Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chinese Chicken Peanut Stir Fry with Gingered Cabbage & Farro

My repertoire of Chinese-style recipes is about to explode. So it's high time That I unwind them here. It's definitely my favorite style of food (to eat & to cook), dating back to my first dinner out to Chosen in '94 when I turned 6! Anyway, whether it be beef or chicken or tofu, making Chinese food from scratch can't compare to the take out boxes (as in, it's better!). Let's get right to it. Farro in a chinese chicken stir fry? If you've never had farro go buy (brand: Roland, look for unpearled or semipearled). It's an awesome whole grain, the likes of wheatberries, and cooks like pasta. Its Italian but I use it a lot to substitute for brown rice when I need a switch-up.

-1/2 cup farro (for 2 people) cooked in a pot of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes until tender/al dente and then drained.

-2 chicken breasts, cubed
-2 tbsp. white whole wheat flour
-1 tbsp. sesame seeds
-1 tsp. roughly chopped parsley
-sprinkle of garlic powder, salt & pepper

--In a large Ziploc bag, mix together the flour, spices, parsley, and sesame
--Add the chicken and shake to coat. Set aside

Prepare the sauce:
--In a small bowl whisk together:
-2 heaping teaspoons brown sugar
-1/3 cup water
-1 teaspoon each rice vinegar and Tamari sauce (I cant live without San-J low sodium tamari sauce. It's my go to soy sauce)
-2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in about 3-4 tsp. of the mixture in a separate bowl and then add back to the sauce. Whisk together.

Prepare the vegis & the garnishes:
-3 cups shredded cabbage, washed and dried (napa, savoy, bagged, whatever)- it wilts down
-3 scallions, sliced
-1 tbsp. each of minced fresh ginger & garlic. Set aside

-Chop 2 tbsp. dry roasted peanuts & some mango
-Orange zest (for finishing the chicken)

-In a large sauté pan heat a tbsp. of canola oil & a tsp. sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the cubes of chicken in a single layer, let them sauté for a few minutes until browned before flipping them to cook on the other side. Don't move them or else they won't develop a good "crust". Add more oil as needed if the chicken is too dry. Transfer to a plate when the chicken is done but don't turn the fire off

-Immediately add the ginger, garlic and scallions to the pan and stir, letting sauté 30 seconds to a minute before adding the cabbage. Stir well, adding a pinch of salt, and sauté until its wilted and tender, about 3-4 minutes. When it's done, transfer to a bowl (I had the farro prepared in 2 bowls already, so I just added the cabbage right on top)

-Add the chicken back into the pan, an pour the sauce over it, swirl the chicken to coat, until the sauce thickens. Zest some orange zest right into the chicken, then add the 2 tbsp. chopped roasted peanuts & stir. Add on top of the farro and cabbage (I like all my chinese food together in one bowl). Alternatively you can add the chicken into the cabbage while it's wilting, adding the sauce into the cabbage/chicken mixture to make one homogenous combo. Whichever way you'd rather (I prefer the sauce just on the chicken)

Top with chopped mango (if you'd like) & serve!

If you have never thought outside of the box as far as your chicken goes, now is your chance! This was delicious if I may say so myself!!!! & easier than it seems. The key is to get all your parts & accompaniments as prepared as you can before starting to cook.


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