Monday, January 28, 2008

Stir Fry Chicken over Rice

This frugal stir fry for my Food Stamp Challenge week didn't include the mushrooms, sesame oil or water chestnuts.

For the not frugal: snow peas, bamboo shoots, sake instead of rice wine vinegar, fresh grated ginger root, baby corn, shitake mushrooms.

One Whole Chicken Breast
2 ribs of celery
1 to 2 carrots
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 of a head of broccoli
1/2 onion
4 large mushrooms
sliced water chestnuts (small can)
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
chicken bullion cube
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch

The trick to stir fry is in the preparation. Cube the chicken breast into 1 inch chunks. Toss in a bowl with about 1 tbsp soy sauce, ginger and the sesame oil. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and bring to room temperature before cooking.

Slice the celery and carrots in oblique shapes (not just crossways). Cut the half of red pepper into strips. Coarsly chop onion into 1 inch pieces. Slice the mushrooms. Cut the broccoli into spears, slice in half if they are too large. Drain the sliced water chestnuts

The idea is to have all the pieces, meat and vegetables, approximately the same size.

Before cooking group the vegetables on your chopping board according to the length of cooking time. Mushrooms and red peppers don't takre as long to cook so you want to add them at the last.

Make the sauce: combine the soy sauce, water, bullion cube, rice wine vinegar and sugar. Heat or microwave until disolved. Set aside to cool. Stir in the cornstarch when cooled.

Cooking the Stir Fry:

In a large deep fry pan or wok, heat about 1 tbsp oil until very hot. Add the chicken all at once and stir in the hot pan for a couple of minutes until the chicken is almost done. Remove chicken pieces from the pan and cover to keep warm.

Add a bit more oil to the pan if needed and bring back to hot. Toss in the carrots, onion and celery. Stir and toss in the pann until just beginning to become limp. Add the red pepper, mushrooms and water chestnuts and continue stiring for about a minute. Add back the chicken pieces and toss about another minute or less.

Stir the sauce mixuture to mix up the cornstarch, which has settled on the bottom. and pour all at once over the stir fry. Quickly toss and stir for about 30 seconds or until the sauce is thickened and clear. If the sauce is cloudy looking, the cornstarch hasn't cooked.

The time from beginning to end of the stir fry process is usually about 5 minutes or less.

1 comment:

Kelila said...

Thanks for writing this.