The Defined Dish Black Pepper Chicken

The Defined Dish Black Pepper Chicken

Tonight I am making The Defined Dish Black Pepper Chicken for dinner. This light, asian-inspired dish is a perfect dinner to get your week off to a healthy start.

Black Pepper Chicken recipe excerpted from The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes © 2019 by Alex Snodgrass.

INGREDIENTS:

BLACK PEPPER SAUCE

¼ cup chicken broth

¼ cup coconut aminos

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon fish sauce (Red Boat)

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (see note)

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

CHICKEN

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons avocado oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

4 celery stalks, ends trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced (2 cups)

3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS:

MAKE THE BLACK PEPPER SAUCE: In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, coconut aminos, vinegar, fish sauce, black pepper and ground ginger. Set aside until ready to use.

MAKE THE CHICKEN: Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with parchment paper. Use a meat mallet or the bottom of a skillet to pound the chicken until it is an even ¼ inch thick. Discard the parchment, then cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.

Place the cubed chicken in a medium bowl with 2 teaspoons of the avocado oil, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat, then add the arrowroot and toss again.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining ¼ cup avocado oil. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the chicken to the skillet in a single layer (you may need to do this in two batches). Cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the celery and onion to the same skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, being careful not to burn, about 1 minute.

Return the chicken to the skillet with the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick and coats the chicken and vegetables, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt to taste. Serve as is or with cauliflower rice, and top with a sprinkle of pepper.

NOTE: Regular old ground black pepper just doesn’t work in this dish! It’s essential that you use freshly cracked black pepper.

In the cookbook, Alex suggests serving the black pepper chicken over cauliflower rice, but my husband loves white rice so I served mine tonight with Lundberg Farms Jasmine rice. If you want a little more spice, peppers would be a great addition to this dish, but it is really delicious the way it is.

I hope you love this dish! Leave me a comment and let me know what you are cooking tonight!

XO,

Brit

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations at Home

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations at Home

Can you believe Cinco de Mayo is just one week away?! Yes, it does fall on a Tuesday this year so even more reasons for celebrations! I have always loved Cinco de Mayo, not only because of my love of margaritas and queso, but also because it is my dad’s birthday!

Dad enjoying a margarita in San Diego!

Cook Something Fun

This year, my Cinco de Mayo celebrations will be a little bit different than usual. I won’t be celebrating with my dad which is the worst part, but I will be celebrating in his honor at home. A couple of weeks ago I was going through The Defined Dish cookbook and found my new favorite recipe. The Enchiladas con Carne that Alex created are SO good, I truly couldn’t believe I cooked something so good. My husband literally said to me, “this is the best thing you’ve ever made, why do we go out to eat anymore?” It was one of my proudest moments.

The Defined Dish’s Enchiladas con Carne

Needless to say, I cannot wait to make these again!! In addition to serving the enchiladas, I will be making Clayton’s Grapefruit Margaritas and my own little guacamole recipe.

Wear a Cute Outfit

A celebration is not complete without a fun outfit and right now I am loving my Mi Golondrina headband and this amazing “Spicy” clutch by Trina Turk which will be the perfect accessories for a fiesta at home!

Mi Golondrina Headband
Lime Topo Chico with a side of a Spicy Trina Turk Clutch

Spice Up Your Life with Fiesta Decor

Finally, decorating an area of your home with festive fiesta decorations can instantly create a party mood. I found the cutest mini llama pinatas and this balloon fiesta sign on Amazon.  I plan to use leftover llama garland from a previous holiday party to decorate my bar cart along with margarita glasses and all the ingredients necessary to make margaritas all night long!

a fun bar cart is the perfect compliment to any party!

What are your plans for Cinco de Mayo? Leave me a comment below to let me know how you will be celebrating this year!

XO,

Brit

A Taste of Bistro Menil at Home

A Taste of Bistro Menil at Home

I am drawing on the inspiration of one of my favorite lunches to create my dinner tonight. In Houston, tucked away in the lush area between the Museum District and vibrant Montrose neighborhood is the Bistro Menil. In a city that is known for its heavy Tex-Mex and love of meats, Bistro Menil delivers refreshingly light European fare.

One of my absolute favorite things to do in Houston is to spend the day at The Menil Collection. I start with lunch–a glass of sparkling rosé with the bistro Caesar salad with salmon at Bistro Menil for lunch and then hop over to the Menil to see the works of Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko and so many more, and finish off the day by sitting on a blanket in the many green spaces between the iconic museum and the Rothko Chapel.

Picnic at the Menil

Of course I can’t do any of this right now because of Coronavirus restrictions so I am bringing the Menil to my kitchen in Austin tonight. To make the Caesar salad, I am going to use a version of The Defined Dish’s Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad *minus the chicken* and my pan fried salmon recipe.

Pan Fried Salmon with The Defined Dish’s Caesar Pasta Salad

To make the Salmon:

  • 2 (4 oz.) salmon filets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

Pat salmon dry and coat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, when oil is hot, but not smoking, add salmon–skin side up. Season skin with salt and pepper and cook for about six minutes. Flip over and add chicken stock and lemon juice. Serve with with The Defined Dish’s Caesar Pasta Salad and enjoy!

Let me know what you think of this recipe and what you are cooking tonight!

XO,

Brit