Savory chicken oatmeal

Savory chicken oatmeal

As a result of our dependence on food, we have all come to associate certain textures with certain flavors. For example, foods cottony and fluffy in texture will normally cause the brain to anticipate sweetness. Vibrant memories of eating cotton candy or doughnuts as a child train us to associate sweet with soft and fluffy. Similarly, we might expect crunchy foods to taste savory, since potato chips, fried chicken, and a host of other foods taste salty. Associations between certain foods and flavors also compartmentalize into smaller units. We expect rice to tasty salty, like fried rice, or at least be paired with salty foods, so the first time someone tries sweet rice pudding, part of the fascination comes from the fact that rice used to always be associated with non-sweet foods and, suddenly, such conventions gets overturned. Of course, food associations arise from personal experience and so can vary.

The reason I talk about food associations is because most people associate oatmeal with sweetness—actually, most people probably think of blandness when they think of oatmeal. Regardless, savory and salty rarely come to mind when one thinks of oatmeal. I, for one, find such convention absurd. Oatmeal is a carbohydrate-rich grain like rice, and rice normally finds itself associated with saltiness. Why can’t oatmeal taste salty and savory?

Thus, I present to you a simple, creamy dish called savory chicken oatmeal. For you vegetarians, tofu can easily replace the chicken, and it may even seem more natural to pair this oatmeal with tofu as you will soon find out why.For the savory chicken oatmeal, I start with a basic 4:1 ratio of liquid to oats—four cups of liquid and one cup of oats. I usually use one cup of soy milk and three cups of water to constitute the four cups of liquid necessary because the soy milk adds an extra layer of creaminess to the resulting dish. Some people like to add the oats in after the liquid starts boiling, but I throw all the ingredients in at once. Also, I use McCann’s Irish steel-cut oats. Steel-cut oats take a longer time to cook than rolled oats. The typical Quaker’s oatmeal is made from rolled oats.

When the liquid does start to boil however, add 1-3 tablespoons of white miso or any kind of miso you like to the pot. The miso will act as the main flavoring agent in the dish, and now you see why tofu might better fit this dish that chicken—miso soup, a traditional Japanese dish, normally includes cubed tofu.

After the liquid starts to boil, a lot of bubbles will start forming, so lower the heat to medium-low and let the pot simmer for around 10-15 minutes. The amount of time you cook the oats really depends on how well you want the oats to be cooked. Sometimes, I like my oats crunchier than usual, and other times, I like them silky smooth.

Right before you finish cooking the oats, throw in some pre-cooked cubes of chicken chicken into the mix or some cubed tofu. These will add a healthy amount of protein to this otherwise carbohydrate-loaded dish.

I like to blow torch the surface of the oatmeal after pouring it into a serving bowl to add a nice, delectable char. Tossing on some shredded cheese can also add more complexity in the flavors of the dish.

Recipe: Savory chicken oatmeal

  • 1 cup unflavored soy milk
  • 3 cup water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1-3 tablespoons miso
  • 4 oz. cubed tofu or cooked chicken breast
  1. Add water, soy milk, and oats into a pot. Set heat on high and stir.
  2. Once liquid starts to boil, lower heat to medium-low and stir occasionally, preventing any oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add miso while liquid boils or simmers, allowing the miso to dissolve completely.
  4. After about 10-15 minutes, add cubed tofu or chicken and let the pot simmer for a couple more minutes.

About Earl

Hi, my name is Earl. I am a student who loves to analyze food and eat healthy. My careful eye for food has caused me to become interested in the science behind food and cooking, and I write about my explorations into food on my website While I believe in sticking to whole, natural foods, I'm not afraid to work with avant-garde ingredients and equipment such as constant temperature water baths and sodium alginate. I also love photography, technology, and journalism.

02. June 2011 von Earl
Categories: Health, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 2 comments

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