Monday, October 7

Grilled Chicken Broccoli Bowls (Take Out Fake Out)

Happy Monday to you. So do you have a favorite take out dish? I must admit when thinking about take out I think about stuff I never let myself eat like orange chicken or beef & broccoli. That stuff tastes so good but my stomach just doesn't like me afterwards so its probably been 2-3 years since I have had it. That doesn't mean I don't crave it though.... So in response to my craving I made this. Being fall in southern Arizona it is the perfect time to grill indoors or out so I modified the recipe to reflect that, and added my own touches like extra onion, sesame seeds, chicken breast instead of chicken thighs, raw almonds, less amount of oil, ect.... 

It is an easy 30 minute meal (some of it can be made in advance if you chose to save some time). My family tried it yesterday and liked how it tasted like good take out minus the grease and delivery charge. Nothin' spectacular but it was relaxing to just hand everyone a bowl they could comfortably eat and watch the football game(s). Family approved. Kiddo friendly (thanks to the sugar I am sure wink wink). In my challenge to do 30 new Rachael Ray recipes in 30 days this is recipe number 12 taken from February 2010 magazine issue. It is easy, pretty fast to throw together, and uses fresh healthy ingredients. 

Note: I would've used brown rice but only had white. Feel free to use whatever you have in your pantry.

Grilled Chicken Bowls
Serves 4 
cook + prep time: approx 30 minutes

Ingredient list:
1 1/2 cups of rice, brown or white
3 cups of chicken stock (I used homemade)
4 chicken breasts halves, pounded slightly thin
1 bunch of broccoli (approx 1 1/2 cups), chopped
2 green onions, thinly diced
1/2 white onion, finely diced (2 stalks of celery or 1 leek would be a good sub or addition)
1 cup almonds, raw, roughly chopped
1/2 Tbs worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbs mirin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 Tbs soy sauce, low sodium
3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs olive oil
2-3 Tbs roasted or toasted sesame seeds
Optional: Soy sauce for serving

There are lots of little steps to this dish but they are all pretty easy. You can do it. 


1. In a medium size bowl or gallon sized freezer bag combine the ingredients to marinate the chicken (this can be done in advance and stored covered in the fridge & I suspect it can be frozen but haven't tried it for sure yet). Whisk together half of the garlic, all of the soy sauce, sugar, 1/2 Tbs of the cornstarch, mirin, and worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  Whisk all the ingredients then add the chicken and let it sit in it for 20 minutes. Turning it over half way through to fully coat the chicken. 

2. While chicken is marinating, heat a small-medium skillet over medium high heat and toast the raw almonds for 3-5 minutes. The pan should be empty just almonds. Pretty easy just don't walk away from the stove. Trust me. Burnt almonds = yuck! As soon as you can smell them, or grab one & carefully and taste it, and it seems done, it probably is.  Remove them from the pan and put them in a small bowl. 

3. While almonds are toasting, start your rice. Put all of the chicken stock/broth and rice in a pot and turn it on high until it starts to boil. Reduce heat to low, and cover for 12-15 minutes if making white rice. Otherwise follow the directions on your package for any other kind. Let the rice sit for a 5 minutes and then fluff it with a fork. 

4. In the same pan you toasted your almonds in, put 1/4-1/2 cup of water and all of the broccoli and dried rosemary. Cook it for about 3-5 minutes on high. It should be boiling but the water should not even come up to half of the vegetable. You want it to boil/steam itself to tender crisp. When the broccoli is done, remove it from the pan, 
dump the water out and dry it out. 

5. While rice and broccoli are cooking heat up your indoor grill pan or outside bbq. Pull the chicken out of the marinade and on to a plate or bowl. Remove any garlic pieces that may have gotten stuck to the outside of the chicken these will burn if you don't. Burned garlic = yuck. 

6. Grill your chicken for 5-7 minutes each side. Don't move it around to avoid ripping the thin chicken breast. Once the chicken is ready to be turned over you will know because it will have loosened itself. You can test this by picking up a corner of it. If its easy to lift up the corner, flip it. If you feel like you have to yank or pull it leave it be. Leave the force with Luke. No force needed with chicken. 

7. Heat the olive oil in the same pan you just used for the broccoli (trying to save on clean up later - can you tell?). Add the white onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add in the remaining garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes watching so it doesn't get dark. 

8. In a cup combine the remaining cornstarch (1 Tbs) and 1/2 cup of water. Dump this mixture into the onions and turn the heat to low. Add the broccoli back in and cook for another 2 minutes while the sauce thickens up. 

9. Serve up the food. See picture below. First a scoop or two of rice goes into each bowl, then the broccoli mixture, then grilled chicken cut on a bias or chopped for kiddos, then green onions for freshness, crunch & color, last but not least sprinkle on the toasted nutty almonds and roasted/toasted sesame seeds. 

Great easy dinner. Took lots of steps to explain it but the flavor combo will win you over and you might even not grab take out the next time you are craving it, and use boneless skinless healthy chicken and broccoli instead. In our house I added some soy sauce to mine but thats just I do that with most dishes like that.... optional.  
from my kitchen to yours

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