Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sweet Lemon Ginger Chicken

Sweet Lemon Ginger Glazed Chicken
Oh Goodness, I want to eat it again!

Recently, the Mad Scientist and I celebrated our second anniversary, and for the event, I wanted to make a moderately special meal.  I say moderately special, because the Mad Scientist doesn't love super exotic meals or fancy techniques; he likes meals that taste like Panda Express or anything covered in Sriracha.  Fancy meals are for me to enjoy cooking more than for the Mad Scientist to enjoy eating.

Happy Anniversary! I love you even more than I did on this day!

So I perused the internet, and found a few good links (like this one from Pinch of Yum, this one from Just a Pinch, and this one from BudgetBytes), and I knew I could riff off those recipes and come up with something delicious.  In my mind's eye, I could see the recipe coming together... sweet lemon ginger chicken. YUM!

Per usual, the Saturday prior to my anniversary, I went grocery shopping, and apparently the snowstorms in Raleigh did a number on the Food Lion because they were out of the following: lemons, cilantro, green onions, rice vinegar, fresh ginger and boneless skinless chicken thighs. The grocery store looked sad, and so did I.  I came up with a plan B (Pizza!!!), but I did not let the recipe die.  The next week, I tested out my recipe idea, and it's magical, and the Mad Scientist enjoyed this meal as much the next week as he would have on our anniversary.

The secret to all this deliciousness is in the marinating process.  I don't often marinate meat because I am a bit forgetful, but marinating meat is a flavor punch in the mouth (in a good way).
Plus, marinating  moisturizes meat better than any other cooking technique.  The sweetness of the brown sugar contrasts with the acidity of the lemon and the vinegar, and the garlic and ginger bring a ton of flavor to the plate.  I hope you enjoy this dish, I know we do!

On a side note, I hate using the word moisturizes to describe food.  Both moisture and mouthfeel are horribly disgusting terms, but nothing better has been invented to describe those two taste sensations.  I think I'll write a letter to Alton Brown*

*Note- I will not actually write to Alton Brown.

Sweet Lemon Ginger Chicken

2" fresh ginger grated (on a micro plane)
4 Cloves garlic minced
3T Soy Sauce
3T Rice Vinegar
2T Sesame Oil
1/2 Lemon worth of zest (sub with orange if you want it to be sweeter)
1/2 Lemon worth of Juice (sub with orange if you want it to be sweeter)
3T Brown Sugar 

6 Boneless skinless Chicken thighs
4T Corn Starch
3-4T Sesame Oil for frying (more than a stir fry, much less than a deep fry)

To Serve:
Fresh Cilantro
Fresh Green Onions
Long Grain Rice

1. Whisk all marinade ingredients together until sugar is dissolved
2. Place chicken in a container with a cover, and pour marinade on top, and place in fridge overnight (up to 24 hours).
3. Lightly dredge chicken in cornstarch than place back in marinade
4. Heat oil to high heat in a large frying pan
5. Lay chicken in frying pan, cover the pan and do not move it for 3-4 minutes (to get a nice char)
6. Flip Chicken and pour remaining marinade on top of pan as a glaze, and cover the pan again for 3-4 more minutes.
7. Serve chicken with cilantro, green onions, and rice.

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