Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Spicy Szechuan Chicken



Time to get my Chinese food fix on!

I know I've mentioned this before, but the lack of restaurant choices in my area really irks me. I know I signed up for this when I left Portland, but you really don't understand your choices until you are living them. When we left Oregon I thought, "Yes, I'll be living in the country and I won't have access to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, fresh fish, specialty food items, and endless possibilities of restaurants. That's ok, I have Amazon!".  Well, Amazon does not provide you everything, including restaurant choices. In Portland, you can find a restaurant for anything. I don't say that lightly, it's just true. What if you want Argentinian tacos with crispy menudo? You can find that. What about a raw vegan experience? You can find several of those. You want Chinese food? You can literally find hundreds of thousands of Chinese restaurants, each more delectable than the last.

I really must add, if you are looking for a doughnut in the shape of a man's genitals, you too can find that in Portland. Just saying'...

It does make me sad that I can't take care of a Chinese food hankering at my leisure. Tradeoffs, I tell you. And if you want to get right down to it (minus the lack of access to fresh, unique foodstuff), the benefits of living in the boonies far outweigh the cons for me.

That being said, I think this dish knocks Chinese food right out of the park. You know me and veggies, so this stir fry is mostly veggies. I only added one chopped chicken breast for a smidge of protein. You really don't miss the meat though, between the leafy boo choy, crunchy peanuts, and the spicy, lip-smacking sauce. I made sure there was plenty of sauce in this stir fry, there must always be enough sauce for me to mix with my rice. Another pro? This makes great leftovers. I highly recommend giving this recipe a whirl.

Chopsticks optional :)

Ingredients:

2 tsp canola oil
1 chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 onion (cut into slices, then cut slices in half)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 baby bok choy (separate leaves from stem. Thinly slice leafy portions. Roughly chop bok choy stems. Keep leafy portions and stems separate.)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp chile paste with garlic
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp garlic, minced
hot, cooked rice
garnish- chopped peanuts (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat canola oil over medium-high heat. While heating, season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Cut chicken into bit-sized pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken. Sauté 4-5 minutes, or until chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan, keep warm. Wipe pan out.
2. Heat peanut oil over medium-high heat in same pan. Add onions, red pepper, and bok choy stems. Sauté 4-5 minutes, or until vegetables have begun to soften.
3. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth through garlic. Whisk to combine. Add sauce mixture to pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken.
4. Add chicken and bok choy leaves to pan. Cook 1 minute, or until chicken is heated and bok choy leaves have wilted. Spoon over hot cooked rice, sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve immediately.


Linked to: Weekend Potluck

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