Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

My mom makes the best stir fry. I have no idea how she does it, but it always tastes awesome. Stir fry is a very basic idea with some mixture of veggies, some form of protein, and cooked in one pan. Last night I looked at what I had in the fridge and decided to attempt my own version of a stir fry. I defrosted my chicken breast, chopped up my veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots), and heated up a frying pan.

Once the pan was hot, I added some olive oil and the spices and stirred that around for about 30 seconds. Then I couldn't decide on cooking times for the veggies and chicken. So I put them all in the pan at the same time. In my mind, all the flavors could cook together. (If you were wondering, the mushrooms didn't need to cook as long as the broccoli and chicken. Next time I would probably throw them in a minute or two after the other ingredients). Once the chicken was mostly cooked I added a tbs or so of soy sauce (a few splashes) and some water and let that cook down.

Now, when my mom makes this type of dish she always manages to make a gravy/sauce using corn starch and water mixed into the frying pan with all things being cooked. I couldn't remember the ratio, but I decided about a 1/4 cup of water and a tbs of corn starch was a good place to start. After all, you can always add more! So into the pan it went. I stirred it around until (approx 2-3 minutes) and you can see the gravy start to thicken up. I wanted a little more so I added some more water and corn starch. Be patient during this step because it does take a few minutes to thicken. Eventually I decided I was hungry and that the amount of gravy was good enough. You can play around and add more until it suits your tastes.

Finally, I topped it with some cracked ground pepper.

And I have to admit, while it didn't exactly taste like my mom's stir fry, it was pretty close. And this is a dish I would feel comfortable making for when I have friends over.

Also, I wish I had onions to put in it. If you have onions on hand, I'd toss in a half of a large onion to the stir fry. Put it in the pan after you heat the spices and let it get a little translucent. Then add the rest of the veg.

Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
makes 2 servings

Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
3/4 tsp Ground Ginger

1 small head Broccoli
2 Carrots
6 Mushrooms
1 Chicken breast- sliced into thin strips or diced into bite size pieces
Splash of water
Soy Sauce
Ground pepper

1/4 c water and 1 tbs corn starch - combined

1. Heat pan over medium high.
2. Once pan is hot, add oil, add spices. Mix approx 30 seconds/fragrant
3. Add veggies* and chicken.
4. Stir occasionally, once chicken (not very pink anymore) and veggies are mostly cooked (stick a fork in veggies to determine if they tender enough for you) add soy sauce and some water
5. Add water/cornstarch mixture a little at a time until desired gravy is there. It will take a little time to thicken so be patient.
6. Serve over rice or pasta or whatever you'd like. You could even put it in a tortilla like a taco, or on top of a flat bread and it it like pizza.

*Depending on the veggies used you may have to adjust the cooking timings.


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