Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Quick Fix


     Sometimes, you do not have the time. It is not a Saturday to leisurely watch Challah dough rise. It is not a Wednesday night without work to bake cookies. No, it is a Sunday. The Sunday before the first chemistry exam of the semester no less. And on such a Sunday, there is no time. So, breakfast and lunch got by on Challah bread and Veggie Curry respectively. They were delicious and comforting to the less-than-happy Chemistry studier. But, now its dinner time. What's a dinner I can make in ridiculously little time and yet still feel happy blogging about? It was an easy question to answer: Soy Sauce Chicken.

     This is not my recipe. It comes to me from my friend SZ who got it from her mom. Arriving at SZ's apartment in NYC late one night after the two hour bus-ride from Philly, I was starving. She put this dish together in no time flat, and it was amazing. Filling, warming, healthy, and with all the necessary ingredients for a good meal: chicken, veggies, Flavor. I have been wanting to replicate it ever since I got home. 

     Of course, I'm probably going to be committing blasphemy when I put this dish together. Unlike SZ, I do not have fresh ginger root on hand. I also don't remember the exact proportions, or even ingredients she used. I do remember: 1 part soy sauce to 2 parts water (and I didn't even stick with that...) But that was as good a starting point as any. I hope she and her mom forgive my changes, they are done with an eye to what is in my fridge and pantry, not because I didn't love the original. Now, to wing it!

     I started with the basics: soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, onions, and the piece of chicken. Then, I realized I had a lot of soy sauce and water, and a very small piece of chicken. I was already bemoaning the lack of mushrooms, which SZ had put in the dish, to soak up some liquids. Then I remembered! Udon noodles in the fridge. And, that is how my dinner came to be. It was filling, the chicken was moist and delicious, and the udon noodles had soaked up the gingery-soy saucy flavor. I did miss those mushrooms though, add them if you make this dish! They take it above and beyond. Still, I now feel full and prepared to tackle thermodynamics in all its varied forms.

Soy Sauce Chicken

Serves 1 (To multiply simply add more chicken thighs and the other ingredients in proportion to how much chicken you have. If you are not using an entire packet of udon, you could probably fit another chicken thigh in the amount of liquid I have given and be absolutely fine; I had a lot of sauce left over after my dinner.)  

1 Chicken Thigh
1/4 cup Soy Sauce 
3/4 cup Water 
1 tbsp Sugar 
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Onion, Finely Chopped
1/4 tsp Ginger Powder
1 clove Garlic, Minced    
1/2 cup Baby Spinach 
1 packet Udon Noodles (optional) 
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced (optional; recommended) 

In a small saucepan set to medium heat, add and mix the the soy sauce, water, sugar, lemon juice, onion, ginger powder, and garlic. Trim the excess fat off of the chicken thigh, and place it in the mixture. (You do not have to cut the thigh into pieces.) Simmer the mixture and chicken for fifteen minutes, turning the chicken once in a while if it is not fully covered in liquid. Then, add the udon noodles and/or mushrooms (if using). Stir in, and simmer mixture for another fifteen minutes. Serve! 

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