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In the week or so between Christmas and the New Year a certain amount of take-out and fast food is a given.  For some it’s probably a meal or two, for others it’s a constant stream of styrofoam and greasy bags.  Who could blame anyone for just wanting to sit on the couch and eat food from a container after all that cooking, cleaning, and entertaining we’ve done in the last couple of months.  I’m down with that for sure.  But for me one of the big discoveries of 2013 has been learning how to recreate my favorite take out food at home.  Some of the best recipes of the year have come out of that longing for classic take out dishes made with ingredients whose quality and freshness I can control.  I’m slowly working my way through all my favorites, so stay tuned.  2014 promises to be a great year for take out at home.

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While I usually prefer spicy dishes, every once in a while I crave a simple clean meal like this.  This recipe is a snap to make, so keep it in mind the next time you see good looking pea pods at the market.  They to pop up at random times in my store, and I grab them when they look bright green and extra fresh.  You can use any of the many varieties of edible-podded peas —  Chinese snow peas are flat, while sugar snap peas are rounded.  Be sure to taste them to see if you need to remove the little stringy thing that runs along their length.  Some do and some don’t, it depends on how mature they are.

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Chicken with Snow Peas

Yield: serves 4

What You Will Need

  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp peanut (or other vegetable) oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 8 oz can of water chestnuts, drained and quartered
  • 2 big handfuls of snow peas or sugar snap peas, strings removed, if necessary
  • for the sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • for garnish
  • sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken in the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and cornstarch for 2 hours. You can put all the ingredients in a zip lock baggie, add the chicken, and massage in well.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a measuring cup and set aside.
  3. Cut the chicken into small bite sized pieces.
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a wok until hot, and then add the chicken, garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Add the water chestnuts and the pea pods and stir fry just until the pea pods have turned bright green, just a couple of minutes. Don't overcook them, they will continue cooking as you make the sauce.
  6. Shift everything to one side of the wok and add the sauce to the pan. Stir while the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Then mix the sauce into the chicken and veggies.. Make sure everything is heated through, and then serve over rice, garnished with sesame seeds.

Notes

This is a mild dish. You can bump up the flavor with added ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Be sure to give the sauce a taste before serving to adjust it to your liking. Whatever you do, don't over cook those pea pods. They go from brilliant green and crisp to faded and saggy in the blink of an eye.

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2013/12/chicken-with-snow-peas.html

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One of the things that makes this dish even better is that I buy humanely raised chicken, without hormones or antibiotics.  It’s usually clearly marked at the store.  It’s a little more expensive, and I compensate by using a little less of it.  When you feel good about what you’re eating, it tastes a whole lot better.

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2 Responses to Chicken with Snow Peas

  1. I love a great stir fry, this looks delicious!

  2. Foodiewife says:

    Take out? No! Clean eating, Yes! Especially after the holidays. I’m all about learning how to make my favorite Chinese takeouts (fakeouts). This looks simple and delicious. I need more of these recipes in my life. Keep ‘em coming!

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