Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chinese Pot Roast?

Last night I made this tasty recipe I found in my Cooking Light 2008 cookbook. It seemed a little different, but I LOVE Chinese food, so I figured it was worth a try! It was super easy to make - throw all the ingredients in a pot and let it simmer. I wasn't sure what Mike's reaction would be to this concoction, but he loved it - he said it was like "Chinese Pot Roast" but with chicken. I definitely think I'll make this again! One thing I did different, I decided not to saute the spinach at the end, since everything in the pot was already SO soft from simmering. I wanted at least a little bit of texture!

Chicken and Potatoes over Sauteed Spinach
(recipe adapted from Cooking Light - www.myrecipes.com)

This recipe exemplifies the Chinese technique of red cooking--braising meat in a flavorful combination of soy sauce, ginger, alcohol, and spices. Serve in shallow rimmed soup bowls so you can enjoy all the broth. Sautéed mustard greens would also be good with this dish.

6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups chicken mixture and about 1/3 cup spinach)


  • 4  cups  thinly sliced leek (about 4 large)
  • 1  cup  thinly sliced celery (My celery was all wilty, so I used shredded carrot instead - it tasted great, and added some color!)
  • 6  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4  cup  julienne-cut peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4  cup  dry vermouth or dry sherry (I used the dry sherry)
  • 2  teaspoons  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  five-spice powder
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2  pounds  skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into thirds (I used chicken breasts...I prefer white meat to dark!)
  • 1 1/2  pounds  peeled white potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  teaspoons  canola oil
  • 1  teaspoon  dark sesame oil
  • 2  (10-ounce) packages fresh spinach, divided


Combine first 8 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add chicken; return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add potatoes; return to a simmer. Cover and cook 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro and pepper.

Heat oils in another Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of spinach; cook 1 minute, tossing constantly. Add remaining spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly. Serve chicken mixture over spinach.

Note: I didn't cook the spinach - I just drizzled sesame oil over it and tossed it well. Then I served the chicken mixture on top.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 343 (20% from fat)
Fat: 7.6g (sat 1.5g,mono 2.7g,poly 2.2g)
Protein: 29.6g
Carbohydrate: 39.4g
Fiber: 6.1g
Cholesterol: 94mg
Iron: 6.2mg
Sodium: 846mg
Calcium: 170mg


zebe912 said...

What's in the five spice blend. I have a leek or two I need to use so this might be a good experiment for this week.

Alanna said...

Here's a recipe I found...though it seems to have more than 5 ingredients! (I bought mine pre-made in a jar, so I'm not sure what's in that one.)


* 1 tsp. ground Szechwan pepper
* 1 tsp. ground star anise
* 1-1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds
* 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
* 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients in small airtight container. Store in a cool, dry place.

Grace said...

i must confess, i don't usually care for chinese food, but this sounds quite appetizing! i think the very fact that potatoes are involved helps a lot. :)

Alanna said...

It's definitely different than pretty much anything I've ever had. But good!!! You should definitely try it!