Friday, January 28, 2011

Chinese Chicken Casserole

I may have mentioned before, Curtis hates casseroles. It's such a shame, because I LOVE them. However, it's a bit of a conundrum for Curtis. On the evenings I am not at home to clean up or help with bedtime, Curtis wants minimal dishes to clean up after supper. That leaves two choices: Chick-Fil-A or pizza or a casserole. I wasn't quite desperate enough last night to go with eating out, so I decided to try a new casserole I saw over on thekitchen (it's casserole week over there---perfect!)

Success! Everyone loved it. The kids gobbled it up and Curtis thought it was fabulous, in fact on of the "best meals I've had in a while," to quote him. I liked it because one pot to clean, it was healthy, and it didn't use tons of meat. It is slightly more expensive dish to make because of the shitake mushrooms. The dish is restaurant good though, so if you think about ordering food at a even a cheap Chinese restaurant for 6 people, this recipes gives you pretty good bang for your buck.

BTW--My computer is having issues with blogger these days (this is the second time I am typing this post, the first time I published I got %20 between every word). Additionally, any time I try to upload a picture my computer either gives me a "Bad Request" message or crashes, depending on my browser. Please forgive the lack of pictures until I get this whole mess straightened out (grrr...computers).

This recipe serves 6.

Chinese Chicken Casserole
adapted slightly from

1/4 c soy sauce
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t sesame oil
2 t cornstarch
1 lb boneless, skinless chickens, cut into 1/2" cubes (the recipe suggested breasts, but I had thighs so that's what I used)
3 scallions, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece ginger, grated
2 oz smoked, cured (room temp safe) Italian salami, cut into 1/4" cubes
10 oz fresh shitake mushrooms, caps thinly sliced and stems discarded
1 T olive oil
2 c Jasmine rice (or regular rice will work too)
1 t salt
4 c chicken stock

Whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Put the chicken, scallions, garlic, and ginger in a medium bowl. Pour the sauce over top, and toss to coat. Place the chicken mixture in the fridge to marinate until you are ready for it.

Heat an oven safe pot (like a Dutch oven, 3 qt size or bigger) on medium high heat until hot. Add the sausage, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the sausage has released its fat and the bottom of the pot is slick with sausage fat. Add the mushrooms and turn the heat back up to medium-high. Let the mushrooms cook, without stirring for 5 minutes. Stir them over and cook another 3 minutes, watching to be sure mushrooms don't burn (if mushrooms look like they are browning too quickly, reduce heat to medium). Add 1 T oil to the pot and add the rice. Saute briefly, then add the salt, chicken mixture, and stock. Bring to a boil.

Cover tightly with an oven-safe lid (no plastic) or foil, and bake in preheated 350 degrees oven for 45 minutes, or until rice is done. Test the rice for doneness before removing from oven. After the casserole is removed from the oven, keep covered and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Stir thoroughly so mushrooms and rice are mixed together. Serve with chopped scallions for garnish, extra soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce if desired (which I didn't desire doing for any of those three).

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