Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Easy Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

To begin, I must confess this recipe ended up being a bit of an experiment...I forgot 1 major ingredient that changed things up a bit, though the end result was still delicious!  Read on to learn what my oversight was... 

With that said, I don't know why I don't make stir fry more often...it is easy, nutritious, can be made with a variety of ingredients to keep it from getting boring and repetitive (protein/veggies/sauce), and it tastes so good!

Easy Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can use any protein you want here, shrimp, tofu, peanuts, or none, though I wouldn't recommend beef with the peanut sauce)
4 stalks of bok choy, sliced diagonally
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/2 red pepper, sliced thin
2 large portabella mushrooms, sliced thin
1 carrot, shredded
1 can bamboo shoots
(you can use any vegetables you want, there are a multitude of combinations, just use the general rule of using different colored veggies)
Peanut oil
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 pkg of rice noodles (you can use jasmine rice, but the rice noodles give the stir fry an interesting texture)
For the sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 - 1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy to get the peanut bits in there)
1 finely chopped dried chili (I take the seeds out, leave them in if you want the meal extra hot)
And the forgotten item...1/3 cup chicken stock
This bottle of peanut sauce saved the day for me.  I was originally determined that I would make this entire meal from scratch, including the sauce.  You can buy this in your local grocery store or here at Amazon.com.

If you have a wok, please do use it.  My wok is at the river house, so I used my 14" trusty cast iron skillet and it worked like a charm!

Begin by warming a pot of water so you will have it ready to cook the rice noodles.

Put the skillet on medium high heat, coat the bottom with a little bit of peanut oil, then add 1/2 the garlic.  When the garlic begins to brown, toss in the chicken, cooking until it begins to brown. You don't want to overcook it because it will go back into the pan for a bit.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside (yes, this is the same bowl the raw chicken was in, but I washed it well with soap and hot water; NEVER mix any food in a container that had raw chicken).
Wipe any chicken remains out of the pan, pour a little peanut oil on the bottom, add the rest of the garlic, and toss in the onion and bok choy, stirring frequently (whatever veggies you use, you want to begin by cooking those that will take the longest).
Then add the red pepper, followed by the bamboo shoots and mushrooms, again, stirring frequently.
Add the shredded carrots,
and then a splash of soy sauce. 
Remove the veggies from the pan, but don't wipe it out this time.

Get your pot of water boiling. 

Put the rest of the soy sauce, the peanut butter and the chili into the pan and whisk.  It will become rather thick.  This is the point you would add the chicken stock, but I totally forgot about it!
Put the cooked chicken and the veggies back into the pan with the sauce and stir to coat.  As I looked at the mixture, I wondered why it was so thick (but look at all those yummy peanut bits!).   

Put the rice noodles into the boiling water for 3 minutes; remove and drain.

Fortunately, I had that bottle of peanut sauce and decided to add a few dashes into the stir fry, which added the needed moisture (looks like I intended it to look now!).  If you used the chicken stock as indicated, you won't need to add this bottled sauce; just let the stir fry stay in the pan on low while the noodles finish cooking.  I considered using a little of the rice water to thin out the sauce, but since I had already put the chicken and veggies into it, I was afraid the water wouldn't incorporate well. 

To serve, put the rice noodles on the plate, top with the stir fry, and enjoy!  All of a sudden, while I was enjoying the thick peanuty goodness, it dawned on me...I forgot the chicken stock!  I chuckled to myself, no wonder the sauce was so thick!  But all's well that ends well, right?

A friendly reminder for those who haven't seen it yet, if you haven't taken my 1 question poll yet, check it out!  You will find it on the top right side of this blog post.  If you have a different answer than those that are available, you can leave it in a comment.  The poll will close tomorrow at 11:59PM.

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow, 

Here are a couple items I thought you might be interested in...


Dad/Pepere said...

Clearly another meal you will have to prepare for Donald and me when we next visit! Hugs!

Lise said...

At this rate dad, you guys will have to stay here for a month! Hugs back!