Chicken CollageOne problem you may encounter when living with people is that sometimes you’ll open the fridge to start cooking a dinner that you planned only to find your ingredients gone. Well, the good news is that Wing and I rarely follow recipes to the letter anyway. Sometimes we don’t follow instructions when there are ingredients (such as in the Fried rice) like fish sauce or oyster sauce because I refuse to use them. Or we don’t add serrano peppers because apparently someone who we live with had a liking to eat the ones we bought for the recipe. (I assume they ate them. Either that or they purged them out of fear for their tongues, but that would be rude cuz some people like to have their tongues on fire.) Anyway, Wing and I went to make our dinner and found a few ingredients gone. But nothing major. We just went with the flow of what we did have. For example, jarred pickled jalapenos make a decent substitute for stolen serrano chiles. And we planned to use hoisin sauce to replace a seafood sauce but that went missing, too. (Confession: we cook for my parents at their place sometimes so the hoisin may have never come back with us.) And we also didn’t bother marinating the chicken for the orange chicken because we (meaning I) didn’t read the instructions before deciding to make the meal. But all was well in the end. Both dishes were great! Wing claimed they were as good as a restaurant. I agreed. And nice and spicy for us! He made KlyRad eat some, but KlyRad claimed he had already eaten. Wing didn’t give up so KlyRad begrudgingly grabbed a piece of chicken. He said it was good but that he was too full to eat more. But here’s an interesting fact for you: he grabbed a plate of rice and chicken and rushed into his room. Maybe he wanted to save some for his girlfriend, Avalanche. Who knows? I’m not here to judge people’s actions. All I can say is that the compliment was well received.

Spicy Fried Rice Collage

I found both recipes on allrecipes.com. And in case you’re wondering why so many of the recipes I choose are from there, it’s because I have the app on my phone. So when you see me at the trolley station playing on my phone, it’s not Facebook or Twitter, it’s the allrecipes.com app. I promise that someday I’ll venture outside of that site… I have plenty of cookbooks calling my name. Below are our versions of the recipes mentioned above.

Spicy fried rice

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (ours was infused with garlic) for frying
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup jarred pickled jalapeno, minced (or to taste)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Basil leaves, chopped

Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic, jalapenos, bell peppers, and onion, stirring until vegetables are soft. Raise heat and stir in rice. Add sesame oil and soy sauce, stirring to mix thoroughly. Cook until rice is heated through.
Remove from heat and garnish with basil.

Orange chicken

Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (ours was infused with red bell pepper)

Pour 1 1/2 cup water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Place the chicken pieces into a bowl. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour enough sauce into bowl to cover chicken. Reserve the remaining sauce. In a resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet and brown on both sides, cooking until chicken is no longer pink. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Add reserved sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the chicken pieces. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

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