When Russ Crandall (The Domestic Man, author of the The Ancestral Table) announced he was making a book full of paleo versions of popular takeout foods, my first thought was “I want that book”, followed by “that’s quite an undertaking!”. Sean & I watched Russ’s cooking demo at Paleo f(x) this year and his demo was more than just about food – it was a history lesson! Russ has a genuine appreciation for all types of cuisine, and goes the extra mile to learn the history of the dishes as well.
With Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk, Russ has given us a whopping 200+ recipes to satisfy that craving for ordering out. Think of it as the book equivalent of that takeout menu drawer transformed into healthy, paleo, gluten-free recipes right at your fingertips.
Let me guess what’s in that drawer (besides a few rubber bands, an old cell phone cable, probably some paper clips) – takeout menus from a pizza place, Thai food, Chinese, Indian… Now I know ordering and having someone else make the food is fantastic, especially when you have a place that knows how to handle gluten-free, but nothing like breaking out of your cooking comfort zone than to learn how to recreate your delivery favorites.
Russ not only includes American favorites like pizza (his pizza crust recipe is SO GOOD), wings, Chicken Parmesan, gyros with tzatziki sauce and tacos but also an extensive collection of fabulous recipes from across the globe to delight your tummy. This is where the book really stands out in my opinion. Recipes for such cuisines as Chinese (Hot & Sour Soup and Mongolian Beef), Japanese (Ramen & Dashi broth), Korean (Kimchi, Korean Fried Chicken), Thai (Tom Kha Gai, Pad Thai) and Indian (Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken). Seriously I’m getting so hungry just writing about it!
Russ has done all the dirty work (read: testing recipes over and over again to get them right) and truly puts his heart and soul into each recipe to make sure they are the very best they can be. The respect to the cultures and dedication to learn the stories behind the recipes really shows through. A couple weeks ago I made his Sweet & Sour Chicken (over cauliflower rice) for a non-paleo crowd: my parents and brother. Well, we didn’t have any leftovers and everyone gave it a glowing review! Well, I can’t just go on talking about this recipe without giving you a sneak peak, now can I?! Lucky for you we’re able to share his recipe for Sweet & Sour Chicken with you! AND guess what? There’s also a chance for you to win a copy of the book! Check out the recipe and how to enter below! Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk is out now! Buy it at your local bookstore or online today and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 2 tbsp expeller-pressed coconut oil
- 1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 tbsp cold water
- ½ tsp sesame seeds, to garnish
- 2 green onions, sliced, to garnish
- In a saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then reduce the heat to low to gently simmer as you prepare the rest of the meal; stir occasionally.
- Preheat your oven to 250°F. In a wok or skillet, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Combine the tapioca starch, salt, and pepper, then toss the chicken pieces with the starch mixture. With your fingers, dip a starchy chicken piece in the beaten eggs, shake off the excess egg, and then add to the oil. Repeat until you have filled your skillet, being careful not to overcrowd the chicken pieces. Fry the chicken until cooked through, flipping every 2 minutes, about 6 to 8 minutes per batch. As you finish each batch, place the cooked pieces on a plate lined with paper towels; put them in the oven to stay warm. You should be able to cook the chicken pieces in 3 or 4 batches, depending on the size of your skillet.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, finish the sauce. Taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper if needed. If the sauce is too dark and strong tasting, add a little chicken broth to thin it out. At this point, the sauce should be about as thick as tomato soup and should have a sharp but not overwhelming flavor.
- In a small bowl, stir together the arrowroot starch and cold water to create a slurry. Raise the sauce temperature to medium; once bubbling, add half of the slurry and stir until thickened, adding more slurry if needed. Remove from the heat.
- Toss the chicken pieces with the sauce, then garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve over Basic Steamed Rice (page 286) or Cauliflower Rice (page 288).
*This dish is equally delicious made with sliced pork loin or shrimp.
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