Let me first start by introducing myself, I’m Marie-Eve and a friend of Kat. You might recognize me as ME in the blog comments and even some entries as a loyal assistant to Kat. So what’s going on today? I always vote on the Ideas Posts but this week, I was too impatient to wait for the results and for Kat to post one of the recipes. You see, I had a big bag of Brussels sprouts in the fridge and needed to find a purpose for them. So I asked Kat for the recipe and she jokingly said she wouldn’t have to try it since I’d do the work for her. I decided to take that all the way and write her blog entry as well. I’m a great friend, right?? [Kat: YES!] Drumroll… Here comes the Thai Chicken and Brussels Sprout Skillet!!
This is my first experience with Whole30, seems like an interesting concept. It often involves making/buying a lot of Whole30-safe condiments as in this case: an Asian Citrus Dressing to accompany the dish. I could see using the leftover dressing (we didn’t have any leftover but you could if you following the recipe!!) in a salad but you need to be a fan of a strong ginger flavor because that’s all that came through in this dressing. The recipe is super easy, mince garlic and ginger, cook for 1 min before adding the rest of the ingredients and simmering for 5 minutes. Voilà! Now you might be a little intimidated or confused by one of the ingredients: coconut aminos. My first thought was “what on earth is that?” so I quickly went to my BFF Google for a description and an image. Surprise surprise, I immediately recognize the bottle as one of the many legacy kitchen item left by our very own Kat. You see, the night before the movers showed up at her NJ apartment, Kat casually asks me to come over with a “few” grocery bags so I can help her lighten up the amount of stuff she has in the kitchen. The reality? I left her place with at least 10 full bags of grocery, from frozen cheese to a variety of flours to of course, coconut aminos! Now to the definition of this product, it turns out it is made from coconut sap, it is dark, rich, salty and slightly sweet in flavor. It resembles a light soy sauce or tamari (wheat-free soy sauce), but it is soy free and gluten free. So if, unlike me, you don’t randomly have a bottle of it in your pantry, feel free to replace with soy sauce or tamari, you will achieve a similar flavor profile. The recipe did call for the addition of sesame oil (she prefers untoasted) after it has finished cooking. I was unfortunately out of sesame oil but I could see it cutting through the intense ginger flavor and would recommend adding it. Moving on to the main dish, it was once again very easy to make. I started with the Brussels sprouts, since mine were whole, I had to shave them. I used a 2-lbs bag from BJs and quickly shaved them in my food processor. I did the whole 2-lbs in two rounds since it looked like the food processor was too full. Once that was done, I threw in two medium carrots and a large shallot, both grossly chopped, into the food processor. Pulse, pulse, pulse and perfect! Setting that giant bowl of shredded veggies aside, I moved on to the chicken. The recipe called for sliced boneless skinless chicken thighs, I decided to leave mine whole. So I heated up 1 tablespoon each of coconut oil and olive oil in a large skillet, added my already seasoned chicken thighs and covered the pan. I cooked it on medium heat for about 4 minutes to brown the chicken. I then turned the chicken and added all the veggies on top. Just as the recipe said, I cooked the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes. Then I poured in half the reserved dressing… and then the other half. I just didn’t think there was enough with the ½ cup. The author suggests serving this Thai chicken skillet with her homemade Sriracha sauce; I skipped that step but I admit it would have brought some heat to the dish.
I served the chicken with some leftover rice I had in the fridge, I felt like the dish needed a starch, but you can obviously skip that little extra. So my husband John really liked it, but I wasn’t overwhelmed. Only two flavors came through for me: cabbage and ginger. I couldn’t taste the garlic, citrus, carrot or shallot in there. I’m not sure if I’ll make this again, but it is hard to deny how easy and quick this recipe is or a good weeknight solution for a healthy meal.
Thai Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Skillet
Asian Citrus Dressing
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos or regular soy sauce
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil not toasted
Thai Chicken Skillet
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs thinly sliced (see Tip below)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 2 bags 9 to 10 ounces each; 10 cups total shaved Brussels sprouts
- 1 cup packaged shredded carrots or 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1/2 cup Asian Citrus Dressing
Asian Citrus Dresing
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the ginger and garlic, then stir to cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the orange juice, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), and cider vinegar. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat, simmering the sauce for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the untoasted sesame oil.
- Use the citrus dressing immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Thai Chicken and Brussels Sprout Skillet
- In a large (12 to 14+ inch) skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced chicken and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, sprinkle the chicken with the salt, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and chopped shallots, followed by the shredded Brussels sprouts and carrots.
- Cook the chicken-veggie skillet, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender and begin to lightly brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the dressing and continue cooking until the dressing is heated through, about 1 minute.
Serve immediately with the sriracha on the side.
To make this recipe even faster, use 3 cups chopped leftover cooked chicken. Don't want to buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts? Trim the stems off about1-1/4 pound Brussels sprouts, then use a food processor to shred them (factor in another 15 minutes or so for prep time).