Monday, September 24, 2012

Stir-Fried Chicken w/ Almonds & Veggies

This evening I made a quick stir-fry for dinner.  The great thing about stir-fry is that they don't take long to cook...but, unfortunately the time you save cooking, you spend chopping instead!  It would be a perfect meal to prep in advance by having everything chopped and ready to go ahead of time so when you got home from work, all you did was stir-fry your meat and veggies.  This is not an exact recipe and you can add more or less as well as different veggies.  It's sort of a "throw as you go" kind of recipe.  The sauce is also good if you use peanut butter to thicken the sauce instead of the almond butter I used. I've included a pic below as well as a couple of paragraphs on how I made it.  Enjoy!


Stir-Fried Chicken w/ Almonds & Veggies

I diced 2 large boneless chicken breasts and set aside.  I put slivered almonds on a foil lined cookie sheet and turned the oven on to 350 and toasted them until browned (about 5-7 minutes) and set aside.  I then proceeded to dice, chop and mince my veggies.  I cut 2 big crowns of fresh broccoli into florets, sliced one carrot and then placed both in a glass covered pyrex dish with about 1 inch of water in the bottom to steam in the microwave towards the end of the cooking time (if you cook your veggies to early, they continue cooking and lose both their bright color and crispness).  I like my veggies crisp tender with a little bite to them.  

I then minced 2 large cloves of garlic, diced 1/4 of a large red pepper, sliced 2 green onions and set my veggies aside.  In a heated wok, I placed about 2 tablespoons of oil (coconut or light olive oil) and added the garlic and stir-fried a couple minutes on medium-high and then added the diced chicken and continued stir-frying until the chicken was completely snow white and cooked.  Next, I added the diced red pepper and green onions and stir-fried another minute or two.  At this point, I microwaved the broccoli and carrots to steam them for about 4-5 minutes (or until they are done to the tenderness you prefer).  

While they steamed, I pushed the mixture in my wok towards the outer edges to make a well in the center to make the sauce (there will be some cooking liquids from the chicken and veggies in the bottom of the wok that will be the base of your sauce).  I added about 4-5 tablespoons of almond butter to the well, and stirred until it melted into the juices; then added about 3-4 tablespoons tamari sauce (wheat free soy sauce), 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and a few good shakes of cayenne.  I then began adding chicken broth about 1/4 cup at a time and stirring into the melted almond butter (I ended up adding about 3/4 of a cup, but you can adjust it to your preference).  

Taste your sauce for adjustments (you may need to add salt or more cayenne or if thinner than you like, add more almond butter; if thicker than you prefer, add more chicken broth.  Season the sauce until you have the taste you want and it begins to bubble and then toss it all around with the chicken mixture.  Add the cooked broccoli and carrots and toss everything together, adding additional salt or tamari if necessary.  Sometimes after you add the veggies, you that additional salt/seasoning needs to be added after adding so many additional unsalted and unseasoned steamed veggies.  When you have it tasting just the way you like it, serve sprinkled with toasted slivered almonds.

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