January 10, 2019
What’s for dinner? Skinless, boneless chicken thighs make a great starting point, with so many possibilities. If you buy a larger package, which is often more economical, you can take out what you need for dinner and tuck the rest away in marinade in a zip-lock bag to thaw for a quick meal down the road. With a little more fat than skinless, boneless chicken breasts, they won’t dry out—simmer them in the slow cooker, toss them on the grill, or cook them quickly in a skillet. Cut into pieces first, they’ll be done in minutes.
Ketchup chicken might not sound all that appealing, but it’s a common recipe popularized by the New York Times that maximizes the sweet-salty-sour characteristics that make ketchup so widely popular. A clove of garlic and squeeze of Sriracha gives it added complexity, as do the browned bits left on the bottom of the pan after cooking the chicken. After all, this is how so many pan sauces, including gravy, are made—by adding stock, wine or other liquid to the pan after browning meat, to loosen up all those flavourful browned bits. Ketchup (and a splash of water) does the job here, creating a flavourful sauce that’s reminiscent of sweet and sour, without the typical deep-fried, battered chicken pieces. It’s a tasty way to get dinner on the table fast!
1 1/2 lb (680 g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, slivered
1 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp Sriracha or cayenne, or to taste
Steamed rice, for serving
In a shallow bowl, toss the chicken in the flour to coat it well. Put about half of the oil into a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken in batches (without crowding the pan), sprinkling with salt and pepper, turning as needed until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and let the pan cool slightly.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the garlic for a minute or two, then add about half a cup of water and the ketchup and Sriracha and stir, loosening any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few minutes or until the sauce bubbles, thickens and darkens slightly. Return the chicken to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce. Cover for a few minutes to heat through and ensure the chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
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