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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

Autumn is upon us, and I've noticed we are slowly reverting back to our winter menu in the Janet is Hungry household (otherwise known as "Planet Janet"). Stir frys are a staple for us in the winter. If I had a nickle for every different stir fry sauce recipe I've ever tried, I could quit my job and blog full time!

I think it is that elusive beef and broccoli sauce from the take-out Chinese places that I am really trying to emulate. I've never quite gotten there, but this recipe is very good all the same. Since I first made this stir fry sauce last winter, I've pretty much stopped experimenting. This one is keeper. I think it is the brandy that really makes this sauce good.

I was very disappointed though, because I added bean sprouts with the veggies and Claire wouldn't eat them. She said they were "worms"... and of course she convinced Marco that he shouldn't eat them either. Both of them ended up leaving the table without eating very much dinner. When Marco asked to be excused from the table I warned him that he was going to be hungry later. He says "I'm not hungry, but for breakfast can I have eggs and bagel and toast and cereal?"

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

4 chicken breasts, in 1" pieces
1 egg white
4 tbsp brandy
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 heaping tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg blanched almonds
1 tsp minced ginger
2 carrots, sliced diagonally
2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
8 medium mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped in large pieces
1 cup bean sprouts
1 green pepper, chopped in large pieces (I used red and yellow pepper)
handful of snow peas

1. Mix 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp brandy and egg white. Stir in chicken pieces to coat.

2. For sauce, mix water, chicken bouillon, soy sauce, salt and remaining brandy and cornstarch. Set aside.

3. In a wok, heat a small amount of oil (I use peanut oil) and cook chicken until no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside.

4. Add a little bit more oil and start to stir fry the veggies beginning with the ones that take longer to cook. Here's the order I followed (carrots, celery, peppers, onions, snow peas, mushrooms, bean sprouts).

5. When the veggies are all cooked to your liking, add the chicken back in with the almonds. Give the reserved sauce another stir (because the cornstarch settles) and pour it in. Stir until the sauce thickens.

6. Serve with rice or noodles.