Chinese food is one of my all time FAVORITE types of cuisines, and when it's done right, it's pretty unbeatable. Because we are hunkering down on the ranch, that means no Chinese takeout for us... BUT, with a few simple ingredients, I was able to create a takeout dinner right in my own kitchen. Like I said, I am using this time to get creative behind the stove. Boy, the effort is paying off.
My Chinese food menu includes "fried" rice, soy and honey glazed chicken thighs alongside some roasted broccoli. This meal provided four servings and cost me probably $20.00. Chicken thighs are a very inexpensive cut of meat that is perfectly freezer friendly. I like to think of them as a blank canvas for flavor. If you have rice, a few vegetables and soy sauce/sesame oil on hand, you too can put together an Asian inspired dinner for cheaper than your go-to restaurant. Let me show you how I did it...
Here's what you'll need:
For The Chicken
4 skin-on chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
Avocado or olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon honey
3-4tbsps soy sauce (eyeball this)
3-4 tbsps red wine (or white wine, or rice wine) vinegar
2-3 drops sesame oil
For The Rice
Cooked white or brown rice
1/2 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic chopped
3 carrots finely diced
Green peas or edamame
Beginning with the chicken:
1) In a measuring cup, whisk together your honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar. I encourage you to use your palette and adjust each ingredient as needed! Once again, I'm really bad at measuring but I've tried to include relative numbers above.
2) In an oven safe skillet (if you do not have one, you can transfer the chicken thighs to a baking sheet), pour a little avocado oil or olive oil into the bottom and heat to medium-high. I like avocado oil because the heat tolerance is better than olive oil, but OO will work nicely too. Preheat your oven to 400F degrees.
3) Season your chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When the skillet is HOT, place your chicken thighs skin side down and brown. Don't touch them! Don't do it! When the skin no longer sticks to the bottom of the pan, you're ready to flip.
4) Pour in your sauce, remove from the heat, and place into the oven for 25 minutes or until the thighs read 165F degrees internally.
This is what your beautiful chicken thighs will look like once out of the oven. So, so good.
Now, the rice:
1) While your chicken is cooking, dice your onion, carrots and garlic.
2) In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat and toss in your veggies once hot. Cook until fragrant and the carrots begin to soften.
3) Once the veggies are soft, move to the side and crack one egg into the skillet. Quickly scramble then incorporate into the veggies.
4) Now, your peas or edamame! Add however much you'd like.
5) Add your rice into the skillet followed by soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil (careful, a little goes a long way). Taste for seasonings - how much soy sauce you put in is totally up to you. Then, just let everything cook together for a minute or two.
While the chicken was roasting, I tossed broccoli florets onto a foil lined baking sheeting and tossed them in olive oil plus house seasoning. Then, I allowed them to roast until soft and a touch golden brown. AND, there you have it! Homemade Chinese takeout for dinner. You won't regret making this one.