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Chinese Chicken Casserole

I made up a recipe the other night to use up some leftovers.  I had cooked chicken from making chicken stock, leftover cooked rice from another meal, and some broccoli from the Farmer's Market.  So, I combined them in this Chinese-food inspired, stove-top casserole.  This is a one bowl meal, and it's delicious!

Chinese Chicken Casserole

Served my family of 4, with about a cup of leftovers.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves pressed or minced garlic
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
5 tablespoons lard
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 shallots, minced
4 cups cooked brown rice, chilled
1/2 cup water

1.  Combine salt, sugar, ginger, cayenne, soy sauce, and garlic in a bowl; mix well.

2.  Add chicken; mix well and leave sit while preparing broccoli in Step 3.

3.  Heat 3 tablespoons of the lard over high heat in a large pan or wok until it is hot and melted.  Add broccoli; stir fry for about 5 minutes, until tender-crisp.   Remove broccoli from pan; set aside.

4.  Heat remaining 2 tablespoons lard.  Add chopped shallots and stir fry for a few minutes (or longer if you prefer more caramelized shallots).

5.  Add the cooked rice to the onions in the pan, breaking it apart.  Stir fry the rice and onion mixture until rice is heated through.

6.  Add broccoli back to the pan, along with the chicken mixture, and water.  Cook, stirring, until thoroughly hot.



***Recipe Notes***

I always keep a hunk of ginger root in my freezer. You can grate it while it's frozen, and then just pop the rest back in the freezer.


Soy Sauce:  Do yourself a favor and buy naturally fermented soy sauce.  Most soy sauces are now chemically made and have lots of MSG added, which is not a good thing.  Soybeans, like many other grains and legumes, are high in phytic acid.  Foods high in phytates will prevent your body from absorbing many essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.  The natural fermentation process used to make traditional soy sauce will neutralize the phytic acid.  You will also want to avoid pasteurized soy sauce, since the beneficial enzymes present from the fermentation process will be absent if the soy sauce is pasteurized.  I plan to post a "how-to" on making your own soy sauce in the upcoming weeks.


Lard:  I have started to save our bacon and sausage grease in a jar that I keep in the refrigerator.  It adds a really nice flavor to the casserole.

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