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Friday, October 15, 2010

Stir Frying it! (yes, I make up my own words!)

Stir Fry - outside of quiche - I think it's one of the easiest meals that looks as though you put a tiny bit of thought into it!  And truly, it doesn't take much! Chop chop chop, throw it into a pan - dinner is ready!  So tonight for dinner we had Sesame Orange Chicken with Stir Fry Vegetables and Brown Rice.  Let me start by telling you, I had a recipe that I loosely followed.  But for stir fry, not too many directions are needed!  The recipe called for chicken breast.  I had split chicken breast (they were on sale recently).  Plus I prefer chicken cooked on the bone - it makes it juicier!   So I cooked the chicken earlier this morning.
Tip #1 - always cook more chicken than you need.  Extra can be chopped or quartered and frozen. Ready to use in chicken pie, chicken salad, chicken soups, chicken and pasta, get the picture?
Tip #2 - use chicken broth or stock in place of water to boil your rice.  Tons more flavor.  I save the broth from the cooked chicken this morning and cooked the brown rice.  Think of it as environmentally friendly as well - you saved water!
Tip #3 - stir fry is a great way to have your family eat their vegetables.  Especially if you have a dip!  And when we have stir fry, we have "Japanese Mayo".  This dipping sauce needs to be made a few hours ahead of time to give a chance for the flavors to blend and "harmonize".  This is the recipe I sort of use.  I mean sort of as after making it a time or two I recall the main ingredients and toss it together.  Trust me, you really can't mess it up.

Sesame Orange Chicken (adapted by Emily!)

2tsp sesame seeds (if you don't have them don't worry, I didn't)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks (I used already cooked and cooled chunks of 2 1/2 split chicken breasts)
1 Tbsp cornstarch (this makes the sauce)
2 1/2 tsp oil (I used EVOO as it was handy)
Veggies - I used cabbage, carrot, orange and green pepper, onion, zucchini, summer squash and broccoli
1/3 cup soy sauce,orange juice, and water

1 - Cook sesame seeds in large nonstick skillet over med heat until golden.  Set aside.  Put chicken and cornstarch in baggie and shake to coat.
2 - Heat 2 tsp oil in same skillet until hot.  Add chicken cooking until opaque in center (about 5 mins).  Remove to large plate.
3 - Heat remaining oil in skillet.  Add veggies - hardest to softest.  For instance, I added the carrots for about 2-3 min before adding cabbage, broccoli and onions.  Then after a min or so I added squash and zucchini.  I like my squash and zucchini to not be too soft.  Stir fry about 5-6 min.
4 - Add liquids.  Put chicken back into pan and stir.  Let it all cook together for about 5 min stirring frequently to cover with sauce.
5 - Plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds (see why I didn't even bother with the seeds).

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