Friday, May 27, 2011

Apocalypse Now Dinner

It was the Ride of the Valkyrie earlier this week, you know, the music they played when Col. Kilgore destroyed the village in "Apocalypse Now."

I had 30 minutes to prepare dinner and nothing defrosted. I did have chicken breasts that I'd poached the day before. I've made a recipe with poached chicken breasts, but didn't have most of the ingredients.

It was time to innovate. I felt like a contestant on Food Network's "Chopped."

I put on some rice (21 minutes) and cut broccoli crowns. I set the broccoli to steam for four minutes, about half our usual cooking time (my wife and daughter like broccoli very soft). I then julienned carrots and a red pepper. As I did so, I heated about two tablespoons of canola oil in my big, all-purpose pan.

As the pan heated, I measured about about a quarter cup of chicken broth, a tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine (dry sherry works as well) and a tablespoon of oyster sauce. I then sliced the chicken breasts into thin, approximate one inch squares.

When the pan was very hot, I dumped in all the vegetables. I stir-fried for about four minutes. The broccoli soften too much and started shedding its tops, so I couldn't stir-fry long enough to get a deep char on the vegies.

Once the vegies were soft and a little blackened, I dumped in the liquids, brought to a boil and added the chicken. I stir-fried about a minute, added salt and pepper and served.

Not the best or worst dish I've ever made. All in all, pretty good.

If I did it again, I'd steam the broccoli for a shorter period, maybe two minutes, so I could get vegetables blacker and perhaps add some sliced or minced garlic to the vegetables.

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