Chinese Chicken with Broccoli

Chinese stir fry is something most people just buy at the local take out place. When you have celiac you generally can’t do that. So many places use soy sauce that contains gluten. Plus their egg roll wrappers and long noodles are wheat based. But, I love Chinese food and so have to do my best to recreate my favorites. This is a classic; chicken and broccoli. I based it off a recipe on food network; from their kitchen.  I used thighs as they are juicier and I added extra veggies; that’s my jam! It was very tasty and healthier I am guessing than the typical takeout. Not a lot of work except the chopping and I cheated; got a bag of fresh broccoli florets on sale at the farm stand and they were perfect for this dish. You can leave out the extra vegetables like the pea pods but I know you will want them!

We enjoyed this over brown rice: I have a new trick to make better rice. I don’t have a fancy rice cooker but with a circle of brown bag paper I seal the top of the pot; goes right under the lid. The rice doesn’t lose as much moisture as it cooks and I think it comes out perfect.

One last thing; you could omit the fresh ginger and use ½ tsp. dried ginger; works in a pinch but fresh is best!

Chinese Chicken with Broccoli

 

1 lb boneless chicken thighs

2-3 scallions thinly sliced; angled is nice

2 cloves garlic minced

1 inch fresh ginger minced or grated (I grate)

1 Tbsp. gf soy sauce (LaChoy is gf)

1-2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. sea salt

1 Tbsp. dry sherry

2 tsp. dark sesame oil

3 Tbsp. canola oil or mild olive oil

1 carrot cut on bias

5-6 cups broccoli florets

1 orange/red pepper cut in large dice

½-1 cup pea pods; ends cut off

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce

 

Directions: Cut the chicken into large cubes, toss them with scallions, half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, 1 tsp corn starch, ½ tsp. salt, the sherry and sesame oil. Marinate at room temp while you chop veggies (for 15 minutes). Mix the remaining corn starch with 1/3 cup water.

Heat your wok over high heat, add 1 tbsp. Add chicken, cook for 3-4 minutes, push up sides. Add another Tbsp. oil and then the carrots, top with broccoli and cook a minute, add yellow/red pepper chunks, garlic, ginger and pea pods. Cook maybe 2 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes and hoisin sauce and mix the chicken in well.

Add scallions then cornstarch slurry and cook a minute. If you need more water, add a bit. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Serve over rice. Enjoy!

 

Homemade Fried Rice…Oh So Nice!

It can be problematic for someone with celiac to eat at most Chinese restaurants.  The only one I hear having lots of gf options is PF Changs which is not located anywhere in the Lehigh Valley.  I have friends who eat at chinese places and ask about gf options – they get little or no response. Not even sure the staff understands what gluten free means. Not comforting.  I miss a few Chinese take out dishes but there is one I actually have always liked my homemade version best; fried rice.  Been making it for many years from scratch and it is far tastier than any I have ever been served at/from any Chinese restaurant.  It is not that fried rice normally has a gluten component; it is cross contamination as well as unsafe soy sauce that are usually the issue. So go homemade.

Fried rice is not that difficult to construct and you get the bonus that you know what is in there; not so easy to know at the local take out counter.  It’s a great supper idea if you have leftover white or brown steamed rice on hand. Leftover Easter ham; perfect for it! Otherwise, I often buy a small ham steak and just cut that up. It can be modified quite a bit to whatever is in your fridge and pantry.  I put in broccoli this time for my grandson who adores it.  I often add water chestnuts or even bamboo shoots. If I don’t have fresh pea pods; no biggie: go with the flow and just increase the frozen peas a bit! I don’t always put in zucchini or broccoli; your choice. My kind of recipe….  Must haves in my recipe are rice, a protein, scrambled eggs and an assortment of small dice vegetables.  Once you chop the veggies and if have that leftover rice it goes together very fast.  I find that hot rice doesn’t work as well as cold so try to make the rice earlier if not the day before.   My ingredient measuring is somewhat fluid, go with what you have and what you think you will like.

The middle set of these pictures is the scrambled eggs; just poured into the pan and right after I turned the heat off.

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Angie’s Fried Rice

Ingredients

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 med onion diced

1 carrot unpeeled and small diced

½ a red pepper, small diced

1 stalk celery, small dice

1 garlic clove minced

½ cup cut up zucchini; cubed more or less

½ cup broccoli flowerets cut up

2 tbsp water

2 eggs

½ cup fresh pea pods, cut in half

1-2 tsp. gf soy sauce or Bragg liquid aminos (tastes like soy sauce)

1 tsp. rice vinegar

½ tsp sea salt, black pepper, fresh ground…to taste

½ cup frozen peas

½ can chopped water chestnuts (optional)

½ lb cooked ham cut in 1/3 to ½ inch cubes

1 ½ to 2 cups Leftover rice; either white or brown

Directions

Heat a small wok over med high heat; add oil, stir around, add the onion and carrot, cook a minute, add the red pepper and celery, cook 2 minutes, add the garlic, cook a minute.  Add the squash, broccoli and water, cook 2 minutes.  While that cooks, mix the eggs with a tbsp of water and scramble over medium heat in a nonstick pan for less then 2-3 minutes.  Do not over cook.  Set aside for the finishing touches.

Add the peapods, the soy sauce, the rice vinegar and salt/pepper, stir.  Add the frozen peas, water chestnuts and cooked ham.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add the rice, stir well, adjust seasoning; add more soy sauce if needed. If you like it crispy cook it a bit longer, if not; it is finished. Add the eggs you scrambled and stir well before serving. A meal on a plate, cooked in the wok.  If you don’t have a wok use a sauté pan.

Could serve 4 if you are not too piggy! Three if you are…. I will let you guess what goes on in my house.