Today I come to you with something so near and dear to my heart. More than anything, it is a celebration of my friend Emilie’s success, a.k.a. her new book, The Clever Cookbook. If you do not know her, she is the genius (in the form of amazing recipes, writing and photographs) behind one of my favorite food blogs, The Clever Carrot.
I have been following Emilie for almost three years now. As it usually happens, I clicked on one of her recipes on Pinterest because I wanted a closer look at her photography. Next thing you know, an hour and a half went by, and I was still on theclevercarrot.com. Reading through her blog, I quickly realized that this girl can cook. But beyond that, I loved that she cared about what and how she cooked food. As a mother of two young boys, Emilie knows how hard it can be to put dinner on the table. That is why she uses her classically trained chef background to share everyday, comfort food style recipes on her blog. Though I am not a mom, through her writing, it is easy to relate to her challenges, and I can appreciate the solutions she offers in her recipes.
In September of last year, when we learned that we would be moving to the Philly area, I knew I wanted to meet her. So I reached out to her for a meet up. Quite frankly, after living on a small island for almost four years with no foodie friends, I was desperate for a foodie girlfriend like her. But I was also a little nervous.
If you think about it, I was asking her to have a blind date with me. Less than an hour after I sent the e-mail, she responded saying that she would love to meet. Just before the holidays, we met for lunch in New York City. It felt like we have been friends for many years. In addition to talking about our personal stories, we discussed blogging, recipe creating and writing a cookbook.
At the time, she had just submitted her cookbook for the final approval. You can imagine how excited and happy I was for her when she e-mailed me in mid-January to let me know that she was holding the book in her hands.
Two weeks later, I received a copy in the mail. I have been cooking from it ever since. The Clever Cookbook will be out today. It is a cookbook full of recipes that provide you with time-saving tips & tricks and get-ahead strategies to have dinner on the table for your family with everyday ingredients from your pantry.
Each recipe is written in ordinary language and with the care of a mom who wants to make sure her kids succeed. The only prerequisite to cooking from Emilie’s book is to know how to read. As she told me during lunch, she thought about those busy moms like herself, who are juggling through life and trying to feed their families with wholesome, healthy and delicious food.
And the book is all that: comfort food-like and everyday recipes with her clever and magical touch that you can easily make in your very own kitchen.
After cooking several recipes from the Clever Cookbook, I decided to share this one for three reasons.
About this Quick Stir-Fry Chicken with Roasted Broccoli:
First, you can make it in less than 30 minutes.
Second, it is a perfect recipe for a family of four. If you have some cooked rice (or noodles) in your fridge, simply top it off with this chicken and broccoli, garnish it with chopped scallions, peanuts, and sesame seeds.
And voila, you have dinner ready. Lastly, this Asian-Style chicken dish is made with Emilie’s Master Stir-Fry Sauce. This sauce is not only easy to make but also, it is versatile. You can whisk it all together in less than 5 minutes, keep it in a jar in your fridge, and use it for stir-frying veggies or any of your favorite cuts of meat.
Finally, Emilie is generously letting me give a copy of her book to one of my lucky readers. For a chance to win,
leave a comment below telling me the name of your favorite go-to weeknight dish before February 29th, 2016 at 12:00 pm EST. THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! The winner is Amy.
I will announce the winner via e-mail and here on this blog post. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck everyone!
Quick Chicken Stir Fry with Roasted Broccoli
For the Master Stir-Fry Sauce
- 1/3 cup (78 ml) soy sauce (as a gluten-free option you can use tamari)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml)honey
- 3 teaspoons (3 grams) cornstarch
For the dish:
- 2 heads of broccoli rinsed and cut into small florets
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 5-6 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced (alternatively, you can use chicken breasts)
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2-3 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds as garnish
- Handful of peanuts chopped (optional)
- 4 cups of white rice brown rice, or noodles – to serve
To make the master
- Stir fry sauce: Mix soy sauce, chicken stock, honey, and cornstarch in a jar. Close it with the lid and shake until completely mixed. Set aside. *1
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add broccoli florets to the baking sheet.
- Drizzle them with 2-tablepoons olive oil and sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper.
- Using your clean hands (or 2 spoons), gently toss them to makes sure that each floret is coated with oil.
- Let it roast for 13-15 minutes or they are golden brown. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, place a wok (or a 10-inch cast iron skillet) on medium high heat. Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
- When the pan and oil are sizzling hot, add in the chicken and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Give the stir-fry sauce a quick shake and pour it into the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- When the sauce is glossy and the chicken is fully cooked through, remove it from the heat.
- Place a cup of cooked white or brown rice (or cooked noodles), 4-5 roasted broccoli florets, and stir-fry chicken in each bowl.
- Garnish them with chopped scallions, cilantro, black sesame seeds, and if preferred, chopped peanuts.
- Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @foolproofliving on Instagram and hashtag it #foolproofeats
Adapted (with minor changes) from Emilie Raffa’s: The Clever Cookbook.