Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days to Financial Freedom, Day 25: Bourbon Chicken

I had been craving bourbon chicken from the Chinese food place in the mall for a very long time, and by Monday I wanted it so bad I was coming up with excuses to go to the mall an hour away from our house.  Instead of driving 120 miles for chicken, I decided to make my own.  I had everything I needed in the house already with the exception of apple cider vinegar, so I decided Monday night was the night. 

I fed the kiddos some grilled cheese and soup, because I wasn't going to fight with them to eat something I didn't think they would like.  #1 had tried bourbon chicken before and didn't care for it, and I'm not in the habit of making things for dinner I know my kids won't enjoy. 

3 - 5 Chicken breasts
1 garlic clove, or a sprinkling of garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger (I used ground ginger)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c. apple juice
1/4 c. light brown sugar
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. soy sauce

I used the frozen boneless skinless flavorless chicken that comes in the bags for this particular meal.  Fancy, I know.  I had five breasts left, and I cut them into bite size pieces.  In a bowl, I added all the ingredients.  I didn't use a whole garlic clove because I was afraid it would burn, so I just used a sprinkling of garlic seasoning.  I also found out that I didn't have any crushed red pepper flakes, so I just used a shake of hot sauce.  I whisked the ingredients together, then marinated the chicken in it for about 30 minutes.  You could also do that in the morning and marinate it all day, but the chicken wasn't thawed in the morning, and my mornings are crazy enough, thank-you-very-much.

I took the chicken out of the marinade and put it into a hot skillet with vegetable oil.  I browned the chicken, then added the marinade.  At first I was concerned because the chicken was an odd color and the marinade was just bubbling, but then it started to thicken and reduce, and the chicken slowly started to turn the right color!  I had it on the stove top for about 20 minutes, and it looked like this:

I used too much oil in the pan as you can tell by the picture.  The brown sugar caramelized on the chicken and gave it the color I associate with bourbon chicken.  We cooked some white rice to go with it.  I'll be honest, I was expecting to throw this out and have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.  Hence my shock when it ended up being pretty gosh darn good.  Good as the mall's chicken?  Is anything better than the mall's chicken?  But it satisfied my craving.  Plus, it gives me something else to make with the boneless chicken breasts!

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