Friday, March 4, 2011

Garlic String Bean Chicken

I had a craving for Chinese food.  It happens a lot. 

I also had a large amount of green beans that I needed to cook.  That happens a lot, too. 

We eat a lot of green beans around here. 

This tastes a lot like the string bean chicken you might order at a well-known Chinese-food-chain-restaurant- with-a-Panda-for-a-mascot who shall remain nameless.

Don't ask me where I got the recipe.  I'll never tell.

Start by marinating some diced chicken. 

To make the marinade, you'll need...

sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and cornstarch.  Mix them together in a bowl until the cornstarch is no longer lumpy,

then toss the chicken in the mixture and allow it to marinate for at least 1 hour.  But the longer, the better, really. 

Before you're ready to cook, prep everything you'll need.  I can never stress this enough when cooking Asian dishes.  It all happens fast, so be prepared.  Make sure that everything you need for the dish is already chopped, peeled, portioned, and ready to go before you even turn on the stove.   You'll thank me later.

Start by chopping up your veggies.   You'll need some red bell pepper,

green beans,


and garlic.

This is what garlic looks like after you freeze it and put it through a garlic press.  Kinda looks like garlic jelly. 

Also, have on hand about this much water.

And some black bean sauce, if you can find it.  I didn't have any and didn't feel like hunting it down, considering the recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon.  So I substituted with oyster sauce, cause I did have that. 

We'll come back to these two items later.

Now heat some oil in a large skillet.

and thoroughly cook the chicken you've been marinating.

Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a large bowl.

Now add the onions and garlic to the skillet and stir fry for about a minute

then add the green beans and bell peppers to the skillet and stir fry those for about 1-2 minutes.

Remember that water I had you put on standby?  Dump that into the skillet and quickly cover with a lid.

Let the veggies steam for about 2-3 minutes.  This will soften up those green beans just enough so that they aren't too crunchy, but also not mushy. 

Remove the lid and add the chicken back to the skillet.

Also add the black bean sauce (oyster sauce) at this point.  Stir it around to make sure the sauce gets well incorporated and allow the chicken to reheat for about a minute or so.
Serve this on top of white rice, or, if you're feeling really dangerous, attempt to make some fried rice simultaneously.  (You better have a plan - you've been warned.) 

Garlic String Bean Chicken Recipe

For the marinade:
2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. rice wine
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sugar

For the recipe:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup onion, peeled, cut in 1/2-in. wedges
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. black-bean sauce
12 oz. green beans, trimmed, cut in 1-in. pieces
1 cup red bell pepper, large dice

Dice chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks.  Combine soy sauce, wine, sesame oil, cornstarch and sugar in large bowl; pour over chicken breast; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to cook.  Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over high heat until hot. Add chicken; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until chicken is brown and is cooked through. Remove to serving dish.  Return skillet to high heat; add onion and garlic.  Stir in green beans and bell pepper. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.   Return chicken to skillet and add black bean (oyster sauce) and stir; toss over high heat until well mixed and heated through; about 2 minutes.