Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Garden Chicken Stir Fry guest post from my Wonderful Wife

NOTE: As I am in the classroom for a new school year, my loving wife has picked up a bit of the slack on the Facebook page and the blog. At least until her school year starts. She wrote this post and did all the work on making this meal. She did a fantastic job, and I'm not just saying that so I can continue to sleep inside the house.
     As the title of this recipe suggests, this will use up some of your garden’s produce…provided the produce in the recipe is what you grow in your garden. It is also a fairly simple recipe, and that was what I was looking for this past Monday. My husband was working late, and I needed something easy.
Theoretically, this should be easy.
     Unlike my husband, I am not at my best in the kitchen. Want me to teach your child English? Recommend a good book? I can do that, but I’d rather not be evaluated on my culinary skills. So, here is the recipe, and as my husband always does, notes and changes are in blue.

Summer Garden Chicken Stir-fry

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (Not going to happen when I am cooking alone. I used 2 teaspoons of minced garlic instead.)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped gingerroot
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges (I used a red onion. It was all we had and it made for a nice color combo with the other veggies.)
  • 1 cup ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots, cut lengthwise in half (I thought they looked too big, so I cut them lengthwise in half a second time…I believe math teachers would refer to this as quartering. I am not a math teacher.)
  • 1 cup fat-free chicken broth (I used a cup of home-made chicken broth.)
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar (I used two.)
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup (3 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms (I didn’t have any fresh mushrooms. Also, I had half a dozen yellow squash in the refrigerator and more threatening in the garden. So, I made an executive decision and substituted yellow squash for the mushrooms – daring, I know. Like the red onion, I thought the color of the squash added something to the dish, and while I’m never sure my food will taste good, I want it to at least look nice.)
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper, any color (I used green as our peppers haven’t ripened to red yet.)
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch (I ended up needing four. See directions for details.)
  • Hot cooked brown rice, if desired (White rice worked just as well. It’s important to note that the “if desired” portion of the recipe is not included in the calorie calculations. Without the rice, one serving of this dish is 200 calories.)

  1. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, garlic, and ginger root; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is brown.
  2. Stir in onion, carrots, ¾ cup of broth, the soy sauce, and sugar. Cover and cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in broccoli, mushrooms (yellow squash), and bell pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are crisp-tender (I think 5 minutes might have been overkill here. The veggies didn't come out as crisp as I would have liked. My chicken pieces were pretty well-cooked by the time I got to this step, so no worries there.)
  4. In small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup of broth; stir into chicken mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened. Serve over rice. (Everything had been going exactly as described until I added the cornstarch. And then…nothing happened. No thickening. In hindsight, this might have been due to the added moisture from the yellow squash. In any case, I simply mixed two more teaspoons of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and added it to the pan. Thickening occurred – crisis averted.)
Good times!

1 comment: