23 December, 2010

Spicy Chicken Stir-fry

With Christmas upon us it's so nice to have the family together these last few days.  My oldest son is working part time but for the most part our family is spending some quality time together which I love.  I love cooking for everyone and being able to have dinner together which we rarely accomplish during our busy regular schedules.  Wow, do things ever change as your children grow!  
  If you haven't gathered by now my family loves Thai and Asian cuisine (especially stir fry). I love to cook in my wok and they most always love it (really they do!!). :)
If you have a wok or even a large frying pan, and a few staple Asian ingredients you are well on your way to a simple, healthy meal that you can get ready in no time.
Tonight I used chicken thighs (DLP and my boys love dark meat) with yellow and orange bell peppers.  You could use any meat and any vegetables you had on hand.
Low sodium Kikkoman soy sauce, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, sesame oil, and brown sugar are staples I always have in my pantry.
So here's how I did it:
3 1/3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut up in pieces
2 large bell peppers, sliced in strips (I used orange and yellow)
1/2 c. Kikkoman low sodium soy sauce
2 T. fresh chopped ginger
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
                                                             3-4 Thai peppers, chopped, optional if you like heat. you may want to use gloves to chop as they are VERY HOT!!! Make sure you don't touch your eyes or any other sensitive areas after chopping if you know what I mean. :)  Yep. I just said that.
4 T. brown sugar
1 T. canola oil (more as needed)
1 t. sesame oil (more as needed)
Jasmine rice
Take a large bowl and pour in your soy sauce.  Add your chopped garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and  Thai peppers and stir to combine.  After you've chopped your chicken thighs put them in the soy sauce marinade.  Let it sit there soaking up the marinade while you prepare your wok/frying pan.  Let your wok heat over medium high heat a couple minutes before adding canola and sesame oil. After it gets nice and hot put in your meat (let most of the marinade stay in the bowl so it cooks/browns faster).  Since I cooked 3.3 lbs. of meat I did it in 3 batches.  Let the chicken cook quickly and remove to a separate dish when cooked through.  You may want to add more canola and sesame oil if cooking multiple batches. 
After all your meat is cooked and removed to a separate dish add the peppers and quickly stir fry.  We like our peppers with a bit of crunch so it doesn't take long.  After they're done you can add your cooked chicken back in.  You can pour the rest of the marinade over, stir and heat until good and hot.  My kids love the extra marinade at the bottom of the wok over their rice..

                                  ***THAI PEPPERS***  These little firecrackers are available at your local Asian or International Market.  Ask for Thai peppers.  If you don't like heat, leave 'em out because they are very hot.  A little bit goes a long way!!!
 I've talked before about rice cookers.  If you make Asian food with any frequency you must have one.  The difference in rice made in an actual rice cooker and a pot on the stove is HUGE!!!  They are not expensive and totally worth the extra effort to get delicious, authentic jasmine rice.  Just like the Asian restaurants serve.
Jasmine rice is a favorite of our family.  You can find huge bags in the Asian markets at great prices.  Give it a try, I bet you don't go back to regular rice.
I hope you try this.  If you do I'd love to hear about it--- Please comment.

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