Boneless chicken thighs get treated to sweet, salty, and gingery flavors. Sake, a Japanese rice wine, balances the bold flavors of garlic and soy sauce with its subtle savory-sweet notes. The smaller florets on broccolini are great for mopping up the vibrant sauce, though broccoli works well, too.
In case you have never imbibed, sake—also spelled saki—is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. There are many varieties of this light colored, non-carbonated beverage, which has a sweet flavor, and contains up to 18 percent alcohol. Sake is often mistakenly called a wine because of its appearance and alcoholic content; however, it is made in a two-step process similar to that for brewing beer.
As with any ingredient, the higher the quality, the better the outcome and taste. So don’t purchase a bottom-of-the-barrel brand, although no need to buy the most expensive sake either—unless of course that’s what you happen to have in stock 😉
What I love about this meal is not only the ease of making it and the memorable flavors, but the fact that pretty much everything is done in one pan, (except for the rice if you’re serving it). So get your Japanese on, and make some Sake, Garlic and Ginger Chicken with Broccolini real soon!
Sake, Garlic and Ginger Chicken with Broccolini
- 6 Tbs. sake
- 6 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbs. vegetable or canola oil
- 1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. broccolini or broccoli crowns, cut into 3-inch-long pieces
- 3 medium scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
- 3 medium cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 4 slabs
- Combine the sake, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl, and stir until the sugar dissolves; set aside.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the sake mixture, broccolini, scallion whites, garlic, and ginger to the skillet. Bring to a simmer.
- Arrange the chicken on top of the broccolini. Cover and cook over medium heat until the broccolini is tender and the chicken is fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Discard the ginger. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve sprinkled with the scallion greens.
- Serve with hot steamed white or brown rice.
Recipe adapted from Abby Simchak Donovan