Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Chicken Stir Fry
Per usual, I intended to make a spicy chicken stir fry and didn't have even half of the right ingredients. All I had bothered to purchase were the snow peas and peanuts. I had the chicken and rice on hand. I was missing a jalapeno.. which being a spicy chicken stir fry, it kind of needed it.
So, I reached for my new favorite cookbook How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. I flipped through a couple of stir fry recipes and settled on a sauce, used whatever veggies I had on had, added chicken, and threw in some red pepper flakes and the peanuts for good measure.
And that's what I really appreciate about this cookbook as opposed to the others on my shelf. He includes different variations after some of the recipes and includes lists of ideas including pizza toppings, sandwich fillings, etc. There's recipes -- and lots of them at that -- but I think it also inspires you to play around with the ingredients and get more comfortable working outside of a recipe. And that's exactly what I'm hoping to work up to someday. Feeling confident enough to make something up and have it actually be edible.
Stir fries are easy to play around with, so I wasn't reinventing the wheel or anything. Feel free to use less oil if you want to. Or more, I suppose. I'm just including what I used.
Chicken Stir Fry
1 tbsp canola oil, divided
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion
1 medium red bell pepper
1 cup snow peas
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp dry sherry
3 tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup scallion, chopped
Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften. Add the peppers and the snow peas; continue to cook, stirring, until the vegetables are crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
Add the other 1/2 tbsp oil to the pan and then the garlic and ginger. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown chicken until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Add the wine and broth to the pan, stirring, until about half of it evaporates.
Add the vegetables back to the pan and cook for a minute or so to reheat. Add the soy sauce and scallion, and cook until the scallion softens, about 30 seconds.
I garnished with red pepper flakes and unsalted, roasted peanuts and served over hot, brown rice.