I was inspired to create something simple I could make at home as I am rediscovering how to take the dishes of various Asian countries, especially China and Vietnam, and make them gluten free and safe for me to eat. With that, I present to you this very simple and delicious meal of grilled chicken with broccoli which you can easily make on a weeknight. You'll need to do a little advance planning as the chicken needs to be marinated. Also, if you are vegetarian or vegan, the broccoli is worth making because it's so easy and so flavorful that I eat straight out of the pan when I take it out of the oven.
Vietnamese Inspired Chicken with Broccoli
1.25 to 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce if you don't need to be gluten free)
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, optional (I prefer Red Boat, which is gluten free)
pinch of red pepper flakes
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
Grapeseed oil for grilling chicken
~ 1 pound of broccoli, washed and cut into florets (I use the precut bagged broccoli from Trader Joe's)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
A couple of grinds of fresh black pepper
First, marinate the chicken, which can be done in as little as one hour before grilling to as long as overnight. Place the chicken thighs in a pie plate or square glass baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together the tamari, honey, coconut oil, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, and five spice powder. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate. If you are marinating the chicken longer than an hour, be sure to turn the chicken over halfway through the marinating time.
Second, get ready to cook the broccoli and the chicken. For the broccoli, preheat the oven to 400. In a bowl, toss the broccoli with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly oiled. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
While the broccoli is baking, you have two choices for cooking the chicken: grilling or roasting. To roast, place the chicken on a baking sheet, either lined with parchment paper or lightly oiled, and place it in the oven with the broccoli, 15 minutes before the broccoli is finished baking. This way, the chicken and the broccoli will finish cooking at the same time.
To grill the chicken, light your gas grill on high and then turn it down to low or medium-low. Take the chicken out of the marinade and brush it with grapeseed oil. Grill the chicken for five and a half minutes on each side. Serve with the broccoli.