I may take an idea from a meal I've eaten in a restaurant and mess around with it a bit (like THIS seafood pasta). But to sit down and hammer out a copy cat version...
Exceptions occur, though, if a restaurant closes or if we move.
We lived in Bryan, TX for about 5 years and in that time we were introduced to Greek and Thai food in that young college town. Thai Taste was a favorite among my friends. The food was fantastic and super cheap for lunch--great for students on a budget. Their Chicken Garlic stood above all the other menu items.
The thing about this dish is that it was swimming--no drowning in garlic. So much that after eating, my skin would smell of garlic. Sometimes even for a day or two. My lab manager always knew when I had Chicken Garlic for lunch. And he was usually miffed. Not that I was stinking up the lab. But that I went to Thai Taste without him.
It has since closed and we haven't lived in Bryan for 10 years. A couple of years ago, The Husband got a wild hair to recreate Chicken Garlic.
Is it like Thai Taste's? Well, it's been so long, I have no idea!
But I can tell you that his version is really good and quick to make.
Like many Asian-style dishes, have everything prepped and ready to go. Once you start cooking things will move fast.
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
8 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 cup chicken broth, plus a few tablespoons if needed
chopped parsley for garnish
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown all over.
Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the garlic softens. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Add a few tablespoons of chicken broth if the garlic starts to stick.
Add the black pepper, sugar, red pepper flakes, and fish sauce. Stir to coat the chicken. Cook for a minute or two.
Add the chicken broth and lower to a simmer. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice. Sprinkle parsley on top.