December 27, 2018

Simple Chicken Stir Fry

Artist's rendition: me scavenging for food after refusing to
leave the house for a week
The dreaded Holiday Season has almost passed us by. You can see the signs of it everywhere. In the songs being played on the radio. In the fact that strangers on the street are giving up their smiles and kind words for the more traditional scowls and refusal to make eye contact. And of course in the increasingly unhinged advertisements bombarding us, begging us to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime deals from Target-mart & Beyond-Buy. Deals so insane that they're seriously considering slapping whoever printed them. With savings so unbelievable they'll make you completely forget about last week's unbeatable once-in-a-lifetime deals. It's truly a magical season. It's a perfect time to take stock of the year and assess the ways in which your various loved ones and major appliances have let you down. And to not leave the house because the stores are clogged with shoppers who have been lured in by advertisers' promises of savings and the return of their loved ones. So you'll have to make the most of what you've got around the house when it comes to sustenance. And nothing makes the most of random kitchen leavings like a stir-fry.


Ingredients:

3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
10 oz. Mushrooms (I used cremini, as that's what I had lying around. Whatever mushrooms you have will be fine, provided that you bought them, and didn't inadvertently grow them yourself.)
2 Carrots
2 Bell Peppers
1 standard-issue Onion
1 bunch Green Onions
1 can Baby Corn (It's funny how those animal rights activists who complain about veal never take issue with baby corn. I guess they're just hypocrites)
2 tsp grated Ginger
2 cloves Garlic
2 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
juice from 1/2 a Lime (As always, if you don't have half a lime lying around, find a whole lime, cut it in half, and maybe start wearing a helmet)
2 tsp Sriracha
2 cups Brown Rice
3 cups Water
Salt
Oil for sauteing 

Yes, I know, this recipe has somewhat of a longer ingredient list that what you may be used to cooking. Even more so once you realize that bread isn't really an ingredient of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich per se. But trust me, it's much easier to make than it looks. And what else are you gonna do? Go outside? I thought so. Now that you've come to grips with your fate, it's time to get started. Your rice is going to take a bit to cook, so get that started first. That way you can do everything else while you're waiting for rice to happen. Throw it in a pot along with your water and a pinch of salt, and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and bring it down to medium heat for 20 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed, and the rice is fluffy and delicious instead of sad and crunchy. Got it? Good. Now go choppity chop chop your  mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, baby corn, regular onion, green onions, and chicken. You want each of these to be about bite size, and to be the same size as each other, like Tom Cruise's stunt doubles. Take a pan (I used a wok, because I'm apparently that cool. If you have one and know how to use it effectively, go nuts. Otherwise, any large saute pan should work fine), heat up some oil over medium-high heat, and then toss in your carrots and regular onion along with a gentleman's pinch of salt. Cook that down for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding in your green peppers, mushrooms, and another pinch of salt. Let that mess cook down for another 2 minutes before adding in your garlic, ginger, and baby corn.

Not pictured: me comatose on the couch 20
minutes after eating this
Now it's time to test your skill and mettle. After about a minute of cooking, it's time to cook your chicken. If you have the will of the warrior, you can push your cooked vegetables up against the side of your pan, leaving exposed metal at the bottom to cook your chicken. Otherwise, you can take your vegetables out before adding your chicken in. You know, like a failure. No matter what horrible truths you discover about yourself, cook your pieces of chicken for about 3-5 minutes (depending on how large your cut your chicken pieces because I'm not legally recognized as psychic in the 48 contiguous United States), stirring occasionally, before adding your cooked vegetables back in to the mix along with your green onions, soy sauce, vinegar, and sriracha. Let the whole thing cook down for another couple of minutes while the flavors all blend together into deliciousness. Turn off the heat, and then stir in your lime juice. Then it's time to load up your plate with rice, smother it in your chicken and vegetable goodness, and enjoy a flavor so good that you might entirely forget the grim truth that you'll have to leave your house some day. You know, when you run out of peanut butter.