Using the surplus

November 18, 2009

A few months ago, my husband and I spent the better part of the afternoon reorganizing our refrigerator and pantry cupboard. Yes, our life is fabulous, we can't help it. Anyway - in this cleaning, we found three jars of hoisin sauce. Two in the fridge (one on the door, and one shoved in the corner of a bottom shelf) and one in the cupboard - our emergency stash, if you will. Heaven forbid Washington, DC, has a nuclear meltdown and we don't have any hoisin sauce! So the other night when we were scrounging a bit for food and didn't feel like walking the 250 yards to the grocery store, we threw this together. You'll see me later this week at H-Mart stockpiling the hoisin, now that we're down a 1/2 cup.

Hoisin chicken with clumpy (in a good way) rice
, adapted from Donna Hay's "Off the Shelf"
Serves 2-3


1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup wine or sherry (I used leftover champagne)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4-6 chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces*

1 tablespoon peanut oil
4 green onions, chopped
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
3 cups COOKED rice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 small bunch swiss chard, bag of spinach, or head of bok choy

*vegetarian option: this would be really good with cubed tofu, too. Sear the cubes in a pan to get some texture on it before plopping them in the sauce.

Heat the hoisin sauce, wine and grated ginger in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and boil it for 2-3 minutes to thicken slightly. Add the chicken pieces and stir, until the chicken is cooked.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Cook the onions and chili for about a minute. Stir in the rice and cook for 3-4 minutes. (A spatula works better than a wooden spoon here.) Pour the egg over top, and move the mixture around constantly until the raw egg is no longer visible, about a minute. Stir in the greens, adding a tablespoon or two of water to help them wilt down.

Serve the chicken and sauce over the rice.