Recipe: Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables with Rice

In an effort to clear out the fridge, and at the prompting of my mom, who wanted me to make something for my dad and I to eat that she wouldn’t mind missing out on (she had a luncheon earlier today and wasn’t interested in dinner), I decided to pull together some sort of stir fry. Bell peppers, onions, and carrots are perfect for the quick cooking of a stir fry, and, paired with marinated chicken, white rice, and a splash of an Asian-style sauce, it makes for a delicious and easy meal. Because I just made this for my dad and I, I scaled down the ingredients so we didn’t end up with a ton of leftovers—we still ended up with enough for four small servings or two large servings, but adjust as you see fit (if anything, add more vegetables, use two chicken breasts, and cook up a little more rice; you should have enough of the marinade and sauce). Next time I make this, I’ll be sure to add more pictures of the process (though, I promise, it’s quite easy to make).

Yields: 2-4 servings
Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry white rice (yields 3 cups cooked)
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned (thinly sliced)
  • 1 medium onion, julienned (cut the onion into thin slices like onion rings, then cut those rings in half)
  • A large handful of baby carrots, sliced into two or three thin pieces; or 1-2 large carrots cut in half width-wise and then cut into thin pieces)
  • Peanut oil (enough to lightly coat the bottom of a large pan)
For the chicken marinade
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger root, grated
  • 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. oyster sauce (not really necessary, but it adds some nice flavor)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. mirin or sherry
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
For the “sauce” (you won’t need all of this in the stir fry)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. mirin or sherry
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger root, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Directions
Cook the rice according to package instructions (I used store brand rice that cooks in simmering water with a little butter for approx. 20 minutes; just keep in mind the cooking time for the rice you choose because the chicken and veggie mixture only takes about 15 minutes to cook and you want the chicken and the rice to be done at about the same time). In the meantime, in a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the chicken marinade, add the chicken to the mixture, and stir to coat; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the “sauce” and stir vigorously to combine (stir it occasionally while working on everything else so that the cornstarch remains mixed in); set aside. Heat peanut oil in a wok or large, deep pan over medium-high heat. Add in the pepper, onion, and carrot and cook until the colors brighten and the veggies start to brown ever-so-slightly, then push them aside to one side of the pan. Toss in the chicken on the other side, being careful not to pour the marinade in with it, and cook through until slightly pink in the middle, then reduce to medium heat and mix all of the veggies and chicken together. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, but tender. Add in a little bit of the sauce (just a few spoonfuls) and stir to combine; you don’t need much of it, just enough to lightly coat everything—in fact, you’ll have a good bit left over, but it’s better to have more if you want it. Serve the mixture with the rice. 
The marinade and a splash of the sauce create a delicious salty-sweet flavor that blends perfectly with the tender chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, and fluffy white rice. The dish is quick and easy to make (as are so many of the recipes I’ve shared) and it’s a nice, somewhat healthier change from takeout Asian food from your favorite local restaurant.
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