Saturday, February 17, 2007

OldRoses' Chicken Stir Fry

I don't know why I suddenly got a craving for chicken stir fry. I haven't made this dish in ages. It's another one of those recipes that I had to play with a lot to get it to where I liked it. The original version was Chinese in name only. I guess because it called for soy sauce, that made it "Chinese". It's even supposed to be cooked in a frying pan!

I use a wok. Admittedly, it's a non-stick wok so it's not terribly authentic. But it is easy to clean. I ditched the veggies that were originally in this recipe and substituted canned baby corn, straw mushrooms and water chestnuts and increased the amount of soy sauce used in the marinade.

Since I am no longer cooking for a fussy eater, I made further substitutions tonight. I eliminated the water chestnuts. I've never been a big fan of water chestnuts. Instead I added bamboo shoots and bean sprouts. I prefer using the whole baby corn and just cutting it in half but I could only find the already cut up baby corn. The pieces are too small for me. I like the taste and crunch of the whole cobs. Ditto the straw mushrooms. I couldn't find my usual brand. The brand I bought had just a few HUGE mushrooms in the can. The brand I usually buy has many smaller mushrooms. I like bite-sized mushrooms.

The recipe calls for chicken breasts. Even though it's more expensive, the chicken tenders are a lot easier to cut up. Be sure to cut up the chicken into small pieces because chicken expands in size when it cooks. I prefer all the ingredients to be bite-sized so the dish could be eaten with chopsticks. Although handy with chopsticks, at home I always use a fork.

Verdict: Yum!! This one's a keeper!

OldRoses' Chicken Stir Fry
(Source: OldRoses)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 scallions, chopped
1 can baby corn, drained and cut in half
1 can straw mushrooms, drained
1 can water chestnuts, drained

In a medium-sized bowl, combine garlic, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch. Add chicken and toss to coat; let stand at least 20 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add scallions and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add corn, mushrooms and water chestnuts and stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon.

Heat oil remaining in wok. add chicken and stir-fry 3 minutes, until opaque. Mix remaining soy sauce and cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water. Add to pan.

Return vegetables and cook, stirring, 3 minutes until sauce thickens.

Recycle: soy sauce bottle, vegetable oil bottle, baby corn can, straw mushrooms can, water chestnuts can

Compost: garlic skins, scallion stems