Friday, January 24, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: January 23, 2014

I really should have taken a picture of all the chopped vegetables before they went into the wok.  They were gorgeous.  There is something about an array of fresh vegetables that makes me really happy.  I also get giddy off of looking at the abundance of fresh meat in the grocery store. I’m a weirdo like that.  I was one of those bad kids who liked to poke their finger into the soft, red flesh of beef slabs to see it squish down.  Got in trouble for it every time, but it gave me a sick satisfaction that made the scolding worth it. I’m pretty sure that it forced my mom to buy those pieces of meat.  Anyway, all of the brightly colored vegetables under the pot lighting of my in-law’s kitchen were so much prettier than how they look in my tiny apartment.  In my rush to get dinner on the table, glamour shots for my vegetables were sacrificed. I was trying to get dinner on the table quickly since my in-laws normally eat around 6pm and that’s when we got to their house.  Nick was doing his laundry there and I had already had a dinner planned so I just transported it all to cook at their house.  Since the chicken had already been frozen, I couldn’t put it back in and didn’t want to waste it.  Cooking for them actually helped me clean out our fridge of some vegetables. 

Using rotisserie chicken from Costco, I made a healthy chicken stir fry.  I had seen packets of the rotisserie chicken meat at my local Costco.  They were most likely chickens that they couldn’t sell so they pulled the meat off the bones and packaged it up.  That is fine by me as it saved me time. It would be great to make chicken salad out of the meat also since you don’t have to do much to the chicken. The only problem was that I didn’t realize the chunks of chicken were huge!  I cut open the packet and dumped it into the wok with my vegetables.  By then it was too late to pull out to chop up.  So be it.  I added very little salt, maybe two teaspoons to the whole wok since I used oyster and soy sauce. 

Rotisserie Chicken and vegetable stir-fry 

2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 spicy red pepper, seeded and sliced
3 broccoli crowns; cut up
5 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 carrots, sliced at an angle
2 tsp ginger, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 tbsp parsley
1 rotisserie chicken, chopped up
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp sea salt
Brown or white rice 
In wok, boil water to blanch the broccoli.  Blanch broccoli and then shock with cold water.  When chopping, separate the white ends of the green onion from the green tops.  In a dry wok, heat oil until rippling over high heat.  Add ginger, garlic, and whites of the green onion.  Cook, tossing constantly, for 2-3 minutes.  Add peppers, carrots, and celery.  Stir fry until vegetables become soft.  Do not let veggies wilt or shrivel.  They should remain their bright color. Add a splash of water if needed to help cooking and prevent scorching.  Add broccoli, chicken, parsley, green onions, oyster and soy sauce, pepper, and salt.  Mix until incorporated and heated through.  Serve over rice. 
Note:  I separated my mis en place into these steps:
                Bowl 1: broccoli
                Bowl 2: ginger, garlic, green onion ends
                Bowl 3: peppers, carrot, celery
                Bowl 4: parsley and green onion tops

Unfortunately, I started using Listerine which I’m convinced chemically burnt off my taste buds.  I thought the texture of all the vegetables was really good.  There was still crunch to them without being under cooked, but I really couldn’t taste a whole of anything.  My mother-in-law went back for two helpings of the stir-fry, which has never happened before so I think this was a good recipe for them.  

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