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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chicken and Broccoli

That's right.  You read the title correctly.  This Wilde girl is heading home to Buffalo this weekend!  I'm very excited.  There are plans in the works for lunch at my parents house (it is rumored to involve apple cobbler), breakfast at my favorite local restaurants with boyfriend and dinner with the in-laws.

This visit was only planned last Saturday, as we were groggily trying to acclimate ourselves to the eastern time zone.  Did you know that Alaska is in it's own time zone?  One hour further west of pacific standard time!  Couple that with the fact that the sun gets up much later in our New Jersey apartment than it did in our cruiseship stateroom and you've got two people waking up at almost 10am.  This is a huge deal for me.  I'm usually up by 7:30 on the weekends.

I suppose that the idea for the visit was hatched a few weeks ago, when I said "we could go to Buffalo for labor day weekend."  While on the cruise, boyfriend said "I looked at flights for next weekend, we should book tickets soon."  Come Saturday, boyfriend was sitting at his computer and booking the 8pm flight for Friday night.  Why the ticket says we take off at 8:01 and get to Buffalo at 10:05 is beyond me.  The flight is only an hour.  Those airlines are padding their time to make me feel better when we land "early" at 9:45, even though we took off 45 minutes late.  I'm not fooled airlines!

Moving on...  Other than spending time with my parents (who I haven't seen since Christmas) and boyfriends parents (who I can't remember when I saw them last!), we have no plans for our little weekend getaway.  It will probably involve getting a Ted's hotdog while drinking an overly sweet loganberry, chowing down on some John and Mary's chicken tenders while eyeing up Nina's ice cream across the street and driving by the now empty lot that used to hold the Swiss Chalet, wiping a tear from my eye.

Oh yes, there will be cobbler too.  I have a text message confirmation.  Bring on Friday!

And...  I get to see these little ladies.  They're one year old now!

And they're pretending to be little old eastern European ladies...

One Year Ago: Pasta with meatballs & Asparagus
Two Years Ago: Raspberry Marshmallows & Peppermint Marshmallows

Chicken and Broccoli
Adapted from Everyday Food

After returning from our vacation, our fridge was in a sad state of affairs.  My weekly grocery trip turned out to be a very expensive one as I re-stocked up on all the staples.  Lemons, salad, chicken stock, poultry, herbs.  We had nothing.  The one thing that the grocery store didn't have, was fresh ginger!  Well, it had a few rizomes left, but they were the most pathetic looking pieces I'd ever seen.  I decided to try out pre-minced ginger. You've probably seen it in the produce section in a squeeze tube.  I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of flavor present in this stuff.  When you're in a bind, pick this stuff up, it works!  (And it saves you all that time grating the ginger)

1 cup brown rice
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb chicken breast tenders, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsp ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, sliced thinly
1 head of broccoli, cut into little trees, stalks trimmed& thinly sliced

30 minutes before you do anything else, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Add rice and stir.  Reduce heat to low and place the lid on.  Let rice cook for 45 minutes.

To a small jar, add soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch and sesame oil.  Shake to mix and set aside.

Heat a large, high-sided skillet, over medium heat.  Add olive oil and let heat for 30 seconds.  Add chicken and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, browning on all sides.  Add ginger, garlic, scallions and broccoli, plus 1/2 cup water.  Add soy sauce mixture and stir to combine everything.  Place the lid on the pan and let cook for 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is bright green.  Remove lid and let sauce cook down.

Fluff rice with a fork and serve with chicken.
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