Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's for dinner?

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My blog friend SheBakesCakes at The Marrying Cake posted about a newsletter she receives from Gwyneth Paltrow called GOOP. This recipe was highlighted in the October edition (and on SheBakesCakes' blog). I made it for dinner Monday night, and it was delicious, that rare combination of enough flavor for Robert and me to enjoy it but plain enough not to scare off my finicky children. I served the chicken with brown rice and steamed vegetables, like she suggested.

CARAMELIZED BLACK PEPPER CHICKEN

I (Gwyneth) recently found this recipe in Food & Wine magazine. It’s from Charles Phan, who runs the great Vietnamese restaurant, Slanted Door, in San Francisco. When I make it, I use a little less sugar, a lot more cilantro and organic chicken breasts (I prefer the texture of white meat in this preparation). This literally takes minutes, is so easy and tastes like what you always imagine take-out will taste like (but sadly never does). Serve this with jasmine or brown rice and stir-fried or steamed vegetables.

SERVES: 4 generously
TIME: 10 minutes

2/3 cup dark brown sugar (unrefined)
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons finely grated garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
1 or 2 fresh Thai chilies (to your taste!), halved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 pounds organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces (1/2”)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, ginger, pepper and chili and reserve.In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the shallots until softened and a bit brown, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and stir-fry, browning it all over, about a minute. Add the sugar mixture and simmer over high heat until the chicken is totally cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Eloise's notes: If you include prep time, this takes longer than 10 minutes, probably more like 25. I used about ¼ cup Sugar in the Raw and a ¼ cup regular dark brown sugar. After one minute, my chicken wasn't anything close to brown, so I had to cook it longer; I think perhaps my pan wasn't hot enough. I used a red jalapeno pepper, seeded, instead of Thai chilies because that's what I had.

8 comments:

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Yum! Sounds good. Gwyneth Paltrow reads food and wine mag? Gwyneth cooks??

Who knew?

JoAnn said...

Have you seen Gwyneth on a Food Network series with Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, and some Spanish actress? They travel around Spain, looking at the cuisine, etc. EXCEPT that the show is all about THEM! Gwyneth and Batali especially are so obnoxious.

I watched it twice and never again. They were just so full of themselves.I really liked Mario before I watched this.

Amber M. said...

Holy yumminess! I think my kids might like this one, too.

librarianlisa said...

Gwyneth does all the cooking for her household.

I get GOOP, too, but I must have missed that recipe. Will have to give it a try.

Kappa Prep said...

Yum! This pictured made me wish I had eaten a big dinner!

Erin said...

This looks REALLY good, Eloise! I want to try it. It is a bit different, and looks fun and healthy. And Gynneth! Wow, who knew she could cook??

3 Peanuts said...

Sounds really good..I will try it soon:)

Thank you for the b-day wishes:)

Kim

The Mrs. said...

Sounds amazing. I will definitely try it! Love that newsletter! Signed up to get it myself! Thanks for mentioning it!