I have been craving Chinese food, specifically General Tso’s or Sesame Chicken. You know the ones….deep fried then coated in a thick sauce. Unfortunately, my waistline nor family history of heart disease allow me to eat deep fried foods whenever I want! Boo! So, I was on a mission to make a healthier Chinese meal at home. HOWEVER, my craving for Chinese food happened during a very busy week. My kids had tons of projects and homework, my husband was working late, my 4 y/o was tired and cranky…any of this sound familiar?!
With all this going on, I had to get dinner on the table, like…STAT. No time to fuss over a lot of steps, mixing of a bunch of ingredients, etc. Thank goodness I have a few little tricks up my sleeve. First, as we’ve said here before, a great time-saver is to keep cooked chicken in the freezer. I buy bulk packages of chicken breasts from Sam’s Club, then freeze individual portions. Some I freeze raw, some I freeze in marinade, and some I will go ahead and cook (I will either boil or cook in the slow cooker) then freeze. On this particular evening, I had boiled chicken already prepared (a lot of times I will take chicken out of the freezer in the morning, with no idea what I am actually going to do with it!). The second little trick I have is to keep a couple of prepared sauces in the pantry. I would love to make everything my family eats from scratch, but sometimes, it just doesn’t happen around here. My kids love Sweet Baby Ray’s bbq sauce, so I try to keep that on hand, and recently, I found this at Target…
Perfect for curing my I-need-Chinese-Food-Now-Craving! I also picked up a head of Chinese cabbage and green onions. I may not have had a recipe, but I had a plan!
This is one hastily put together dinner that came out deliciously! The best part, there is no real recipe, so it is completely adaptable to whatever your family likes.
Cheater Chinese Chicken
- boneless skinless chicken breast (I'm sure thighs would work well too) - cooked and cut into bite-size chunks
- onion - chopped
- broccoli any veggies you have on hand!
- garlic - minced to taste - I used one clove
- Chinese cabbage Napa or your preference
- Sauce I used the above pictured, but you could use your fave
- Olive Oil
- toasted sesame seeds optional
- green onions for serving
- Place a little olive oil in your skillet. Heat on medium heat.
- Add onion to pan and saute until translucent.
- Add garlic & broccoli. Give it a good stir.
- Add cooked chicken and sauce. Bring to a simmer.
- When sauce begins to thicken, add Chinese cabbage - go ahead and fill the pan, b/c the cabbage will wilt and reduce in size (a lot!)
- Carefully mix cabbage into the sauce/chicken/veggies and your done! It only takes a few minutes for the cabbage to begin to wilt, and I like mine to still have a little crunch to it.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions if desired.
- Serve over brown rice (or white, or fried, or noodles....)
A delicious dinner, and no one will know that it was so quick and easy to prepare!
When not writing for Eat at Home, Kim can be found blogging about her crazy kids and kitchen adventures over at Mo’Betta!