Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables

Often times when I have limited time (less than 15 minutes) and I want a quick meal I make a stir-fry. When I work 4 long consecutive days (in the clinic) I would cut, wash and dry all of the vegetables, and store them in the refrigerator. The day before I would thaw a few small pieces of meat from my freezer in the refrigerator overnight. Before leaving the clinic I would text my husband to cook rice and when I get home I can quickly cut, wash my meat, cook everything and we eat in 10 minutes. 

You can make it vegetarian, meat, seafood or a combination of meat and seafood. Cook the hardest vegetables first. If I have time I steam the hardest vegetables (such as carrots and broccoli) partially before using. The keys to making a good stir-fry are to keep the heat high and to not overcook the vegetables. They should be just cooked--have a bright color, maintain their crunchiness and retain most of their nutrients. I love fresh cilantro and when I have some in my kitchen I normally chop leaves from a sprig or two and add after everything has been cooked. 

I found this wonderful creative short animation on green crabs called, Attack of the Green Crabs.

stir-fried chicken and vegetables
Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb chicken thigh, sliced into bite size
1 large garlic clove, smashed, chopped
About 1-2 tsp of grated fresh ginger
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced 1/8th inch thick
1 large broccoli floret, cut into bite size
8 oz sugar snap peas, removed the strings from both sides
12 oz baby bella mushrooms, halved
1 recipe of Green Crab Stir-Fry Sauce (see recipe below)

Method:

Add oil to a heated large pan or wok. Keep the heat to medium to high. Add chicken, garlic, and ginger, saute about 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked. Avoid burning the garlic. Add carrot and broccoli. Saute until the carrot and broccoli are partially cooked. Add snap peas, and mushrooms. Saute until the peas are just cooked. Once all the vegetables and meat are cooked then in the last minute add the sauce. Stir or shuffle the pan or wok a few times until all the ingredients are coated with the sauce.

Green Crab Stir-Fry Sauce

 Ingredients:

1 cup green crab stock (please see Simple Green Crab Stock link)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce

Method:

Mix all ingredients together. May adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Be sure to stir the sauce prior to using.

Helpful Hints:

*This recipe may be too much to fit in one wok or even a large pan. You may divide the ingredients and sauce in half and make 2 batches. I made half a batch one day and the other half the next day.
*I prefer chicken thighs over the breasts since they have more flavors.
*I chose these vegetables because they are the ones that are available fresh at my local market at this time of the year. Be sure to buy the broccoli that is firm to the touch, green in color and the stalk side is smooth without a hallowed out area. If you have a broccoli stalk do not discard, remove the tough outer skin and use the interior stalk for cooking.
*It is best to use unsalted green crab stock for this recipe. If you are using salted stock then decrease your seasoning for the sauce. 
*If you would like to add sesame oil to the stir-fry then drizzle a little at the end of cooking. 

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