The kids went back to school today. Declan already has Tae Kwan Do at 6:00pm tonight so that throws a wrench into our dinner time. I need to make something that is easy and fast. Thankfully, I have time to prep it before the kids get out of school but this one can be done even if you don't have extra time. It's based on one of Val's go to dishes: "Chinese" Chicken Stir Fry. "Chinese" because in 1970's white America, everything Asian was dubbed "Chinese". We didn't know anything about all of the Asian cuisines that we now consider normal fare in this country. But this recipe is different. Why? Because I gave Val back her recipe file and I didn't put the "Chinese" Stir Fry in the cook book. So, I don't know the exact ingredients. I kind of remember most of them, though. The sauce is part from memory and a few of my own additions. (We didn't have fish sauce readily available in our local supermarket back then, either. Not to mention that Val hates the taste of cilantro.) By the way, I am NOT making an Asian inspired dish to go with tonight's activity.
Chicken Stir Fry
1 1/2 cups rice
1 3/4 lb chicken breast (about 3)
3 cups chopped to 1" pieces (i.e. broccoli, green beans, peppers, onions, mushrooms)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (i.e. Siracha)
zest and juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger
2 teaspoons corn starch
vegetable oil for cooking
1 handful fresh cilantro, optional
Prepare rice according to package directions.
While rice is cooking, cut the chicken into 1" cubes, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Chop vegetables. Mix sauce by combining soy sauce through ginger. Stir in cornstarch to dissolve.
Heat a wok or cast iron skillet on high. Add cooking oil. Once oil is hot, add chicken and cook until outsides are just done. Remove chicken to a plate. Add more oil if needed. Add vegetables until just cooked. Add chicken back to pan. Mix sauce to incorporate corn starch as it often settles to the bottom. Immediately add to chicken and vegetables, stirring to keep from over cooking. Cover for 1-2 minutes until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice.