Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kind of, sort of

I love Thanksgiving recipes as much as the next lady. I love the hue of a reddish-brown crisp smoked turkey skin. I could (check that: have) eaten an entire pan of cornbread-sausage stuffing. Pie? Give me lots, especially if it's pecan.

But there is a soft underbelly to the culinary beast that churns out autumnal recipe after autumnal recipe on every television show, blog, and perfect glossy magazine cover that quietly mocks reality from its perch astride the checkout aisle. And that is: recipes that have nothing at all to do with Thanksgiving. Because, face it, you need a break. In the midst of the harvest revelry, you need something to eat that is completely unrelated to the last Thursday of November.

Enter pad see ew.

Except, wait a minute. Asian dishes kind of, sort of, do have something to do with Thanksgiving. At least this year. Because this year, for the first time in nearly a century, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlap. And if there's one genre of food that I think of when I think of Jewish eating around the holidays, it's Asian. Who among us doesn't know a Jew who craves Chinese in December?

So if your Thanksgiving table will be adorned by a menurkey, perhaps you might want to find time in your eating schedule for this delicious mix of rice noodles, chicken, eggs, broccolini, and garlic. It is so freaking tasty. I mean, SO FREAKING TASTY.

Happy Thanksgivingukkah! 


Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

Like every single thing that America's Test Kitchen does, this recipe is perfection. Perfection.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut against the grain into 1/4-inch slices

1 t. baking soda
8 oz. rice noodles
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. oyster sauce
1 T. plus 2 t. soy sauce
2 T. packed dark brown sugar
1 T. white vinegar
1 t. molasses
1 t. fish sauce
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
3 eggs
2 bunches broccolini (roughly 12 oz.), florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stalks cut on bias into 1/2-inch pieces

Prep the chicken: Combine the chicken with 2 T. water and baking soda in bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Rinse chicken in cold water and drain well.

Prep the rice noodles: Bring 6 c. water to a boil. Place noodles in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles. Stir, then soak until noodles are almost tender, about 8 minutes, stirring once halfway through the soak. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and toss with 2 t. vegetable oil.
Make the sauce: Whisk oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, molasses, and fish sauce together in a bowl.
Cook the garlic, chicken, and eggs: Heat 2 t. oil and garlic in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is deep golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add chicken and 2 T. of the sauce mixture, toss to coat, and spread the chicken into even layer in the pan. Cook, without stirring, until chicken begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. The trick here is to have the patience to allow the chicken to brown without turning it. You might be tempted to stir. Don't. Let the chicken sit there and develop fabulous color. Using tongs, flip chicken and cook, without stirring, until second side begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Push chicken to one side of the skillet. Add 2 t. oil to cleared side of skillet. Add the eggs to the clearing. Using a rubber spatula, stir eggs gently and cook until set. Stir the eggs into chicken and continue to cook, breaking up large pieces of egg, until eggs are fully cooked, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer chicken mixture to a large bowl.

Cook the broccolini: Heat 2 t. oil in the now-empty skillet until smoking. Add broccolini and 2 T. of the sauce mixture and toss to coat. Cover the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove the lid and continue to cook until broccolini is crisp and very brown in spots, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Transfer broccolini to the bowl with the chicken mixture.

Cook the noodles in two batches: Heat 2 t. oil in the now-empty skillet until smoking. Add half the noodles and 2 T. of the sauce mixture and toss to coat. Cook until noodles start to brown in spots, about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Transfer noodles to the bowl with the chicken mixture. Repeat with remaining 2 t. oil, remaining noodles, and the rest of the sauce mixture.

Mix it all together: When the second batch of noodles is cooked, add the contents of the bowl back to the skillet and toss to combine. Cook, without stirring, until everything is warmed through, 1 to 1½ minutes.

Commence devouring.

Serves 4, technically, but each and every time I make it Husband and I eat the whole thing in one sitting.


Previously, on A Stove With A House Around It:

One year ago: maple-stout bread
Two years ago: fig-walnut pie
Three years ago: apple and cheddar scones
Four years ago: caramelized onion and brie mashed potatoes
Five years ago: herb breadsticks


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