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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Karin's Week Twenty-Eight Recipe: Chicken Stir Fry

Generally speaking, I do like to eat stir fry, but generally let others make it. Mainly because I never seem to get the oil temperature right, and it makes such a mess of my stove.  However, Nate had a hankering for chicken stir fry, so attempt it I did. I started with a recipe from the Joy of Cooking (I know, the true authority on stir frying :P) to at least get the cooking times right.  Here's what came out of the pan.

Chicken Stir Fry

2 T canola oil
2 heaping tsp chopped garlic
2 large chicken breasts, patted dry & cut into bite-sized chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into same size as chicken
3 carrots, ditto as celery
1 large onion, again chunked
1 lb pea pods, picked over, washed & drained

2 T Chinese Five Spice powder (Lunds brand? I can't read the label)
2 tsp powdered ginger, Penzey's brand
1 T powdered mustard, Penzey's brand
1 tsp red pepper flakes, Penzey's Medium Hot
2-3 T stir fry sauce
1 T fish sauce

Get everything ready before starting to cook, and have at the ready next to the stove.

Heat a heavy-bottom pan until almost smoking - I recommend non-stick if you're like me and make things stick. Add the oil and swirl around until pan is coated. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the chicken and sear until cooked most of the way through. Remove chicken to a plate.

Add in all veggies, and a bit more oil if needed. Cook for about 5 minutes until veggies are starting to wilt a bit. Add in all spices and stir thoroughly. Add partially cooked chicken, and saute for another 5-7 minutes until veggies and chicken are done.  Serve over rice.

This sounds good, but true to previous attempts, two pans were needed, as I burnt the garlic most spectacularly in the first. Once Nate got the garlic going and the chicken in, I could take over. This was tasty, but we both agreed that it turned out a bit spicier than we wanted, and really all you could taste was the Chinese Five Spice powder. The veggies were nice and crisp though. Would I make this again? Probably not in this form. I think I'd change up the spices and try something completely different. Maybe next time I'll look in my Chinese cookbook, rather than JoC.

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