Tag Archives: Carrots

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho)

Being a military wife comes with certain…perks..haha I guess you could call them. It’s hard having the Mr. away for months at a time, but it’s nice to have my alone time, and we both find that it keeps the relationship fresh. Basically, we rarely get sick of each other and when we start to fight, it’s usually time for another sail! The part that I find hard when he comes home though, is figuring out what to make for dinner every night. My father in law visited us recently from Vancouver, and it was nice to have a piece of home here with us for a little while; but having two hungry men at home put a bit more pressure on me in the kitchen. I decided to pull out my signature dish (as my husband calls it), Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken; this dish is absolutely Ah-May-Zing! I got it from a blog years ago but can’t seem to track down the link, if anyone can help identify the original source that would be awesome! The recipe doesn’t call for any veggies to be added, and I’ve found that when I do, I don’t have a lot of sauce to coat my rice or noodles that I serve up with the dish; so, what I do is sauté them separately and then add them to the noodles/rice and pour the chicken and sauce over top, or just roast them seperately and serve them on the side. I have used shiitake mushrooms in the chicken (for the last 5 minutes of cooking) and it tastes fantastic. This time, I served it up with roasted market fresh purple carrots and brussel sprouts, yum!

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho)

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, and cut into matchsticks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 lb. bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, generously seasoned with kosher salt
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried red chile flakes
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat and add sugar. Cook until the sugar starts to melt and turn brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the caramel is bubbling and turns reddish-brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, very carefully, pour in water. Please be sure to turn your face aside while you do this so you do not get splattered. If the caramel hardens, set the pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the caramel dissolves, then pour it into a heat-proof measuring cup or bowl.

Sugar beginning to melt

Caramel

With hot water (so the leftover caramel bits don’t seize up on the bottom of the pan), clean and dry the pan. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and heat canola oil in the skillet. Add onion and ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Add sliced garlic and cook for an additional minute. With a slotted spoon, remove the onion, ginger, and garlic from the oil and reserve in a bowl.

To the skillet, add chicken thighs. Cook until the chicken no longer looks raw on the outside, about 2 minutes per side. Yes, the pan will be crowded! Add the reserved caramel sauce, fish sauce, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, and chili flakes. Mix to coat the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook (the mixture will be simmering briskly) until the chicken is cooked through, turning the chicken every 2 to 3 minutes, about 20 minutes. Stir in the reserved onions, ginger, and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 additional minutes. Serve over chow mein noodles or rice. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken

Purple carrots from the market

Finished product

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Quinoa Stuffed Chicken Breast

Quinoa is high in protein and is a complex carbohydrate; in my opinion, the best combination ever.  I love cooking with quinoa, it’s so easy, and it takes on flavour so well.

Ok, so, stuffing chicken breast was a lot harder than I thought, and it didn’t help that it was late and my husband and I were both starving.  When I make this dish again, I’ll be sure to prep it ahead of time and buy fresh chicken breast; not attempt to thaw out the frozen ones I had enough to slice them in half, pound them flat, and stuff them.  Sheesh!

Cook Quinoa according to package directions.  I use low sodium chicken broth in place of water, just for added flavour, but it’s up to you.

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1″ piece of ginger finely chopped
2-3 stalks celery
1 Tbsp Hoison Sauce
1 Tbsp Low sodium soy sauce
1 ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp black pepper
¼ tsp chili pepper
3 carrots sliced
brussel sprouts

Preheat the oven to 350

Spray a large pan with Pam, and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, add the ginger and cook for about 3 minutes, add in the celery and sauté until cooked through but still crispy, add in the cooked quinoa along with the hoison sauce, soy sauce, Chinese five spice, black pepper and chilli pepper, taste, adjust accordingly.

Now, the fun part!

  1. Have some thread handy and cut so you can tie the breast as soon roll it up;make sure your chicken breast is fresh, or thawed out completely.  Slice the breast in half, lengthwise, and then pound flat.
  2. Take a couple of teaspoon fulls of the quinoa and place on one end of the chicken and roll it up carefully, some of the filling will fall out, no big deal.  Tie it up securely and place in a baking dish ( I pan fried the ones in the photo, but in hindsight, it is WAYYY easier to bake them, you get a more even cooking of the chicken.) keep going until all your chicken is stuffed, I did about 5 breasts cut in half and we had plenty left over.
  3. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, steam the carrots and brussel sprouts
  5. Once your chicken is done serve on top of the remaining quinoa, alongside the carrots and brussel sprouts.

 Dinner!