*Or how I learned to stop worrying about eating raw celery sticks with hummus and love chopping copious amounts of celery.
This recipe was inspired by a trip to Costco. I hadn’t been in years, but when my friend offered to take me to pick up a ham for Christmas, I was in there like swimwear. To be polite, I kept my browsing to what I felt was a minimum. This was my first trip to Costco where I didn’t browse every aisle. Or fill up the cart. What I did grab were pre-cut celery sticks! I love to eat them with hummus, but they rarely go on sale and I don’t like to cut my own sticks. (Shoutout to my misen knife making chopping celery a breeze!) And I got about half a million pounds and between all the Christmas celebrations, ate about four celery sticks with hummus. So I found myself with tons of celery threatening to die in my fridge, no hummus and no desire to eat celery soup. (Google, wtf?) Thankfully, I recalled that Kung Pao chicken has celery and well, here we are.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 400g celery, sliced
- 3/4 cup brown rice*
- 1 Tbsp EVOO
- 2/3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce**
- 1 tsp sesame oil***
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp sake
- 1 Tbsp ACV
- 3 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (I used Wegman’s Tom Tom sauce)
- Prepare brown rice according to the package.
- Toss the chicken chunks with cornstarch, salt, pepper, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sake. Make sure all the chicken is coated. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
- Over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Once it’s hot and shimmering, add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the celery and bell peppers. Cook until bell pepper has softened. The celery will soften, but not as much.****
- Push the celery and peppers to the side. Lower heat to medium and add the chicken along with any remaining marinade. Cook until chicken has been cooked all the way through.
- Stir in the chili garlic sauce.
- Serve over rice!
* Or white rice. The macros for white and brown rice are about the same.
** The crazy salty one
*** The dark, toasted one
**** Of course, I didn’t chop everything before this step, so I definitely finished all this by the time the chicken was done. Had you done all the chopping ahead of time, you will want to wait until there are about 5 – 10 minutes left of marinating time before starting all this. The upside was, it was perfect timing to finish all the food at the same time as the rice!