Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chicken stir fry

In terms of workout today, I had a hard day at yoga bootcamp this morning!   Our regular instructor was out with a broken arm ---the hazards of ice biking!--and we had a sub, whom we've had before. However, today every third move was a Chaturanga.  Mix that in with the biopsy toe that is still hurting and moving from downdog to chaturanga to mountain pose to chaturanga. . . . okay, there were some other moves in there as well!   While I knock it, it was a fabulous workout today. I just had to stop at one point and put my Fox River sock back on so my bandaid would rub off where it was on the sole of my foot. 

Earlier this week I planned out some meals. By that I mean, I took a post it note and said, "Tonight is Pizza, Wednesday is stir fry, Thursday is Mexican Lasagna, and  Friday is soup".  Of that, the stir fry happened Thursday instead of Wednesday and the soup isn't happening tomorrow.  

While I wanted to make a stir fry, I didn't really have a recipe. I had a few things purchased in mind for it, and tonight I used google to find a couple recipes I used for inspiration. This one and that one

Obviously I couldn't use both completely, since I can't do fermented black beans (found out they're actually soybeans), nor did I have the specific noodles or napa cabbage for the other. 

Ah well, that's where inspiration comes into play!  We had left over rice from Monday night, which makes having stir fry perfect this week! 
Food prep
I love my food processor, but don't often use all the attachment blades, finding it easier to just cut up an onion by hand if that's the only thing that needs cut.  Tonight, I played with my Kitchenaid toy. I used the Julienne blade for the carrots, doing up a lot figuring they'd be used in a soup or salads later on. Then I sliced the shrooms in it, and watched as the last one just jumped and whirled over the blade---it was too much fun to watch, so I didn't use the push down tool.. After the 'shrooms came the onion--- 1 1/2 medium sized ones, though I didn't put all of it in the cooked mixture. Then a bell pepper as well.  A can of diced chestnuts (I don't like the sliced ones--too much at once), sliced bamboo, coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and the Just Bare chicken breasts.  

I was soooo proud of myself, then I looked again at the inspiration recipes and saw that I'm suppose to marinate the meat in the soy oil. UGH.    Okay then---quick--thin slice the chicken!   Add to a mixing bowl with about 1/4 cup of soy sauce and, hey let's add about a tablespoon of garlic to that and 1 tsp of corn starch. Stir and let sit. Phew. That's accomplished!  

I cooked the mushrooms in a separate pan, not knowing if The Mike would want some added in his stirfry. I love the fungi, he sometimes feel like a fungi and sometime he doesn't, although I think he's a fun-guy all the time. 

I started with heating up the pan with a splash of olive oil and cooked the onions for a few minutes, then added in a half tablespoon of minced garlic--the more the merrier!   After the onion was cooked a bit longer I added in the red bell peppers and carrots, as well as 1/2 tsp of dried ginger and a small pinch--sort of--of red pepper flakes. I have a shaker on those and I just shook some into the pan.  As that was cooking and I was stirring, I decided that it didn't smell spicy enough, so I added another 1/2 tsp of dried ginger and another few shakes of the red pepper flake canister.  When it was all melded together, I put into a microwave heated bowl, so it wouldn't cool down.  While I was prepping to cook the other items, The Mike had some and said, 'WHOA That's SPICY'.  So then I had to try some. Eyes water, throat on fire. Yes, spicy, but I was hopeful that adding in the other items (rice, chicken, sauce, bamboo, chestnuts) would calm down and share the spices. 
Rice and veggie mixture
Once the pan was again empty, I turned up the heat and added another splash of olive oil and added in all the chicken and broth.  Afterwards, I noticed that I probably should have cooked it in two batches, but what was done was done. The pan wasn't too crowded, it was just not wasn't all that loose either.  Chicken was cooked and I added about 1/2 cup of chicken broth in order to create a bit of gravy---is it called gravy in stir fry? 

Then it was time to finish plating and serve. Well, we used a bowl. 
Finished meal, tossed with forks to blend
Once the items were all placed together, the spices weren't too much at all.  The Mike went back for seconds and said, "This is like HuHot!".  LOL.   His second bowl was rice, raw onion, cooked veggies, and chicken mixture. 

1 package of Just Bare chicken
1 tsp corn starch 
1/4 cup Coconut Aminos (and more for serving if you'd like)
1 T of minced garlic---if using fresh, use half--for marinade
1 sliced onion
1/2 T minced garlic for the veggies 
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 to 2 julienne cut carrots
1 bell pepper (color of your choice) 
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken broth 
As many mushrooms as you love
1 can diced water chestnuts
1 can sliced bamboo 
2 scallions/green onions diced for topping

Slice everything to start, so you are all ready to go with the quick cooking when it's time. 
Marinate thinly sliced chicken in coconut aminos (or soy sauce), garlic and corn starch. Stir well. Let marinate for 15 minutes. 

In hot skillet with a quick splash (half tablespoon) of olive oil, add onions, stir for a few minutes, add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, and stir for just a couple minutes. Then add the carrots and bell pepper and allow to cook until they just soften. Then move the veggies to a bowl for holding.  

Heat up the skillet again, and add a bit more olive oil. When hot, add in the chicken mixture.   You'll want to do this in two batches.  Cook half the chicken, put it in with the veggies. Then cook the other half of the chicken. Once cooked, add half a cup of chicken broth. Skootch--that's a technical word--the chicken to the side and add in the chestnuts and bamboo in order to heat them in the broth/juices. 

Add all to the mixing/serving bowl and serve on top of rice or rice noodles and top with the diced scallions.  

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