Monday, May 17, 2010

Recipe for Chicken Stir Fry

This is somewhat of a tradition in the Grace place, and considering this has included no less than 7 places in the past 15 years, this means something. I got it out of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which is always a good source for some yummy recipes. The fact that I could get my wife to eat something besides meat and potatoes speaks for itself. Not to mention this is one even the fussiest of youngsters will eat (unless they're really weird, of course).

The original recipe calls for olive oil, (not Popeye's squeeze) sherry, ginger root, minced garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch and of course the chicken. Because sherry (a form of fortified wine) is a bit pricey, and I've used Christian Brothers primarily (the regular sherry, not cream or any other sherry or the sauce will taste yucky. This is from experience), I've figured out a way to save a buck in preparation, not to mention making this easier to do. If you want to see the original, look in the cookbook and try it, but my quicker, easier and less expensive (and just as yummy) version is the one here.

I'm not very precise when cooking this stuff and that the beauty of it. You can make this stuff taste great without a lot of precision. Just start with the basics and go from there.

You'll need basic kitchen stuff, a fry pan or electric wok, spatula, measuring spoons (or the regular ones), a sharp knife and a cutting board.

Olive oil is nice, but cooking spray (without silicone) works fine to coat the pan. Other than that you'll need or want;

Four de-boned chicken breasts
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger (more or less)
1/4 cup of Kikkoman teriyaki sauce (in the orange bottle. Do not use the store brand; pony up and buy the good stuff).
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch (this is dirt cheap).
1 - 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar (to take the saltiness out of the sauce or use a low sodium version, the choice is yours).
1 Tablespoon of water (for the sauce).
3 -4 cups of frozen vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower [yucky, but to each his or her own] green beans or water chestnuts are fine, so are carrots).

The sauce is best made by putting the dry ingredients in first, then adding just enough of the teriyaki to turn this into a paste. Once this is mixed through and through, you can slowly add the rest of the sauce and some water if you like, stir this well. I like to use a Pyrex measuring cup for this "chore."

Slice the chicken thinly using a (sharp) chef's knife and a cutting board. I would not use a plate or the Formica counter top for this anymore than I would use a paring knife to cut the chicken. Bad form and this can get you a nasty cut. Not fun with raw chicken.

Heat up the cooking spray under medium-high heat, then add half of the garlic powder and ginger to the pan. Give it fifteen seconds and add the chicken, which should cook in less than five minutes. Turn the heat to high and stir it up until cooked all the way through. Add the vegetables and cook until crisp tender. This means hot, but not soggy.

Clear out the center section of the pan and slowly add the sauce. Once this thickens stir everything together until the meat and vegetables are well-coated. You can and should serve this with rice, but French fries or tater tots also work well (my wife can attest to that, she doesn't like rice. I can hear her laughing in the background).

If my kids'll eat it, anyone will. Happy supper time. Maranatha!

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