How is it that the last few days before you go vacation are always absolutely crazy? I thought that was only something that happened when you worked a normal job, but nope! It definitely still has a way of happening when your job title is a hybrid of a million things. We’re heading back to Cleveland in a few days for a wedding and I’ll be staying an extra week to hang out with my family and learn a few more recipes from my mom! But before we get on that red eye flight to Cleveland I have a bajillion things I need to cook and cross off my to-do list!
I’m still coming down from a high after my Sur La Table dumpling class this Sunday. It was such a dream. The team at Sur La Table Los Gatos made my life so easy. They prepped and cleaned EVERYTHING for me. Normally, I’m prepping for a solid day and Reuben is covered in water from doing dishes afterwards. I just had to show up, remember how to make dumplings, and hang out with a bunch of people who love dumplings too! What a life it must be to always have people that help prep and access to 249,383 sets of bowls, mixing spoons, and dumpling steamers?! I have to get back to reality and clean my kitchen for the next few days of cooking. I have an exciting video shoot I’m styling for tomorrow! I’m super excited because it’s going to be on Food Network and Travel Channel, I think! I have 8 dishes I need to make by tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll probably spend of the rest of today standing in my kitchen prepping things and bopping to the Jonas Brothers. Not a bad day of work : )
In honor of going home for a few days, I wanted to share a meal that I grew up eating almost on a weekly basis. Hoisin Chicken! My mom makes this using chicken drumsticks, but you can use any cut of chicken you like! It’s sweet, salty, a little spicy, and soooooooo quick and easy to make. Whenever I tell people that I grew up in a Chinese restaurant, I feel like they assume I lived on chow mein and orange chicken. Chinese people don’t eat egg rolls, orange chicken, or scallion pancakes as a regular home cooked meal. Most of the dinners that my mom made consisted of 3 parts: Rice, Protein, and Vegetables. Sometimes the rice part would be replaced with noodles, but it was more or less a plate comprised of those components. Honestly, it’s not too different than what other cultures have for dinner. Mashed potatoes, steak, and broccoli is pretty much it!
Hoisin Chicken was part of a rotation of delicious meals coming out of my mom’s kitchen. Chinese BBQ ribs, chicken and broccoli, steak with oyster sauce, and shrimp with black bean sauce served over fluffy white rice and a side of stir-fried zucchini, green beans, or Chinese broccoli were some of my favorites! Other than the fact they all tasted amazing, they were also affordable and incredibly easy to make! I’m all about spending the extra time to slow cook things and making every component from scratch, but sometimes the days are crazy and you just gotta eat! That’s when meals like this come in handy!
How to Make Hoisin Chicken
This dish comes together in about 30 minutes if you work quickly!
Start by marinating the chicken in oil, cornstarch salt, pepper, and hoisin. The cornstarch is key because it tenderizes your meat and helps make a thick and shiny sauce when you cook it! After about 15 minutes of chilling in your fridge, heat up some oil in a pan and throw your chicken in the pan. Make sure the chicken is in a single layer so all the pieces have a chance to get crispy on the edges. Leave the chicken alone for a few minutes and then stir it around so the other side of the chicken has a chance to cook.
Whisk together all the sauce ingredients and pour it over the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thick and shiny and your chicken is cooked through!
Serve immediately with warm jasmine rice and your favorite vegetable! I included a bonus step at the end of the recipe for how to quickly cook your vegetables in the same pan too!
1 lb skinless chicken thighs
3 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp for cooking
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp hoisin
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup hoisin
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Sriracha
Cut chicken thighs into 1/2” pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add 3 tbsp olive oil, cornstarch, salt, white pepper, and 1 tbsp hoisin to the chicken. Mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes
While the chicken is chilling, whisk together all your sauce materials in a small bowl. Mix until cornstarch has dissolved and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken to the pan so that it is in a single layer. Allow the chicken to sear on one side for 3 minutes. Use tongs or a spatula and stir the chicken so that the other side cooks for another 2-3 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through.
Lower heat to a medium and pour the sauce mixture into the pan. Stir the pan so that the chicken is evenly coated. Continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the sauce is thick and shiny.
Serve immediately with warm white rice and vegetables!
Once you remove the chicken from the pan, increase the heat back up to medium high and add a little bit of oil in the pan. Add in your zucchini or vegetable of choice and stir fry for a few minutes until vegetables are at your preferred doneness. Season with a bit more salt and pepper or as you wish!