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Monday, September 29, 2014

Recipe: Low Carb Hibachi Chicken

All of my life I've disliked Asian food...of any type. Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, etc. If it comes from somewhere in Asia, chances are, I do not enjoy eating it.

Until I had hibachi. (Japan) Against my own will, I was taken to a Japanese restaurant to eat this so called "hibachi chicken" and let me tell y'all...the first time I had it...IT WAS DELICIOUS. The flavors, the smells, and the delicious white sauce it came with. But man, was I full afterward. All of that RICE!

Fast forward a few years, and I was craving hibachi chicken but didn't want to go out to get it. So, I experimented with my own at-home version and made it for my family...it was a hit! It was also one of the first meals I made M when we were dating and remains his favorite meal I make hands-down.

The only issue with the meal is...it wasn't healthy. Between butter, soy sauce and rice it was full of carbs and sodium...which are delicious but not healthy. Over the weekend I tried my hand at a low-carb version and M loved it just as much. The bonus? It wasn't so filling that I needed a nap afterwards. (Because usually hibachi makes me almost uncomfortably full. At the very least, "I need stretchy pants now" full.)

The biggest change was that I omitted the rice. Now, at first M was skeptical but the chicken and veggies were so good that neither of us missed the rice. If you still want that rice taste/texture but not the carbs, you can try my Froworker Fin's Cauliflower Fried Rice. (which is excellent!) This recipe is quick, easy and healthyish*. Which are my three favorite words when it comes to dinner!



Low Carb Hibachi Chicken

Ingredients

Chicken & Marinade
2-3 fresh chicken breasts, trimmed
1/2 cup red wine
Sprinkle of Stevia or Splenda brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative)

Veggies
1 bag of frozen cauliflower, carrots and broccoli
1 tablespoon of Smart Balance butter
Additional Liquid Aminos for seasoning
1 sprinkle of Stevia or Splenda brown sugar

Instructions
1. Combine all marinade ingredients and marinate chicken for a few hours in the fridge. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more delicious it is!
2. Cook your chicken. For maximum easyness (HA!) I cook mine in the microwave. In a microwave safe covered dish, cook the chicken in 3-5 min increments starting at 50% power, then increasing to 60% power and then 70% power. Your chicken is probably done after the second 5 min increments, but I'm super-weird about uncooked chicken so I cook the HECK out of it. :)
3. Once chicken is cooked, chop into bite-sized pieces.
4. Cook your bag of frozen veggies according to instructions on the bag.
5. In a large wok or frying pan, combine the butter and Liquid Aminos with the sprinkle of Stevia. Turn on burner to medium/high and allow butter to melt.
6. Once your veggies are done, empty the bag directly into the pan with the butter mixture. Stir to combine with the sauce and then add the chopped chicken.
7. Increase your heat to high and combine the chicken with the veggies. I like to sprinkle a little extra Liquid Aminos over the top of everything at this point  and then cook until the veggies start to get a slight brownish tinge.
8. Serve hot!

This dish made enough for M and I to eat generously with leftovers so it could serve 3-4 people.

*Now there are a few things that make this recipe not so healthy...why I dubbed it "healthyish". First, the red wine in the marinade. You can omit it, but it really helps to tenderize and flavor the chicken. And, as Paula says, don't ever use wine to cook with that you wouldn't drink. :) Also, I may or may not have used some of my favorite hibachi restaurant-style white sauce. Again, this can be omitted...but it's just SO good. I figured since I'm not eating the rice and soy sauce, a little mayo deliciousness won't hurt, right?

 So there you go...hibachi goodness...no stretchy pants needed.

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