Saturday, May 21, 2011

Easy Chinese

This is a loose description of how I do Chinese…it’s kinda different every time and I hardly ever measure anything.  But I know some people need an actual recipe.  So, here it is!  The basic gist of the recipe came from a Kraft Food & Family magazine from a couple of years ago.  I’d post that exact recipe except it’s evolved so much since that first time I tried it that what I do now isn’t that recipe anymore!  The Italian dressing is kind of the key ingredient because it adds some really good flavor without having to guess what to put in it. 

1 pound raw chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces 
2 tablespoons Italian dressing (you may need to add some more dressing or use some additional oil if things get too dry) 
garlic (in whatever form you like, I typically give a couple shakes of powder) 
2 cups (more or less) veggies (broccoli, corn, green beans, English peas, cauliflower, onions, peppers, etc.)  (I usually use frozen or fresh, not canned)
¼ cup water 
2-4 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste…I like a strong soy sauce flavor so I use 3 or 4) 
2 tablespoons honey (you can use corn syrup in a pinch) 
½ teaspoon ginger 
2 tablespoons cornstarch     

Place the dressing in a non-stick skillet and heat on medium.  Add chicken and sauté  until done.  Add garlic and veggies and keep stirring often until veggies are tender-crisp (covering the skillet helps get the veggies done a bit quicker).  Add more dressing or oil as needed.    

Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken/veggie mixture and stir until thick.  You may need to add a bit more liquid (choose water or soy sauce, based on taste).    

Serve over noodles or rice (we prefer brown).   

If you use low-fat or fat-free Italian, add some oil to the pan (olive or canola is what I use).    

You can use leftover cooked chicken.  Sauté the veggies, then add the chicken or cook them all together.   

For something different, use pork or beef.  Leftover cooked pork chops work great!   
Low-sodium soy sauce can be used.   

For a mixture of colored peppers and onions, buy the frozen bag (I think it says stir-fry or something on the bag).  Bird’s Eye makes a great one and when on sale, it's very cost-effective.  They cook quickly because the freezing process softens them.

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