My family eats a lot of stir-fry, but we’re relatively uncultured about it; it’s usually something that amounts to beef gravy with soy sauce and rice, which is pretty barftacular.
I’ve decided to try to spruce things up with tools I like to call veggies and having a strategy. Today, the veggies are broccoli, carrots, onion and mushrooms. The strategy is to make them delicious.
Cooking time for the stir-fry is 12 – 20 minutes, so plan the rice accordingly. This will feed 4 hungry people to bursting.
What you’ll need:
1 – 1.5 heads of broccoli
1 white or yellow onion
10 – 12 of your favorite mushrooms (I used Baby Bella)
1lb chicken breast
3 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
Ground black pepper
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt (MSG? Maybe this is where the deliciousness strategy kicks in.)
Chefs take note: My goal for preparing this meal involved not obliterating the veggies like my family is wont to do. The carrots and broccoli need to cook more than the mushrooms and onions, so separate these into two sets of ingredients and you can add them at different times! Celebrate your veggies.
Prepare your marinade: dissolve the arrowroot into 1 cup of chicken broth, and put some soy sauce (one tbsp?), fish sauce (some squirts? I avoided this because my mom hates fish, but you can go nuts), and a bit of Maggi (a couple squirts here as well — it’s strong) into the mix. After cutting the chicken, pour about half of this over the pieces and set it aside. We’ll use the other half when we make the rest of the sauce. This is when you can cut the rest of the veggies! Celebrate them or you’ll get the hose.
In a wok (or other device you use to heat food to extreme temperatures while keeping it contained from the heat source) fry the minced garlic in a bit of olive oil. When that looks awesome, throw in your marinated chicken chunks (draining any excess marinade). Grind some pepper on there. Stir-fry these until they will no longer give you salmonella, and remove them from your wok.
Throw in your broccoli and carrots, and pour a bit of chicken broth in with them. You can spoon a little bit of our marinade in, too, if you’re feeling frisky, and pepper / MSG those bitches. Keep the wok a little wet, as we’re cooking stuff that is pretty tough. When you’re getting close to satisfied with them, throw the onions and mushrooms in (pepper, MSG, you know the drill). Stir fry these things until you’re good and happy and then remove them from the wok.
Pour the rest of your chicken broth in there and bring it to a boil. You can easily vary the amount you put in, but I recommend you err on the side of less rather than more — you don’t need your fixins floatin’. When that boils, pour in the rest of the marinade, and cook until thick (add more arrowroot if that doesn’t happen in a couple minutes). Now pour the chicken and veggies in and serve over a bed of rice. YOU’RE DONE! Your father will love you for cooking a meal, and he might even share some comments about the meal’s authenticity, which is a complex subject that we’ll save for another time.