Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spicy Hoisin Chicken and Braised Celery

As you may have noticed, yesterday wasn't even Monday but I still labeled yesterday's post as "Monday". It was very kind of all of you to refrain from pointing it out, lest it burst my hazy semi-comatose state and kill me.  I'm all off-kilter.

I'm back, with a little coffee.

I've had all kinds of hankering for anything with soy sauce in it.  This spicy hoisin chicken dish hit the spot, and was easy and hands-down good.  

The original recipe called for chicken thighs with the skin, but I used skinless thighs instead and adjusted the cooking temp/time accordingly.  Also, next time I might cut down on the amount of hoisin and up the soy sauce, since I'd like to try making it a wee less sweet.

Adapted from Epicurious.

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce (I might try 1/4 to 1/3 cup next time)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 8 skinless chicken thighs with bones
Serves 8.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix together the first 7 ingredients.

Place chicken thighs in large baking dish (this is a 9 x 13 dish) and pour sauce over chicken.  Turn to coat well.  By the way if you want easier cleanup later, you can line the dish with foil.  Or, if you want to stand in solidarity with me and do your share of soaking/scrubbing, and soaking/scrubbing, then some more soaking/scrubbing, please feel free.

You can either cook the chicken at this point, or you can cover and marinate for an hour (I didn't refrigerate the chicken during this hour because I wanted the flavors to infuse into the chicken as quickly as possible, but if that's some big health no-no, then don't listen to me.  You can also, of course, place the marinating chicken into the refrigerator).

Bake chicken for about 35 minutes.

While the chicken was baking, I made a side of braised celery.  I mentioned this dish in a previous post without going through the full recipe, which some of you lamented about.  Well, here it is, and you'll see how basic it is.

  • Two bunches of celery hearts
  • 2-3 tsp vegetable oil (or some other neutral oil) 
  • pinch of five spice powder (optional) 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chicken or veggie broth (or water)
  • 2-3 tsp of soy sauce
Trim the celery hearts and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces.  Then cut each piece lengthwise into 3 to 4 strips.  Or, if you're smarter than me, you'll do the lengthwise cutting first.

I love cutting celery. I love that crunching/ripping noise the knife makes when it breaks through all the threads.  I made that sound kinda violent. Hm.

Heat oil in wide saute pan or skillet over medium heat.  Add in the celery and enough broth to come about halfway up the celery.  This was extremely approximate.

Add in five spice powder, if using.  Cover and braise for about 5-10 minutes--keep checking to see when it gets to your desired texture.

When the celery is done, drain off a bit of the liquid (I put the cover on off-center by a smidgen and pour over sink) and add in the soy sauce.

You're done with the celery.

Take out the chicken...

...and serve with the celery and some rice.


I would totally make this again, and perhaps cut down on the hoisin a little and add more soy sauce or a touch of black bean sauce.


  1. Yum! I LOVE anything with hoisin sauce. I will have to try this out!

  2. I'm so scared to braise celery...not sure why though.

    I have to say though, sesame oil has become one of my favorite ingredients, I'll have to try this hoisin chicken because it sounds amazing.

  3. Yum! Looks delish! Celery doesn't get enough press as a tasty vegetable.

  4. Hoisin sauce is the sauce of the Gods. I think I will definitely try out the chicken!

  5. I think I need to try this with some tofu, I bet it would still be really yummy, and the celery looks great!!

  6. God, you make me really want to try learning how to cook.

    maybe. almost.

  7. Yum, I love hoisin. This looks delish!

  8. Looks super yum!!! Bookmarked!

  9. that celery really looks delicious. did the pugs get any?

  10. Yum yum yum. And I don't even like celery.

  11. love hoisin! that looks delicious, especially since I've been having a weird celery craving lately. must be the scurvy.

  12. is that a perfectly manicured thumbnail that I spy??!

  13. This is going into next weeks dinner lineup, mmmm :)

  14. yay, so glad that many of you are up for trying it!

    kelsey: tofu is a great idea! let me know how it turns out if you make it.

    penga: i hope you don't have scurvy.

    kate: i'll bake some of your recipes, and you cook some of mine. win win!