Secret Recipe Club – Mongolian Chicken and Veggies
It is time for Secret Recipe Club reveal day! Woo-hoo! What is the Secret Recipe Club? It’s a lot like Secret Santa, but with recipes. Each month you are assigned a blog. After selecting a recipe from that bloggers repertoire, you make and post it on reveal day. It is a great way to find fun recipes and blogs. I like how it gets me to actually sit down and go through another person’s blog. Blogs are a lot of work and take time to put together. Instead of skimming through just the new stuff (as is usually easier when we see a new blog) it is fun to really sit down and go through what else the blog has to offer. Fun stuff!
This month I was assigned Robin’s blog, Robin Restored (formally Penny Pinching Provisions). She says her blog is about eating good food on a budget. Robin recently renamed her blog to help her focus on what is important to her: restoring health, restoring her finances and restoring happiness by living simply. She has tons of recipes on her site, everything from kid snacks, to tasty chicken and beef dishes, desserts of every kind, All that AND she participates in Meat Free Mondays. Whew! It was hard to narrow it down to just one recipe from so many tasty things to choose from. 🙂 I finally picked Mongolian Chicken and am so glad I did. Yum!
The Mongolian Chicken is a take off a Mongolian Beef recipe similar to the one at P.F. Changs. The changes I did was reduce the oil and sugar, because that is how I roll. I used a slightly different cooking technique in order to do this, which I will explain below. Also I added lots o’veggies because I like to eat the rainbow. Rainbows are tasty! I am putting this into our menu rotation. Everyone loved it (even ultra-picky girl). The sauce is similar to a teriyaki flavor which we all really enjoyed. I will also be trying the beef version next time. I can’t wait!
Whenever doing stir fries, I like to cook the veggies separately, then set them aside on the serving dish before cooking the meat or mushrooms. This keeps the veggie color bright and not muddied, and I have better control over how long they are cooked so they don’t get mushy.
1 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 cup corn starch
4 tablespoons oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced sweet bell peppers (I used green, orange and red)
1 cup thinly sliced purple or red cabbage
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup de-stemmed and thinly sliced kale
3 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced, divided
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup gluten free reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
In a bowl, combine the chicken and corn starch, tossing until all the chicken is coated with the starch. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat one tablespoon oil. Saute the peppers for 2 minutes, then add the cabbage, carrots, kale and all but 2 tablespoons of the green onions. Set the 2 tablespoons aside to use as a garnish on the completed meal. When veggies are cooked to your liking (I go with crisp-tenger) remove from pan onto serving dish. Set aside.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil then add chicken. Allow chicken to brown and get cooked through. The corn starch will stick a bit and brown on the bottom of the skillet. That is okay. We will be scraping up all that flavor in a little bit.
When chicken is cooked, add garlic and ginger to pan. Stir fry for about 30 seconds until the scent is released then add soy sauce. Using the spatula, use the soy sauce to deglaze the pan. In other words, the soy sauce will help softened and loosen all the tasty brown bits in the skillet. Scape those up and mix them into the sauce. When the pan is deglazed, crumble brown sugar into the pan.
Cook chicken in the sauce, stirring around often until bubbly and thickened. Add vegetables to chicken mixture and stir to coat everything in the sauce. Serve over quinoa or rice topped with remaining green onions.