I had a sort of pin the tail on the donkey approach to ordering from Grand Sichuan – I would pick a category, like pork or vegetable or chicken, shut my eyes, stab at the menu with my eager chopstick, and order whatever it landed on. But once I tried it, I vowed to change my ways and devote my life, all day every day, to Aui Zhou Spicy Chicken!
So that is how I spent the past week. But yesterday I had to go to a place to try on a special outfit that I have to wear soon for a special occasion and I realized that I was walking the fine line between "perfect fit" and "sausage casing." The Aui Zhou Spicy Chicken (as well as perhaps a hoppy beverage or two) was making its presence known on the waistline in a less than flattering way.
"This must stop!" I vowed. I swore to confine my Aui Zhou Spicy Chicken intake to once a day. That is how it came to pass that I cooked healthy dinner last night.
Chicken Onion Pitas with Parsley Stuff
This recipe is closely adapted from Epicurious' Spicy Beef and Onion Pitas with Parsley Sauce and can be made using whatever is hanging around in the fridge. The "sauce" includes parsley, shallot, cider vinegar, water, olive oil, sugar, and salt and pepper. I substituted honey for sugar (mostly because I didn't feel like dragging the sugar down from the barely reachable cabinet) and I added some lemon juice, just for the hell of it. I threw everything in the mini processor and it looked like this:
I coated the chicken in salt, pepper, ground cumin, and ground coriander and stuck it in the fridge while I sautéed the onions, which went from this:
Delicious onion magic! I sautéed the chicken until cooked through and added back the onions to warm up for a minute while I toasted the pitas over the flame. Only one caught fire, a great improvement over last time I made this dish. I stuffed the pitas with the chicken/onion mixture, topped it with the parsley sauce, and served it with a salad. Here is the finished product…
J. also suggested that this would be great with what he calls a "cream" sauce. When pressed, he indicated that he meant "shwarma sauce." So next time, I'm going to try it with some tahini as well. Definitely not in lieu of the parsley sauce though – that is essential.
Its not Aui Zhou Spicy Chicken, but it will get you through until its time to order again.