by Susan Hanna

 Serves 4

We celebrated Chinese New Year with this delicious one-pot, Asian-style chicken and rice dish from Lucy Waverman. It is a combination of skinless, boneless chicken thighs (my favourite), shiitake mushrooms, fragrant rice and spicy citrus-mint sauce. I’ll be making this again!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Soy sauce, chicken broth, sriracha and fish sauce can contain additives, colour and MSG. Try tamari, which is preserved with alcohol, and an all-natural stock like Imagine brand. Sriracha is a hot Asian chili sauce used as a condiment in a variety of cuisines. Named after the city Si Racha in Thailand, it is typically made with chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. I haven’t been able to find all-natural sriracha, so I used Tabasco sauce. You can find fish sauce without additives; I am currently using Cock brand, which contains anchovies, salt and sugar. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit www.eyeforarecipe.ca.

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • 1 lb. (500 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) vegetable oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut in half

Rice

  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) Thai jasmine rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sriracha (Asian chili sauce)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) green peas
  • ½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped mint or coriander

Spicy citrus sauce

  •  1 teaspoon (5 mL) grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fish sauce
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) plus 1 tsp (5 mL) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped fresh mint

Preparation:

To make the spicy citrus sauce, combine the ginger, sriracha sauce, fish sauce and water. Stir in lemon juice, lime juice, brown sugar and fresh mint. Let sit for one hour before serving. The sauce should be served in a sauce boat so diners can drizzle it over their food as desired.

Place chicken thighs in bowl. Combine shallots, ginger and garlic in separate bowl. Toss chicken with half of this mixture and all of the soy sauce and sugar.

Heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper and add to pan. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden-brown but not cooked through. Remove from pan, add mushrooms and sauté 1 minute or until softened.

Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and set aside. To prepare the rice, heat the remaining tablespoon (15 mL) of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the remaining shallot mixture and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, chicken broth (or water) and sriracha. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and place chicken pieces and mushrooms over the rice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Scatter in peas and cook, covered, until both rice and chicken are cooked (about 7 to 10 minutes longer). Spoon into a serving bowl or serve from the pot. Garnish with green onions and mint or coriander. If there is a layer of rice that is slightly browned and sticking to the pot, this is considered a delicacy.

 By Lucy Waverman