Stir-Fry Chicken and String Beans

Do you ever get home feeling extremely tired but starving and don’t know whether you’d rather eat or jump into bed?  I’m guilty of feeling that way every Monday when I step into the house.  Not because of the fact that it’s Monday, but because Monday is my longest day of the week- starts at 8am and ends at 8pm. By 6, I’m usually over it and want to crawl into a hole until I’m ready to come out.  It’s dark when I pull out of the driveway and dark when I walk out of the building so my twelve hour day feels a lot longer than it really is,  Pulling something out of the freezer and popping it into the microwave is something that I try to avoid at all costs so having some fresh veggies and meat on hand for a quick and easy stir-fry is always what ends up on the kitchen table on Monday nights.

Out of all the vegetables in the world, string beans are my absolute fave!  All you string bean haters, quit hatin’!  They’re crunchy, sweet, and healthy and go great with any meat.  The kids in my family were raised with string beans on our plates.  Surprisingly, none of us got rid of them by throwing them under the table.  Instead, whenever we went out to eat Chinese food, string beans and chicken was the dish we always requested.  It’s a good thing that string beans and chicken stir-fry is really quick and easy to make and that’s why it often ends up on the Monday night dinner table.

Don’t think that this is authentic chinese food cause it’s not!  Chinese restaurants usually quickly fry their vegetables and cook their proteins in extremely hot oil then drench them in homemade sauce usually consisting of soy sauce, chicken broth, and some other forms of more salt.  That’s why it’s so good!  My string beans and chicken were made based on whatever I found in my kitchen and is a much more healthier version than your average takeout,  Excuse me while I eat my veggies…

String bean chicken stir-fry

1 lb string beans-cleaned and cut

5 chicken thighs

3 cloves garlic, minced and seperated (2 cloves seperated from 1 clove)

1 tsp. red chili flakes

1/2 inch chunk of ginger-peeled

pepper

3 drops sesame oil

3 Tbsp. light soy sauce

2 tsp. mirin

half a medium onion, sliced

1/4 C. gourmet sauce

1/2 C. carrots, julienned

*6 Tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. cornstarch

2 tsp. water

*Since this is cooked in very high heat, use canola oil as it can withstand very high temperatures.  Using olive oils will make the garlic burn very quickly.

Slice chicken into bite size pieces.  Make sure they are cut into even sized pieces so that they cook evenly.  Place in a bowl with the two cloves of minced garlic, ginger, sesame oil, light soy sauce, mirin, and a sprinkle of pepper.  Mix and set aside for about 30 minutes to marinate.

Heat the oil in a wok or a heavy pan and throw in the red chili flakes and last clove of minced garlic.  Heat the chili flakes and garlic until fragrant and pour most of the oil and all of the garlic and chili into a small bowl to set aside.

With a little bit of oil left in the wok, throw in the onions and cook for about 30 seconds.  Throw in the marinated chicken pieces.  When the chicken is almost cooked-about 4 minutes, throw in the gourmet sauce,reserved oil, and string beans.  Cook and toss for a couple minutes before adding the carrots.

In a seperate small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water together.  When the string beans are almost cooked to your liking, add the cornstarch mixture to the liquid at the bottom of your wok (there should be some juices from the chicken). Cook for another minute or so until the sauce slightly thickens.

Serve with some rice and enjoy a healthy quick meal!

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