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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chicken Teriyaki with Basil

I'm not a big fan of bottled sauces because they tend to be thick and salty and not so fresh tasting. So whenever I can make my own version, I try to. This is a good teriyaki recipe that doesn't take long, and doesn't require a lot of ingredients - it's also a good summer dinner. I like to use a combination of snow peas, baby bok choy and mushrooms but you could also add or substitute carrots, baby corn, or broccoli. I also like mine on the sweet side so you could do either the honey or the brown sugar instead of both.

2 chicken breasts - cut into 1/4 inch cubes (bite size)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp canola oil
Handful of snow peas
2 baby bok choys
5-6 dried shitake mushrooms (soaked in bowl of boiling water until soft, ~5 minutes)
2 cloves garlic
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger
1/4 cup mirin
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

* Serve over rice

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Add the cornstarch to the chicken broth and mix well. Set aside.

3. Heat a medium sized pan to medium high and add the oil. When hot, add the snow peas and bok choy and cook until slightly browned. You want the pan pretty hot, the vegetables won't take long at all so stir frequently! When done, remove from pan and set aside in a bowl.

4. Add a little more oil to the pan and turn down to medium. Add the chicken and stir frequently until cooked. (Don't over cook! The chicken will cook through fast, avoid it getting too dry). When done, add into the bowl of cooked vegetables.

5. Add a little more oil to the pan if you need to. At medium heat, add the garlic, shallots, and ginger until it smells good. Then add the mirin, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sugar and the cornstarch mixture. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any pieces from the pan and stir until sauce is thickened and bubbly. While sauce is thickening (this will only take a couple of minutes) chop the softened mushrooms into very small pieces and add to the bowl of chicken and vegetables.

6. When sauce is thickened, add the bowl of chicken and veggies and stir well so that it's all coated. If sauce is too watery, add a little more cornstarch to a little more water in a cup and pour in. If sauce is too thick - add some of the water that the mushrooms were soaking in.

7. Add basil and mix well.

Serve over jasmine rice.

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