Monday, March 26, 2007

Spicy Spicy Chicken

Okay, the kitchen continues to torment me, but I will not go quietly into that good night! Oh, no. Despite the fact that it's practically cooking by candlelight over an electric fire waiting to happen, I decided to make dinner last night. I went with another good standby: Szechwan style chicken (of course, now that I've had authentic, I feel the need to change the recipe name.) First, I marinated a pound and a half of cubed chicken in soy sauce, worchestire, rice wine vinager and a little bit of corn starch. Then I put into a pot 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of chicken broth and four smashed cloves of garlic. This is the best rice dish EVER. Really, try it. Bring the rice to a boil and turn the heat way down and keep it covered. I had to keep adjusting the temp on my stove, but usually, it's just low. Now, we were ready to get going. Matt chopped up some onion, yellow bell pepper and a serrano chili that he did NOT take out the seeds from. I would highly suggest removing the seeds. I add the whole shebang to a hot skillet and proceeded to saute.

Now, you might notice that despite a high-velocity flash on the camera, this still looks a little dark.

Here's why:

Two of the the three space aged looking lights in this ridiculous fixture are burned out! First it took us a week to pry the little buggers out and now we can't find anywhere in the metro that sells these things! I do not know what their intended purpose in this world was, but lighting up a kitchen doesn't seem to be it.
So, I toiled on in near darkness, setting up my workstation next to the sink with the hardest working bulb in shine business:

And yeah, there's booze in there. It's a proven fact that Mt. Gay rum goes hand in hand with spicy food.

So, after I'd sufficiently burned the tar out of the peppers and onion mixture I dumped them back into their bowl and wiped out the pan.
I added the chicken and stir fried until cooked through.

I pulled that out and wiped out the pan again.
Now for the sauce. I mixed together soy sauce, a little bit of sugar, grated ginger, minced garlic, rice wine vinegar, chili paste with garlic, Worcheshire and just a touch of balsamic vinegar. Oh, and a good amount of corn starch. I added this to the screaming hot pan and brought to a boil and reduced. Now, I added the chicken and peppers back to the pan and stirred together.

I served it up over the brown rice, garnish with green onion.

And, despite the fact that it was cooked up in near darkness, the dish was met with rave reviews.
So, I guess the lesson learned is that me and the kitchen, we're just going to have to find a way to work together, because I'm not picking up again and moving any time soon. I just hope that this spring brings me a Weber or a grill that gets me out of that kitchen, but let's me keep on cookin'.


At 8:37 AM , Blogger Joy Estelle said...

Here's the original recipe (we changed it a bit:

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

Stir-Frying Oil:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1/2 cup less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon chile paste with garlic

To prepare marinade, combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and chill 20 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken mixture; stir-fry 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from pan; set aside.

To prepare sauce, combine broth and next 6 ingredients (broth through 1 teaspoon sesame oil); stir well with a whisk. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in pan. Add 2 tablespoons green onions, ginger, garlic, and chile paste, and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add broth mixture, and cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.

Stir in cooked chicken, water chestnuts, sliced onion tops, and peanuts; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

At 10:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the clock of death??? I've been waiting all weekend (yes, really) for its debut.

At 11:57 AM , Blogger Joy Estelle said...

Stupid Patina sold me a stupid broken clock. I guess the lesson learned is, if the first two that you pick up are broken, chances are the third isn't going to work, either.


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