Put This Thai-ish Chicken Veggie Grain Bowl Business DIRECTLY IN YOUR FACE
Let's get this right out of the way. I am under no illusions about being some kind of expert of Thai cooking or any other kind of Asian cooking. I am a white boy who grew up rockin' the suburbs. But I also like to play in the kitchen and experiment and learn things, and I've been exploring a lot of different kinds of Asian cooking lately. So I created this Thai-ish chicken veggie grain bowl business thing the other night that turned out just wonderful, and also easy as fuck, and I decided to recipe hub it for you.
This is a good "Hmmmm, what do I have in my produce drawer" kind of recipe, by the way. That was my point. I needed to use some carrots and cilantro and half a huge red onion and a lime. Having little success knocking out all these things in one recipe in my go-to cookbooks, I ventured into the "search by ingredients" section of AllRecipes, and I found ... a thing. A thing calling itself Thai chicken. Perusing the ingredients, I was like yeah OK this is easy enough but in its current state it doesn't appear to be Thai in any way, beyond the toppings at the end.
So I made it more Thai. And I made it more fun.
And now you can put it in your mouth!
I dunno, four probably comfortably.
How long it takes:
One DVR-ed episode of Rachel Maddow.
1 cup quinoa (That's what the inspiration recipe called for, so I stuck with it. But if you have some long grain white rice, do rice. Got some couscous? Sure why not.)
Sliced fresh mushrooms. 1/2 cup? A cup? Whatever. Any kind. What kind do you like?
4 cloves garlic, chopped. (When reading this recipe, you should know How I Garlic. If it's a recipe and I don't know and trust the source, I automatically double whatever it says. If I think it was some user-submitted thing from a suburbanite who has it on their bucket list to go to Italy and see if the local cuisine is as good as Olive Garden, I might triple it. Now you understand My Garlic Math. Square your garlic math with my garlic math and you will have the right amount.)
2 tbsp fish sauce, plus more if you want it (if this is not in your fridge, it should be)
1 tbsp light soy sauce (this is NOT the same thing as "low sodium soy sauce" — find it at the Asian or international market, or mayyyyybe in the international aisle at your market, if you have a good market)
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp ground Thai chile powder, plus more if you want to add more for fun, and for sprinkling on top at end. (Yes you can use other kinds of chile powder, but PLEASE SEE NOTE BELOW, VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THAI CHILE POWDER.)
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
freshly cracked black pepper
1 big carrot, grated (Or you could diagonal slice it all pretty! whatever. Also if you have two carrots in your fridge, just use 'em both.)
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced tomato (canned is fine)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 lime, quartered
fresh cilantro, for chopping at the very end and using as a topping
1 metric assload of sriracha if you like it spicy, less than that if you don't
How to make this business:
STEP ONE: Cook the quinoa or rice or couscous according to package instructions. Fluff with fork, add some salt 'n' pepper if you want, set aside to cool.
STEP TWO: While that's happening, dice up your chicken into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl and add the fish sauce, light soy sauce, light brown sugar, chile powder and salt and pepper. Mix it all up real nice and let it marinate at least 10 minutes, but if you have time, prep that part a few hours early and stick it in the fridge.
STEP THREE: Heat up about a tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high-ish heat in a big skillet. Once it's hot, toss in the mushrooms and garlic and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring fairly often, two or three minutes, until it starts to look and smell real good. Remove to a plate and cover for warmness purposes.
STEP FOUR: Time to cook that chicken! Add a little more olive oil to pan, if necessary, then cook until all the pink bits are gone, including the pink bits on the inside — just cook the chicken, OK? — about 10 minutes.
STEP FIVE: Add the carrot, onion, tomato and scallions. Little more salt and pepper. More fish sauce? Sure why not! More chile powder? Yessssssssssss. Taste your food while you are cooking, see how it seems to be going for your tastes. Do this part, with stirring and tasting and cooking your vegetables, for about three minutes.
STEP SIX: Add the mushrooms and garlic back into the pan, hit it with the rice vinegar and maybe a squeeze of the lime — just do that "acid" thing. This is the "acid" part of "Salt Fat Acid Heat." Now give it some good stirs and make sure it's all mixed nice and turn off the heat.
STEP SEVEN CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: Want to go ahead and add the quinoa to the pot of chicken and veggies? You can. Or you can just serve the chicken and veggies on top of the quinoa, if you are a normal person who enjoys the perverse pleasure of immediately mixing everything together once you have your personal bowl in front of you. Throw some chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice on top, douse that motherfucker with sriracha and maybe more chile powder, and EAT IT.
And there you go! You are eating dinner now and watching your stories, and you have leftovers for tomorrow. Also, it's pretty low-carby, unless you used white rice, in which case, LIVE YOUR LIFE.
IMPORTANT CHILE POWDER NOTE:
I have discovered the wonders of having real chile powder from real dried chiles in my house at all times. If you don't want to fool with it, don't, but it's stupid easy. This I am stealing directly from Pepper Teigen, mother of Chrissy Teigen, who is maybe canceled at the moment, dunno, I try to avoid reading the internet, but her mom isn't and those recipes for sure aren't. It takes no time and you will have fresh chile powder in your house for 100 YEARS. Click here for the how-to.
Now you may have your OPEN THREAD!
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