I’ve been very lucky over the past few weeks. Everything (save for the not-so-perfect Mother’s Day desserts) I cook tastes great, all of my fingers are in tact, no time wasted cleaning up horrific messes, and surprisingly, Jim and I haven’t suffered from food poisoning during my new-found obsession with creating my own recipes. Last weekend, visiting Jim’s wonderful aunt and uncle, I cooked Arroz con Pollo for 12 people and it tasted delicious! Usually, when I cook for any group of people, I am nervous and crabby during the cooking, scared and self-loathing during the serving. To my surprise, however, I felt easy going and sublime while cooking this weekend. No nervousness, and no self-loathing–I knew it would be wonderful and actually didn’t really care if it wasn’t. Maybe writing this food-blog has given me some confidence in the kitchen–and reading other people’s blogs, especially posts that share debacles and mistakes, show me I’m not alone in being a clumsy cook.
So, I’ve been extremely lucky. But luck has to end sometime…
The other night I created my own chicken stir-fryesque recipe with a combination of herbs and ingredients that seemed to come to me in a dream–actually, it was a combination of herbs and ingredients on sale at the market. Cilantro, lime, rice vinegar, scallions, soy sauce, sesame sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, chili peppers–wait, wait, there’s more–mint and orange. MMmmm, what a combo! Or, rather, what, a combo?!?!
The end product, to my great disbelief, was quite good. The peppery bit of herbs mixed well with the acidic sweetness of juice and the salt of the sauces, though I put too much herbs and juice into the mix, and the recipe below includes lessened amounts. With those changes, I’m sure the taste would improve gastronomically!
Time: about 30 minutes (including prep)
Details: cooked on stovetop, using only a wok, on mainly medium-high heat
- 1 tbs. rice vinegar
- 1 tbs. corn oil
- 1 tbs. dark sesame oil
- 1 tbs. soy sauce (plus more for sprinkling later)
- 1/2 tbs. oyster sauce
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. ground chili pepper (hot)
- Mint leaves from 3 sprigs, chopped
- Cilantro leaves from 3 sprigs, chopped
- 2/3 cup of scallions, chopped
- 1 lb. chicken thighs, but crosswise into short strips
- One lime, cut into wedges for juicing into sauce at the end
- Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl and add in chicken to coat. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Add chicken and garlic to wok and cook over medium-high heat. When partially cooked, add orange, ginger, mint, ground chili, cilantro and scallions.
- Drain sauce through a fine mesh sieve and put chicken and veggies into a serving bowl. Add sauce back into wok and reduce, sprinkling in some lime juice and soy sauce, to thicken. When reduced, drip over chicken and serve.