in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chicken and Red Pepper Stir Fry

From slow cooking to quick cooking. Both are useful in today's lifestyle. This recipe takes advantage of fresh veggies and boneless skinless chicken breasts in a one dish meal.
Chicken and Red Pepper Stir Fry
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic
1 large red bell pepper
4 or 5 large mushrooms
2 stalks celery
1 carrot
15 to 18 snap peas (or snow peas)
1 to 2 cups baby kale leaves
3 teaspoons peanut oil
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
3 teaspoons cornstarch
Rice for serving, brown, white or black
Red pepper flakes for serving
Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks, removing any tendons, and set aside. On a separate cutting board, smash garlic cloves, peel and mince. Clean and cut red pepper into strips. Slice mushrooms about 1/4 inch thick. Slice celery thinly on the diagonal. Peel and thinly slice carrot on the diagonal, too. Clean snap peas and trim off ends. Wash and dry kale leaves. Mix soy sauce, water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Begin cooking by heating a wok (or deep sided skillet) over high heat. Add oil to pan. When oil is hot, put chicken and garlic in pan and begin to stir fry. Cook and stir until chicken begins to turn golden, about 4 minutes. Add the peppers and carrots. Cook for 1 minute. Add the celery and peas. Cook another minute. Add the kale and mushrooms and cook for one minute more. Pull the food away from the middle of the pan and pour the sauce into the middle. Cook and stir the sauce for a few seconds then mix in the chicken and veggies. Continue cooking until the sauce clears. Serve over rice with hot pepper flakes to taste.
Hints: This recipe will feed about 4 people and doesn't double well because of the size of a normal skillet or wok. (Are commercial woks bigger?) The heat is dissapated too quickly if there is too much food in the wok and it ends up steaming rather than frying. So make two batches if you need to feed more people. Get everything ready to go before beginning to cook as with all stir frying. You can go meatless with this or use firm tofu in place of the chicken. Up the garlic if you want a stronger taste. I call for lite soy sauce because of the lower sodium content and I make sure mine is gluten free. I save the red pepper flakes for the serving because not everyone in my family like the heat up as much as I do.

I am not an expert in Oriental Cooking but I sure enjoy the flavors and the cooking methods. The philosophy of fresh ingredients, lightly cooked is one I can endorse fully. Remember substituting one veggie for another is what cooking with what is on hand is all about. Try this Pork Stir Fry with ginger too!

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