Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Year of No-Fuss Cooking {Chicken Gyoza}

Continuing the series of no-fuss cooking, including slow cooker freezer meals, quick dishes, and easy eats.

This week's recipe for Chicken Gyoza is from the cookbook "Can I Freeze It?" By Susie Theodorou. While the prep work is a bit laborious, the results are worth it. The assembly process took me back to my childhood, helping my grandfather (lovingly called "Paka") make traditional Chinese fried wontons for our entire extended family. This recipe is a bit more healthy, but every bit as delicious. These were perfect for days that Mac and I couldn't connect for dinner, as they can be cooked in single-serving portions in a matter of minutes. For us light eaters, 4-5 potstickers would make a complete dinner. If you want a bit more substance, they go well with stir fry and rice.

1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks (I used all chicken breast)
8 oz. can of whole water chestnuts, drained
4 green onions, light green and white parts only, coarsely chopped
1 c. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 T. oyster sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
Salt and pepper
1- 12oz. package dumpling wrappers


Place the chicken in a food processor and pulse to mince. Do not allow a paste to form. Add the water chestnuts and green onions and pulse once more to finely chop the veggies.

Transfer the chicken mixture to a bowl. Using a fork, stir in the cilantro, oyster sauce, and sugar. Mix the cornstarch with the soy sauce in a small bowl until smooth, then stir into the chicken mixture. Add the toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper. 

Set the wrappers on a clean surface and cover with a damp paper towel while not using. Place on dumpling wrapper on a clean surface and place 1 teaspoon of the chicken mixture in the center. Moisten the edge of half the circle with water, then bring the ends together to form a semicircle. Starting at one end, twist and fold the edges to secure into a neat crescent, or pleat the edge seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

To freeze: Lin a baking sheet with wax paper and arrange the gyoza in rows, leaving space between them. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours, then transfer to a plastic freezer bag.

To cook (we like them boiled, but you can also pan-fry or steam them): Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add up to 8 dumplings and cook for 8 minutes, or until heated through and the wrapper no longer looks opaque. Drain and serve with dipping sauce.