Since this is going to be the week of one pot meals, and since Sean picked the meals, it is going to be mostly stir fry dinners this week, with the exception of the soups we will be making. Stir fries are fun and easy to do. I like doing them because you can really put anything you want in a stir fry. It’s a great way to get rid of leftovers in any form, whether they are chicken, meat, fish or vegetables, and they only take about 20 minutes to make, which makes them ideal for weeknight dinners when things can get hectic.
I would just like to mention a few things about stir frying. I always have a few Asian ingredients on hand in case we feel like making a stir fry. I always have soy sauce, five-spice powder, fresh ginger, hoisin sauce, mirin, rice vinegar and oyster sauce. They can all be found in your local supermarket and if you have them around, you can do all kinds of Asian and stir fry cooking. Next, I have a wok, but I don’t use it for stir frying anymore. Wok’s aren’t designed to be used on a flat stove top and don’t really provide the high heat you need to do a good stir fry. A large, non-stick skillet works a lot better makes better use of a horizontal heat source. Lastly, if you want restaurant-style sauces for your stir fry, add a little cornstarch to your pan juices and you’ll get that glossy sauce that you get with your take-out. Today’s dinner is Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables with White Rice.
Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables
2 cups broccoli or cauliflower florets and stems, cut into bite size pieces
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 pepper (any color), seeded and sliced into strips
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1/2-inch wide strips
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 cup chicken stock, white wine or water (your choice, I am using stock)
Put a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add half the oil, swirl it around and immediately add half the garlic and ginger. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring, then add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and pepper and cook over high heat until the vegetables are tender but not at all mushy, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium and remove the vegetables. Add the remaining oil to the pan, then the remaining garlic and ginger. Stir, then add the chicken. Raise the heat to high, stir the chicken once, then let it sit for 1 minute before stirring again. Cook stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color, 3 to 5 minutes.
Return the vegetables to the pan and toss once or twice. Add the sugar, then the soy sauce; toss again. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the liquid. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly and you’ve scraped up all the bits of chicken, about 30 seconds. Serve over rice.
There are so many other things you can add or change about this recipe. Throw in some mushrooms, bean sprouts, shallot, snow peas, baby corn or any other vegetable you might like to have. Toss the chicken chunks with the five-spice powder before cooking (1 tablespoon is plenty), add a tablespoon of hoisin, oyster or plum sauce to the soy sauce, use beef, pork, shrimp, scallops or any other fish instead of the chicken, the list can go on. You could even add some cashews or peanuts right at the add for some added crunch. Have fun with it and make it what you want.
I have done the white rice recipe a few times here, so you can see how I make it if you like. On Wednesday, when we have the next stir fry, we’ll be making fried rice, so I’ll post the recipe for that when we get to it. A simple, healthy meal with easy clean up, and Sean picked it out! It can’t get much better than that! Tomorrow, we will be making Rustic Vegetable and Polenta soup. It is our meat-free meal of the week, and Sean will help with this one too. He’s a little reluctant to try this one, but we’re going to give it a whirl anyway. It’s very basic as far as ingredients, so hopefully it will go over well. Check it out tomorrow to see the recipe. As always, if you have any questions, comments or anything at all to add, please feel free to leave a comment. I am more than happy to respond. Now it’s back to work for me. Have a great evening and see you tomorrow!