8.19.2007

Homemade Chinese Take-Out Night

We have been on a chicken run for dinner lately. This week's menu has included Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Salad and last night's Spicy Chicken and Broccoli with Rice Noodles and Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Chicken and Broccoli with Rice Noodles.

I made 2 different chicken dishes for those who like it hot and those who like it sweet. I have long been tinkering with my stir fry recipes. My kids say mine is good but, not like take-out. I think last night's entrees came closest to our local Chinese restaurant take-out specials.

A couple things to remember -- cook the chicken until just done. Any longer and it gets tough and rubbery. Even a little of an ingredient adds a distinctive Chinese flavor such as  the fish sauce. Zap the broccoli florets in the microwave for a minute. They are just cooked through and not mushy in the stir fry. Don't always serve stir fry with steamed rice. The rice noodles were super simple and looked cool on the plate.

A couple similar recipes, but a few changes in the ingredients can make a big taste difference.

Spicy Chicken and Broccoli with Rice Noodles

Spicy Chicken and Broccoli with Rice Noodles

serves 4

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in thin strips, about 1 1/3 pounds
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots, sliced thin
2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, sliced thin
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups broccoli florets, cook on high in microwave for about 1 minute
1 scallion, thinly sliced
6 - 8 ounces rice noodles *see note below for cooking directions

In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, fish sauce, soy sauce and cornstarch. set aside.

Heat a fry pan or wok to medium high. Add 1 tablespoons of the oil. Heat for a minute. Add chicken and stir fry until just cooked through, about 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Add the remaining oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic, shallots, ginger and both peppers. Quickly saute for about a minute to just begin to release their flavors. Add the stock mixture to the pan and cook until it begins to thicken. Add the chicken, broccoli, and the scallion and stir just to coat. Serve over the rice noodles.

*Note - Boil about 4 cups of water. Remove from heat and add the rice noodles. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cook. Stir occasionally. Drain to serve.



Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Broccoli with Rice Noodles
Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Broccoli with Rice Noodles

serves 4

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in thin strips, about 1 1/3 pounds
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots, sliced thin
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups broccoli florets, cook on high in microwave for about 1 - 2 minutes
8 ounces rice noodles *see note below for cooking

In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat a fry pan or wok to medium high. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Heat for a minute. Add chicken and stir fry until just cooked through, about 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Add the remaining oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic, shallots, and ginger. Quickly saute for about a minute to just begin to release their flavors. Add the stock mixture to the pan and cook until it begins to thicken. Add the chicken and broccoli and stir just to coat. Serve over the rice noodles.

*Note - Boil about 4 cups of water. Remove from heat and add the rice noodles. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cook. Stir occasionally. Drain to serve.

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