Often times when you’re searching for a recipe to try out for dinner, you’re faced with a slight dilemma. The recipe you found is only for the protein without even a suggestion for a side dish. Not sure if I’ve mentioned this already, but I like to have three components to my meal. The protein, some sort of veggie, and then the carb component. That, of course, can be substituted with other options now, but you get the picture.
We faced something similar this week, which is why this review will be slightly different. It will include two recipes that come from two different sources. Let’s get started on the main protein on the plate.
I made a good amount of pork in the last few weeks, so I decided to bring it back to chicken. A protein that I’ve been getting better about preparing, but still have much to learn about. At least I think I do.
The recipe we used was for Sweet Chilli Chicken courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction. You can find the recipe right -> here.
The recipe sounded great and the picture made it look VERY appetizing. Truth be told I’ve contemplated making this for a while. I stared at the pictures on the blog post and fought the urge to salivate. Just the name itself sounds fantastic! Sweet? Yum. Chilli? Yes, please! Chicken? SOLD.
It also fit my initial criteria of being quick and easy!
But when it came to actually making it, I wasn’t exactly impressed. The pictures looked great. Why? Well, the sauce when it covers the chicken breast looks good, but only when there’s a good amount of it really covering it. As you can see in the picture it still looked kind of pale. And this portion had extra sauce on it. I even ended up broiling it for a few minutes to get some color on the chicken.
Here’s what I’ll say: from my experience in the last few months of preparing chicken, my least favorite is baking it. There’s simply no guarantee that it’ll come out juicy, UNLESS you sear it first. Lock in the juice, so they don’t end up being lumps that you just chew more than chicken should be chewed.
Needless to say, I was disappointed. However, from disappointment come ideas on how to improve! If I made this again, I’d completely forget about baking the chicken. I’d cook it in a pan. At least that way I’ve been able to keep the chicken from drying out. Again, that’s because it’s seared. Also, I’d probably swap out chicken breasts for thighs. Chicken thighs are just so much more flavorful. They may not be THE healthiest option, but in this case we’re looking for ways to improve flavor with easy swaps.
So where does this recipe stand on the Grey Scale? First, I asked Andy. After we finished eating, I was left a little lost in my thoughts on ways that meal could have been improved. I asked him what grade he would give the chicken on a scale of 1-5. Mind you, I didn’t tell him what I thought.
Believe it or not, we were on the same page with our score.
Grey’s Grade: 3.5/5
I really wished that I had a higher grade for the chicken, but after following the recipe exactly there wasn’t much to praise. I’m sure that with a few adjustments, the flavor can improve significantly.
Our side for our meal ended up being from this book, which we’ve used for reviews before! Believe me, you’ll be seeing more of it as we continue testing recipes.
As pictured above you can tell that it was broccolini of some sort. What kind, you ask?
“11-Minute Easy Ginger and Garlic Broccolini”
If you’d like to check out similar recipes, you can check out the author’s blog: Jo Cook’s blog.
This side was definitely easy to make like the recipe implied, and it turned out rather good. Was I jumping out of my seat at how tasty it was? Not exactly, but I’d definitely make it again. I’d adjust the spice just a little bit based on what the dish was going to accompany. The broccolini calls for an addition of crushed red pepper flakes, so it definitely brought the heat for this meal.
All in all, it’s simple, tasty, and didn’t require too many additional ingredients that had me go out of my way.
Grey’s Grade: 4/5
I’m always a fan of having some greens with my meal, and this side was definitely a little different. Not steamed or roasted, but sauteed in a pan of gingery and garlic-y sauce. Definitely a refreshing take on an already tasty veggie. If you’re looking for a different way to prepare your greens, especially broccolini, I’d recommend this. It’s quick, easy, and can easily complement a protein of your choice.
Phew! Well that about covers the two recipes we’ve tried out. With confidence, I’d probably only make the broccolini again, but in time I feel I’ll go back to give the sweet chilli chicken another chance.
If you end up trying these recipes or have any recommendations for me to try, feel free to leave them in the comments section!
As always, have an awesome week and happy nomming!