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Easy Chicken Vegetable Stir-Fry
Cooking For Two Or More People
Orson Welles summed up the way I cook when he stated, “My doctor told me I had to stop throwing intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people.”
Chicken Stir Fry
Picture Perfect Dinner
I am far from an artist and not even close to being in the category of a chef. I’m a cook. I plan our menus and then I prepare the meals. I’m a slicer, dicer, mincer, and shredder. The color is what appeals to my senses and taste buds. Henri Matisse would feel right at home sitting in my kitchen. Immediately he would notice an artist’s palette containing bold splashes of reds, yellows, and greens that adorn the dinner plate. Cooking is so much more than flavor and texture. For me, meal preparation is about the ingredients, the different hues, and the presentation. If it smells and looks good then chances are the meal will be a winner.
Fast, Hot and Tasty Chinese Food
A quick Google search under “stir fry” reveals 16.5 million articles on the subject. There are recipes for chicken, chicken and broccoli, vegetarian, healthy, shrimp, beef, and even tofu stir fry. If you have never made your own stir fry then most likely you have opted for the convenience of ordering from a Chinese restaurant. Whenever I call our local Chinese restaurant and place a takeout order I’m usually informed the order will be ready for pickup in 15 to 20 minutes. There’s no denying it…getting food in a Chinese restaurant is fast, hot and tasty. The downside is not knowing whether or not the meal contains monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Chicken Stir Fry
Timing is Everything
- 2 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts, Cubed or cut into strips
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1 - 2 TBS. Peanut or Sesame Oil
- 1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Cut into strips
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Cut into strips
- 1 Medium Onion, Diced
- 1 Broccoli Head, Cut to only use florets
- 1 - 2 Cups Snap Peas
- 1.5 Cups Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1 Can or Large Handful Bean Sprouts
- 1 Small Can Water Chestnuts
- 1 15 oz. can Baby Corn, Drained
- 2 TBSP Cornstarch
- 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth
- 1/2 - 1 TSP Ginger, Grated
- Although traditional Chinese recipes call for cooking in a wok, I have also found that my large skillet (12 inches) works well too. Regardless whether you are using a wok or large skillet, heat your oil over medium high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for one minute. Then add your chicken and stir continuously, until it begins to brown for approximately 4 minutes. Put in the peppers and onions and cook for 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts, mushrooms, water chestnuts, snap peas, baby corn, and broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes. The next to last step is to add the soy sauce and cook for another 2 minutes, or longer depending on how crisp you like your vegetables.
- The last step involves dissolving the cornstarch in chicken broth in a bowl and pouring it onto the stir-fry for another 2 minutes. The cornstarch will help to thicken the sauce.
- Quite frankly, my wife likes her chicken cooked longer than the suggested time and she also prefers vegetables with less crunch. Accordingly, I simply added a few more minutes to the cooking time at the very end.
Rice is Nice
This recipe is full of flavor and packed with delicious goodness. I like to serve the chicken and vegetables over piping hot white rice. Unlike a lot of Chinese food, I seriously doubt you will be hungry in an hour after feasting on this dish.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised and your taste buds will be tantalized with the moist tenderness of the chicken and the firmness of the vegetables, along with the crunch of the water chestnuts.
Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Favorite Chicken Dishes
As you can tell, my favorite meals are those that incorporate the bold color of vegetables that compliment a moist and seasoned chicken breast. If stir-fry isn't your thing, then I highly recommend making a roasted vegetable and chicken dish. Your family or dinner guests will think you labored for hours in the kitchen, but only you will know how easy the preparation process was.
Homegrown Garden Vegetables
Cooking at Home
Some may view cooking as a chore or think they aren't very good in the kitchen. Others may feel pressed for time, living hectic lives packed with one activity after another and take out dinners become a matter of convenience. However, with the stir-fry recipe or any other recipes that involve vegetables, you can do much of your prep work the day before. I will often cut my vegetables and chicken the day prior to the actual meal and place them in 1-gallon storage bags. Just imagine, you can have a home cooked chicken and vegetable stir-fry meal that will serve 4 adults in 15 minutes. Additionally, there are no hard and fast rules regarding what you throw in the pan. Asparagus and green beans would be super. So, say no to MSG and make a home cooked meal for yourself and loved ones tonight.
WRITTEN BY: DENNIS L. PAGE