should have smelled that delicious sauce hit the pan!

This really was a great dish, one I'm looking forward to making my husband soon.  Thanks, Cooking Light, for yet another big hit!

Does this face say, "Wow, that yakitori stuff smells delicious!" or what?
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