I stumbled upon this recipe over the weekend in a cookbook I bought last summer- New Flavors for Chicken. I love this cookbook for several reasons:
1. I got it 50% off at the William Sonoma outlet in Connecticut (only $11!)
2. Who isn’t always looking for new ways to prepare chicken.
3. The book is set up by season. As in, if it is spring (which it is now) all the chicken dishes will use ingredients that are in season.
This recipe calls for sugar snap peas, green onion, mint and fresh ginger- all things you can find this time of year. The ingredient list may be daunting at first but all of the ingredients either keep well (cornstarch, Asian fish sauce or chicken broth) or can be used in lots of different dishes (mint, for example). Once you have everything out and prepped (which only took me about 20 minutes), this dish comes together in less than 10 minutes. It’s an easy meal to make for a week-night dinner or for a dinner party. Just make sure you have some rice (preferably brown) on hand so you don’t miss out on all the yummy sauce!
12 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 full chicken breasts)
freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, zest from the whole lemon and juice- about 2 tbsp
1 cup chicken stock (use homemade or low-sodium)
2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
4 tbsp canola oil (make sure it is canola because olive oil with smoke more easily)
2 whole green onions, white and pale green bottoms chopped and the green tops thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
3 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped
Cut chicken breast halves across the grain on a slight diagonal into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Season the chicken strips with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze 2 tbsp of lemon juice. In a small bowl, stir together the broth, fish sauce, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. In another small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 tbsp of cold water
**Make sure you have all the fresh ingredients (mint, green onions, garlic, ginger and sugar snap peas) prepped and in small bowls before you heat the wok! Cooking in a wok at high heat happens quickly and you want to make sure you have everything at your finger tips once you start the cooking process**
Having small prep bowls like the ones above are great to have on hand for situations like these:
Heat a wok or very large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add 2 tbsp of the oil and swirl the pan to coat it well. Add the chicken and stir-fry until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes
Transfer to a platter
Return the wok to medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, and heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the chopped green onion, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds
Add the sugar snap peas and 1/4 cup of water (**Make sure you have this on hand before you start cooking**), cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until the sugar snap peas turn bright green in color, about 1 minute
Return the chicken to the pan
Then add the sliced green onion top and chopped mint
Stir the broth mixture briefly to mix, add it to the pan and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly
Stir the cornstarch mixture briefly to mix, stir into the wok and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed
Best if served immediately over rice!
Yields: 4 servings
WW Points: 7 points per serving (without rice)