Thursday, August 7, 2008

Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry


I love stir fry. It's an easy, quick meal and it's practically impossible to screw up. Stir frying was one of the first things I taught myself to do in the kitchen (with the help of The Joy of Cooking and internet tutorials). Once I learned the basic techniques, I was able to create all kinds of combinations for interesting meals. Since we got married I've stuck with a fairly basic combination of ingredients, but last week I started thinking about how I haven't done a chicken stir fry in the nearly 8 months we've been married. It'd been a while, so I bought some chicken tenderloins and broccoli and kept it simple.

I served this with homemade rice and salad just to round out the meal. Tangent: I'm so glad I've switched over to actual rice from Minute rice. The fast stuff is convenient, but it's just as easy and it's cheaper to make rice from scratch. /Tangent.
Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry
1 lb. broccoli
3 cloves garlic
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger
1 lb. chicken stir fry strips (I used 8 chicken tenderloins, cut into quarters)
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
Pepper
1/4 c. dry white wine or dry sherry
3 T. vegetable oil
2 T. water
Cut broccoli into bite sized pieces. Smash, peel, and mince garlic, peel and chop ginger.
Toss chicken, half the garlic, half the ginger, the soy sauce, 1 tsp. salt, and wine/sherry in a bowl. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 T. vegetable oil. When oil is hot but not smoking add the broccoli and stir fry one minute. Add remaining garlic and ginger and 2 T. water. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir fry for 2 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green but still crisp. Transfer mixture to a plate.
Add remaining 2 T. vegetable oil to skillet. When the skillet is hot add the chicken and marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry until the chicken begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Return broccoli to the skillet and toss, coating the broccoli. Bring mixture to a boil; add a few tablespoons water or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
Serve warm. Serves 4.
Notes:
  • The technique is essentially the same for any stir fry, though cooking times will vary based on the vegetables you include.
  • My sauce was actually thinner than in previous meals. I used to add cornstarch as a thickening agent, but I HATE working with it and I always seem to make a mess. I'm never quick enough with it to keep it from clumping together, either, so it's pretty much pointless to use it. However, if you're better with cornstarch than I am, by all means!
  • Anyway, I started my rice later than I meant to, so I had to keep my stir fry on low until my rice was read. That thinned my sauce a little. Note to self: be smarter next time!
  • I've experimented some with sugar, and I found that adding sugar (white or brown) added a little extra something, but I always felt it was a little too sweet for me. Sugar, however, is a great addition to this if you choose. Add it with the marinade, and keep it to 1 T. or less.
  • You can use ground ginger if you so choose, but the flavor won't be as strong.
  • You can also add sesame oil to this, either in the marinade or when you bring the broccoli and chicken together. Graham isn't a huge fan, so I don't use it, but it adds a really nice nutty flavor.

2 comments:

  1. Yummm... stir fries are such a great way to use up random veggies :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Angie,

    re: cornstarch - if you whisk the cornstarch with a small amount of water before adding to the stir fry, it won't clump in the food and will still have the thickening effect.

    ReplyDelete

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