Saturday, November 5, 2011
2 Recipe #298: Miso-Glazed Chicken with Baby Bok Choy & Chinese Broccoli Stir-Fry
Here's another quick, easy, and delicious side dish, which I made for dinner yesterday. Guess you could say that this one could be classified as recipe number three of the "Resourceful Recipes series, as the ingredients themselves are fairly inexpensive. If you're looking for save a few dollars on specialty items like mirin and Chinese broccoli, I'd recommend buying your vegetables at an Asian grocery store. A lot of times, these items will cost far less than buying them at a generic grocery store. They will also typically be more authentic and, depending upon where you buy, often higher quality too. :)
Miso-Glazed Chicken with Baby Bok Choy & Chinese Broccoli Stir-Fry
Chicken Entrée Ingredients:
1 lb. (8 oz.) thinly sliced (about 1/4"-thick), skinless, boneless chicken breasts, rinsed, defatted, tendons removed, patted dry, and then cut on the bias (i.e., diagonally and against the grain) into 1 1/2"-wide strips*
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. garlic, peeled and finely minced (about 4 large cloves)
1 1/2 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and finely minced (about 1 1/2" piece)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp. crushed red chili pepper flakes, or to taste (depending upon heat preference)
2 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. MSG-free white miso paste
2 Tbsp. lukewarm water
Vegetable Stir-Fry Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil
1 Tbsp. garlic, peeled and finely minced (about 2 large cloves)
1 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and finely minced (about 1" piece)
1/3 c. shallots, peeled and minced (about 1 extra-large shallot)
2 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp. wasabi paste (optional)
1 c. Chinese broccoli, sliced crosswise into 1 1/2" pieces
2 c. bok choy, sliced crosswise into 1 1/2" pieces
1/4 c. scallions, sliced crosswise into 1/4" rounds (about 4 large scallions)
Directions: Prepare the chicken: First, place rinsed, cut chicken into a large, resealable plastic/Ziploc bag, allowing it to reach room temperature as you prepare the other ingredients, and then set it aside.
Next, make the garlic paste, using a large mortar and pestle: Place 2 Tbsp. garlic, 1 1/2 Tbsp. ginger, and 1/2 tsp. salt into the mortar and pulverize with the pestle until the mixture forms a smooth paste. (Or, you can use a food processor, if you prefer. I find it very satisfying to vigorously smash ingredients together by hand, but again, it's up to you. :-D )
Make the glaze: Add 1 Tbsp. mirin, 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, 1/4 tsp. crushed red chili pepper flakes, 2 tsp. honey, and 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds to the garlic paste mixture, and set aside. In a separate bowl, place 2 Tbsp. white miso paste into a small custard dish, followed by 2 Tbsp. lukewarm water. Allow miso to dissolve for 2-3 minutes, then stir until well-combined. Transfer miso paste mixture to mortar, thoroughly combine, and then pour entire mixture into the plastic/Ziploc bag containing the chicken. Allow to marinate for at least a 1/2 hour, or ideally, overnight.
Cook the chicken: In a large (12-13"), nonstick sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil on high heat until glistening, about 1-2 minutes. Then reduce heat to low, add chicken and sauté for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until golden brown. If necessary, cook in batches, so that chicken has enough room to cook evenly. (Tip: If chicken still hasn't browned enough to your liking, you can also speed up the process by putting it on the grill or in a 375°F preheated oven and crisping it for another 2-3 minutes.) Divide into 4 even portions, place onto plates, and set aside.
Make vegetable stir-fry: Mix together 1 Tbsp. garlic, 1 Tbsp. ginger, 1/3 c. shallots, 2 Tbsp. mirin, 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, and 1/4 tsp. wasabi paste, (if using), in a small bowl, and set aside. (You can reuse either the mortar or the custard dish you used earlier to minimize dishwashing.) Then, in the same pan you just used to cook the chicken, heat 1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil on high heat until glistening, about 1 minute. (Oil will heat faster due to residual heat.) Then reduce heat to low. Add ginger-garlic-shallot mixture to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add Chinese broccoli and bok choy, cover with lid, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until tender and liquid has (mostly) evaporated. Watch vegetables carefully, as they'll cook more quickly than you might expect, especially now that the pan has retained heat from previous use. Remove from heat, mix in scallions, and then transfer to plates, diving the stir-fry into 4 equal portions. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings.
Chef's Notes: Whatever you do, please do not substitute commercial ginger-garlic paste from a jar or tube. The ratio of salt to ginger and garlic in this recipe is very important, and if you use a pre-packaged, manufactured product, these ratios can vary drastically, thereby completely altering the flavor of the dish. This way, you can ensure consistency and the flavor balance (i.e., particularly the saltiness and strength) will be just right.
*If you are unable to find thinly sliced chicken fillets in the supermarket, just buy regular, skinless, boneless chicken breasts and tenderize them: Place chicken onto a large, clean, non-porous cutting board and cut into 2" wide strips. Cover with plastic wrap and pound with the bumpy, textured end of a meat mallet until flattened to a 1/4" thickness.
For a vegan or vegetarian adaptation of this dish, substitute tofu for the chicken.