Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: Laziest Chicken Lo Mein Ever

  Last week I made One Pot Wonder Chicken Lo Mein. Since I'm trying to bring lunch to work every day, I'm always looking for simple one-pot meals. While I do enjoy cooking more time consuming or complicated recipes, most of the time I just want to have good, homemade food ready to go.

  The idea is to layer cubed chicken breast, uncooked pasta, and vegetables in a large stock pot, then pour broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar, olive oil, plus other seasonings, on top, and let the whole thing simmer. It all cooks together, and the cornstarch, oil, and soy sauce soak into everything and create that addictive not-quite-sticky but perfectly salty and rich lo mein flavor.

  I altered the recipe a bit to what I had on hand - a full pound of breasts instead of half a pound, fewer carrots, and smaller chopped vegetables.

Before, in an 8-quart pot. Buried underneath are pasta and chicken.

  Cutting everything up is the only part of this recipe that would take any real time, and I cheated by buying pre-chopped peppers and onions (the reason they're smaller than the original recipe). I buy pre-cut or frozen veggies on a regular basis because they save time and dishes. The only thing I had to actually prepare for this dish was some chicken, so the actual work in making this dish was minimal. 

  Aside from what I mentioned above, I followed the rest of the recipe exactly. When the cooking time had elapsed, there was still liquid left in the pot:

  After I let it simmer uncovered for a bit, the water evaporated and left the apartment smelling like delicious (Americanized) Chinese food.

Finished product with my skilled smartphone photography.

  Verdict? Great. Tasted just like what I would get at a take-out place, and I'm glad I added the extra chicken. It was even better reheated because the flavors had marinated. However, next time I'll pre-season the chicken and maybe try a peanut butter version.

  The recipe made a huge amount of food - at least 8-10 generous servings with the full pound of chicken. Not counting the vegetables, this came in at 25 calories/oz, so about 200 calories/cup (very rough estimate because I go by weight). I usually ate 16 ounces for lunch, for 400 calories total.

  Recipe reviews probably won't be a weekly thing, but every once in a while when I find something great, I'll share it. 

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