Article & Photo by Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy take-out? (If you don’t, maybe you should just read through the rest of the paper again while I write about how much I love take-out.) I love eating out of paper boxes with chopsticks, but my wallet can’t honestly afford it, as much as I wish it could.

So, this week I’m bringing in a homemade version, hopefully a little healthier as well as affordable and low maintenance. I love the sugary sauce in most Chinese take-out foods, but some days you want something savory that you don’t feel so guilty about afterward. I usually make this dish with extra garlic and brown rice, but my mother (in all her innovation) also puts it on salads, which makes for a great lunch the next day.

Cost: $17

All the take-out flavor, without the guilt! WHO KNEW IT WAS POSSIBLE?!

Makes: 4 servings

2-3 chicken breasts
1 cup fresh broccoli
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup green onions
*For extra spice, add a touch of Sriracha hot sauce!
Special tools: Sharp knife, a broiler, a steam basket (optional)

This recipe is so easy and only takes about 30 minutes. On a clean cutting board with a sharp knife, dice up broccoli into manageable chunks, and set aside. Rinse the chicken under cold water, and then cut into bite-size chunks and set aside. (Make sure you wash your hands when you’re through handling the chicken, getting salmonella poisoning would be a horrible way to start your week!)

In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, black pepper, sesame seeds, garlic and about half the green onions, stirring to make a marinade.  If you are feeding vegetarians as well as omnivores, put some of the marinade aside for the broccoli. Put the chicken and the sauce into a bowl and toss to coat.

On a baking sheet, spread out a sheet of aluminum foil, folding up all the edges to make a tray. Spread out the chicken into the pan with the sauce.

Move the oven rack to the top and then turn on the broiler to a high setting. Put the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping everything over with a spatula after 10 minutes. In a microwave-safe bowl or in a steamer basket, cook the broccoli with a bit of water until tender, drain and toss with the leftover marinade. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice or salad!

(This recipe was adapted over time from several different recipes and sources, so I can only say “Thank you, everyone!” because I can’t pinpoint what came from where.)