Stir Fried Chicken with Asian Vegetables

IMG_0132 stiry fry chicken with vegetables and ginger and honey
This Asian inspired chicken  stir-fry dish has the taste of  syrupy honey and spicy ginger  paired with savory-sweet oyster sauce and aromatic Chinese five-spice.The addition of snow peas brightens the color of the dish and adds a little snap and makes this a one-skillet meal.  Just note that in preparation, the chicken marinates for 15 minutes before cooking, making it is a good time to prep the snow peas. For a complete meal, serve this dish with steamed rice.
Serves 4
INGREDIENTS:
For the Chicken:
¼ cup oyster sauce
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey, plus more to serve
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into thin slices
5 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
4 ounces snow peas, trimmed
2 ounces baby corn
2 ounces julienned carrots
For Serving:
Steamed Rice
DIRECTIONS:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, sherry, soy sauce, honey, five-spice and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir in the chicken and ginger. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
snow-pea-honey-stir-fried-chicken-step-1
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Using a slotted spoon, add the chicken and ginger to the skillet in an even layer; reserve the marinade. Cook without stirring until lightly browned and the drippings at the edges of the pan are deeply caramelized, about 3 minutes.
Add the snow peas, corn, carrots and reserved marinade, then cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the peas are crisp-tender and the chicken is opaque throughout, another 3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve drizzled with additional honey, if desired.

COOK’S NOTES:
Do not add the chicken to the skillet until the oil begins to smoke. A very hot pan achieves quick browning and liquid reduction without overcooking the lean chicken breast.

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Chicken Lo Mein

IMG_0538 lo mein.jpg

Did you know that March has been designated as the National “Noodle Month”?

And if you are feeling like you are running out options for take out during the COVID-19 pandemic, and you are craving something salty, something savory, but you don’t know quiet these flavors are combined into your favorite take out dish, then this easy peasy recipe is just for you. It’s Chicken Lo Mein and it is packed with oodles of noodles and veggies to keep you happy and healthy at the same time.The noodles in this dish are big on flavor without the greasey guilt that you find in most take out foods. This recipe is pretty much straight forward. It is composed of just noodles, chicken and spinach cooked in a garlicky hoisin/soy sauce and dude, it is seriously fresh!

For the most part, lo mein noodles in the ethnic foods section of most major supermarkets. However, in this quarantine kitchen pantry, I substituted the lo mein noodles with the fettuccine I had on hand. You can also use spaghetti or soba noodles. I did not have any hoisin sauce, but there was a bottle of honey barbecue sauce in the fridge, which is somewhat similar to hoisin. I am happy to report that both of these substitution worked well in this dish and it turned out just as delicious.

So, are up to honing you home cooking skills with this dish? Are you game? Ready! Set! And away we go!

 

ENJOY!

IMG_0525 lo mein.jpg

From the Quarantine Pantry:
Soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, honey bbq sauce, fettuccine, cilantro, garlic, carrots, arugula/spinac salad mix, snow peas and chicken breasts.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:

For the Sauce:

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the Lo Mein:

8 ounces uncooked lo mein noodles

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup snow peas

3 cups fresh spinach

1/4 bunch of cilantro sprigs, optional

DIRECTIONS:

To make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame oil. Set the sauce aside.

For the lo mein: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lo mein noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large nonstick sauté pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil and sesame oil. Once hot, add the garlic and chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken is cooked through, no longer pink. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.

Add the carrots and snow peas to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach, cooked noodles, chicken and prepared sauce to the pan and cook, stirring, until combined and the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

To serve, place in shallow bowls and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

IMG_0566 low mein.jpg

 

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In the Spotlight: Peas

peas

Reaching their peak season during Spring, peas can offer. An impressive nutrition profile that is so ofteh overlooked.

Did you know that a half cup serving of  shelled peas can supply an excellent source of Vitamin C, a good source. Of Vitamin A, plus four grams of fiber and plant based protein.

