Monday, August 27, 2007
Classic Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry (and minimalism in the kitchen)
I don't own a wok, but every time I see one at any store - from Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma (expensive) to Ikea or Target (affordable) I long for one.
Yet, my inner minimalist denies the purchase. Where will it be stored? Hmm, no cabinet space? No go.
My rule tends to be for large kitchen items - if I use it at least once a week, it can come in, otherwise, stay out. Borrow, make do or whatever, but enjoy the peace of minimal clutter (my kitchen as of tonight):
So...this means I was a bit skeptical about the success of a home-cooked Chinese stir-fry type dish without a wok. But WOW, it was easy, delicious, healthy - it shocked me how great it was. A regular repeat dish with variations is certainly planned.
But I think I can make room for at least a small wok...
Classic Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry:
(serves 4 with rice/noodles, 2 if served alone)
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces and pounded thin
1 small bunch broccoli crowns, cut into small pieces
2 small carrots, peeled and cut on a bias
1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch enoki mushrooms, ends trimmed and separated
1 small bunch green onions, sliced on the diagonal
Small handful Thai red chilies (Chile Japones)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbs chopped fresh ginger
Salt and white pepper to taste
Crushed red chili pepper flakes for extra heat (as desired - I always desire)
Olive oil for sauteing
Sake or white wine or sherry or water (for deglazing pan as needed)
Slurry (mixture) of 2 tbs cornstarch, 2 tbs water, 2 tbs soy sauce
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Steamed rice or noodles for serving
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan or a wok that has been preheated. Next, add aromatics - garlic, ginger and chilies. Keep heat on high the entire time.
Next, add vegetables. Saute, tossing frequently, adding deglazing liquid as needed to avoid burning. Add chicken, then slurry. Toss and continue tossing until chicken is cooked through - reduce heat to medium in the final stages if needed.
Remove from heat, pour onto plate or platter, garnish with chilies or green onions, serve.