One of the things I've been doing is reading other people's recipe blogs. One I'm particularly fond of is Budget Bytes, which is a handy guide for making tasty, filling foods that are not terribly expensive. One of the best things about this blog is that the author, Beth, includes photographs of every step of the cooking process, and discusses why she made the choices she did along the way. This way, you can learn which parts are necessary, and which are optional.
I've made several things from that blog as-is, without modifications: the Easy Sesame Chicken, for instance, which is seriously just like the stuff from Chinese restaurants, or the Tandoori Chicken Bites, which should be familiar to anyone who's had "chicken tikka" at an Indian place. I can also recommend the Chili Cheese Beef n' Mac recipe, for a "like Hamburger Helper, but better" experience, or the Yellow Jasmine Rice if you want some amazing yellow rice. Try those out!
But that's not what today is about. Today is about a recipe that I saw on the site, thought looked good, but then decided that I wanted to change. I ended up changing...well...everything, except the core ingredients. The recipe in question is Beth's Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Thighs, which she does using bone-in chicken thighs, and preparing the pineapple-teriyaki sauce as a glaze to coat the thighs in before baking.
Well, I liked the sounds of this, but I didn't want to do the baking of the thighs thing, for two reasons: first, one of my gamers, Kali (pronounced "Kaylee"), has problems with chicken, but not with turkey, so I usually use turkey, and second, bone-in turkey thighs are damned hard to find at my local grocery stores. So, I had a thought of reworking it to be a simmer sauce, cooking the turkey with the sauce in a skillet instead.
After some experimenting, I came up with this, which has a different balance of ingredients, so I am just going to write everything out.
- 3 pounds of chicken or turkey. Chicken thighs work great, but so do turkey breasts or thighs.
- 3 cloves of garlic. Or 4, if you want. Garlic is always good, yes?
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger paste, or the equivalent of grated fresh ginger. You don't want to use powdered ginger for this. Be advised that if you use fresh, it's probably more potent than the ground ginger paste.
- 3/4 cup soy sauce.
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of rice vinegar.
- 1 tablespoon corn starch.
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil.
- 2 tablespoons of regular vegetable oil. Canola works fine.
- 2 18 oz jars of pineapple jam.
- 2 tablespoons of sriracha sauce. This will add a bit of a kick, but not be overwhelmingly hot.
Also, you will want some kind of starch, either rice or pasta, to serve it over. I usually use egg noodles, but you can use other kinds of pasta as well. The sauce is very sticky, so it will have no trouble coating a long pasta, and it will also hold together on top of rice very well.
For equipment, you will need a cutting board, a large skillet, some measuring spoons (or just tablespoons), measuring cup, big kitchen knife, a big stirring spoon, a couple of small mixing bowls, and a bowl to serve with.
First, mince the garlic into small bits. If you're using fresh ginger, grate this finely as well. Keep this in a small bowl. Now, mix in one of the other mixing bowls the soy sauce, rice vinegar, pineapple jam, and sriracha sauce. This can sit for a bit.
Now cut up the chicken or turkey into small chunks, suitable for stir-frying or simmering.
Put the sesame oil and vegetable oil in the skillet and put it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, put in the garlic and ginger, and roast that slightly in the oil for about a minute. Then, add the meat and turn the heat up to high. Brown the chicken or turkey, and then add the mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, jam, and sriracha.
Once that's mixed in, get the corn starch and mix in just enough water to make a slurry, then pour that in to the sauce. Mix it together, and then let it simmer on medium-high for about twenty minutes. This is a good time to make your noodles or rice.
After twenty minutes, take the chicken and sauce off of the heat and pour it into a serving bowl. Let it stand for a few minutes to thicken up a bit, and then serve over the noodles or rice.
That's it! And remember our motto at Cooking With Flew: "Less time cooking means more time eating!"