Take Two

So, at one point (and maybe still now) meal-planning and cooking for two dishes at once was all the rage.  For those of you who watched Food Network when they still had cooking shows, you might remember Quick Fix Meals where the host, Robin Miller, made several meals at once by doing all the prep work at the same time.  Or the current one by a woman I once liked but now can not stand, Rachel Ray’s Week In A Day.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a brilliant idea.  I get asked all the time about how I manage to cook dinner every night (usually by friends that don’t cook) and the truth is, the week in a day concept is way too much planning for me.

But sometimes, I do re-use leftovers.  Does that count?  Here’s an example.  Remember the sauce I posted about last week (click here)?  A few nights ago I re-purposed the leftover sauce.  In a way, this recipe is going to show you how I generally cook- I know a few techniques and I throw them together along with whatever happens to be in my fridge at the time.

Chinese Chicken Using Grandma’s Leftover Sauce Which Was Good For London Broil Or Chicken


About a pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 cup sauce

2-3 Tablespoons of sesame oil

1/2-1 cup chicken broth

Leftover or fresh green beans

Rice (to serve)


Chop up your chicken into bite sized pieces.

Place the cornstarch in a large bowl, or at least one large enough to hold the chicken.

Add the chicken and toss to coat.

I place another bowl over and shake which can be messy so if you do it that way, make sure to do it over the sink.

Over medium high, heat about two tablespoons of sesame oil in a wok or large saute pan.

Take the chicken out and shake off the excess cornstarch before placing it into the heated oil. 

Let them brown up a bit- not cook all the way through, but get the outsides toasty.  Add the leftover sauce which should be rather thick since it’s been in the fridge. 

Stir and toss to coat the chicken.  At this point, I added a few splashes of chicken broth to help loosen up the sauce. 

Turn the heat down slightly and let that cook.  Stir once in a while so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.  Meanwhile, chop up your green beans.  I think you could use broccoli or another green veg in this as well- maybe not spinach but chinese broccoli might be nice.  Probably not peas.

Check on your chicken.  If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with some chicken broth or water- I used water for the second thinning since it was salty to start with and I was afraid more chicken broth might make it even more so. 

Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is the desired consistency.  Throw the green beans in at the last minute to heat through (if they’re previously cooked as mine were- if they’re raw, make sure to put them in about three to four minutes before it’s done so that they have time to soften up a bit).

Serve over rice.  I had leftover brown rice so I used that.

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