Chinese Chicken Dinner
4 boneless chicken thighs
2-3 bok choy
4 sweet potatoes (preferably Japanese white sweet potato)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2oz rice vinegar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon togarashi
1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
½ teaspoon fresh grated garlic
½ teaspoon grated lemongrass
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons miso paste
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon coconut oil
Ginger, lemongrass, turmeric—the flavors of Asia are some of my favorite, that’s why I always have them in my freezer. For me these flavors are an easy go to when cooking a quick meal at home.
Without these flavors, the following recipe would be undoubtedly plain. It’s the combination of all the flavors together that turn this dish into an umami bomb, leaving you wanting more.
Step 1- Marinate the chicken
Place chicken thighs in a large mixing bowl and mix in the following: 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon togarashi, ½ teaspoon fresh grated turmeric, ½ teaspoon garlic, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon lemongrass, and 1 teaspoon honey.
Nest, gently toss the chicken with marinade to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and set in fridge for at least two hours.
Step 2- Cook the taters
Wash your sweet potatoes and wrap individually in aluminum foil sheets. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, then let cool for 5 minutes. Remove skin then place in a food processor with coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Process on high for 1 minute.
Chef’s tip: I suggest using Japanese white sweet potatoes. However, if you chose to use them, you will need to add a bit more water to achieve a smooth consistency as they tend to have a lower water content than regular sweet potatoes.
Step 3- Cook the chicken
Preheat a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and immediately add your chicken thighs, giving them a quick swirl through the pan. Turn the heat to medium and let cook for 6 minutes, or until a deep caramelization has occurred. Place into the 350 degree oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
When the chicken is done, remove the thighs and drain any excess fat. Deglaze the pan with 1oz rice wine vinegar. Next, add 1 dash of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon soy. Reduce until syrupy, then add 1 teaspoon miso and 1 tablespoon butter. Whish in pan to emulsify. Place chicken back in pan and glaze with the sauce. Reserve on low heat.
Step 4 – Make the veg
Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add a good amount of salt to the water, then blanch bok choy in boiling water for 45 seconds. Transfer immediately to a large sauté pan with a bit of the water. Place on high heat and season with 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon miso, and 1 tablespoon butter. Swirl to combine.
Chef’s tip: Instead of seasoning the bok choi separately, you could blanch it and then place it in the pan with the chicken and sauce. This will not look as clean on the plate at the end, but will add amazing flavor.
Step 5- Putting it together
Take a large spoon full of the white sweet potato puree and dollop it onto the plate like you would whipped cream on a pie.
Next, take your chicken and place it on plate close to but not touching the puree. After, build the bok choy in the remaining space. Finally, take any leftover sauce and spoon directly over the chicken. Serve immediately.
Until next time,
Chef Josh Charles