Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken, Rice and Chinese Broccoli

Chinese broccoli is my new love.  It was cheap and tasty.  Even Brendan said he liked it a lot.  I have never used CB before, but I figured it was something like broccoli rabe.  I tasted it raw then blanched and then cooked.  It is very similar to broccoli rabe, but not as bitter.  If you can't find CB you can substitute any other spicy green.  I just liked using this because I was also able to use the stems too.  I cut off the leaves then peeled the rough outer layer of skin on the stems and then just sliced into little coins.  It made for a delicious crunchy texture in the dish. 

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch of chinese broccoli (I would say it was about 1-2 lbs.  The picture above shows half the bunch cut up)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • about an inch of fresh ginger root, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice (or whatever rice you like)
  • little less than 2 cups of water
  • water and salt for blanching
1.      Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2.      First I prepped the CB.  Wash and cut into smaller pieces.  Peeled and cut the stems into coin shapes.
3.      I used a 12 inch skillet (so I didn’t dirty more pans) and filled with water.  Bring it to a boil and add a small handful of salt.  Add the broccoli leaves and blanch for about 1-2 minutes to remove some of that raw bitter taste.  They will turn a vibrant green when done.
4.      You can do it the right way and shock the leaves in ice water- or (what I usually do) you can just rinse with cold water to slow down/stop the cooking.  The skillet should be empty now- I just added the stem coins to the still hot skillet and just let sit until the leaves and pan cooled.
5.      While you are letting the CB cool down, mince the garlic and reserve. 
6.      Now butterfly the chicken and cover with plastic wrap and pound out.  (see my chicken roulade recipe for more detailed instructions on this step)
7.      Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  In each chicken breast add a good sized handful of the CB (leaves and a couple stems) and half the garlic (so about a clove in each breast).  I grated about a tsp of ginger on top of all that on each breast as well.  You don't have to fit all the CB into the chicken, I had a good bit left over and added it to the rice- I especially liked the stems in the rice.
8.      Now roll up and I secured with a couple tooth picks.
9.      In the skillet that we used to blanch get some oil over high heat.  When the oil is super hot add the chicken and sear until golden brown on all sides.  When all brown add enough water to the skillet/pan to just coat the bottom- this will help the chicken to not dry out.  Cover loosely with tinfoil and put right into the oven for about 20 minutes. We just want the chicken to finish cooking though.
10.  After you put the chicken in, get a small pot and add the 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rice and 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil.  When it comes to a boil, reduce to simmer and keep partially covered.  It will take about 15-20 minutes.  When most of all the liquid is gone add the rest of the CB, turn off the heat, and cover.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Letting it sit is important.  Then fluff with a fork.
11.  When the chicken is done slice and serve over the rice.  Don’t forget to take the toothpicks out! I garnished with some red pepper flakes and used the juices from the chicken pan to drizzle over the top.

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