All varieties of peas, including English green peas, snow and sugar peas are versatile and can serve as a main ingredient in stir- frys, salads, pasta, spreads and soups.

Green Peas

Peas-English-garden

The most common type of green peas include the English or garden peas, which are vibrant green and plump with pods that contain upbtobten precious round green seeds.

This variety is best eaten fresh. You should choose fresh garden peas thatcare small to medium in size because they will be the sweetest. When preparing them, just remove and discard the pods before eating them. When using them in pasta, soup or grain dishes, add peas during the last few minutes of cooking to maintain the beautiful green color.

For more traditional dishes, you can pair green peas with potatoes, carrots, onions and herbs like mint, basil and parsley.

In addition to being fresh, green peas are also available are year round in the canned or frozen forms. Try using them in making a mock gacumole with thr usual avocado, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime juice for the right touch of acidity.

 

Snow Peas

Peas-Snow,-Organic

The snow pea (Pisum sativum var. saccharatum) is a variety of pea eaten whole in its pod while still unripe. The name mangetout (French for “eat all”) can apply both to snow peas and to snap peas.

Snow peas are botanically known as Pisum satvium and are considered to be a hardy annual. sugar-ann-snap-sweet-peaThe entire pod is edible while unripe and typically grows up to 6″ in length. Produce on a climbing vine, Snow peas offer a sweet, tender flavor that has mild green notes.

Also known as Chinese peas, snow peas are flat with small seeds having a pleasant herbaceous flavor.

Did you know that the name mangetout (French for “eat all”) can apply both to snow peas and to snap peas and this vegetable has been cultivated since the 19th century in Europe?

Another fun fact is that Austrian scientist and monk Gregor Mendel  used peas which he called vi_a_201Pisum saccharatum” in his famous experiments demonstrating the heritable nature of specific traits, though this Latin name might not refer to the same varieties identified with modern snow peas. Imagine that, the entire study of genetics is based on the humble pea!

pea_traits2

When selecting snow peas, look for smooth pods with bright green skins and are at least 3 inches in length. The whole pod is edible abr contains the most fiber of all the varieties of peas currently being cultivated.

The best method for cooking snow peas is by steaming. In preparing snow peas before stir-frying, sauteeing or simmering, trim the stem end and remove the string along the side of the pod. You can refrigerate the peas in a kraft paper bag or a perforated plastic bag and use within three days.

Sugar Snap Peas

sugarsnappeas

Bright, crisp and naturally sweet, sugar snap peas are a cross between garden peas and snow peas.

Sugar Snap peas are bright green with thick walls that encase a row of petite green peas. The pea pod itself is crisp, juicy and fresh tasting and the peas, tender with a sweet pea flavor. The entirety of the pod, both the shell and peas are edible. In addition the vine, leaves and flowers or pea tendrils the Sugar Snap pea grows on is edible as well.

Sugar Snap peas provide a good source of vitamins A, C, potassium, iron, riboflavin and thiamine.

When selecting sugar snap peas, look for firm pods that do not bend and snap easily. In terms of storing this variety, refrigerate in a tightly sealed plastic bag for up to five days.

Sugar Snap peas are a versatile pea and can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Serve whole on crudites trays or as an appetizer. Their crunchy texture makes them fun for snacking or just dipping in hummus or paired with cream based dips and cheese. Snap in half and add to an array of salads. Stringless Sugar Snap peas can be utilized whole and added to stir-fries, soups and sautés or even braised alongside beef or duck.

Sources:
Weis Super Markets Healthy Bites Magazine, March/April 2018. “Ripe Now: Peas”. Retrieved 20 March 2018. http://healthybites.weismarkets.com/18Mar/Page-4

Specialty Produce (2018). “Stringless Sugar Snap Peas”. Retrieved 26 March 2018. http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Stringless_Sugar_Snap_Peas_410