Saturday, October 11, 2008
Chicken Chow Mein
With the economy being what it is, prices being so high on everything and only having one income due to a crummy job market, I've been trying to stretch our food budget a little more than usual. Part of that has been going back to old standby recipes, and part of it has been finding recipes that use items I always have on hand. If the recipe makes enough for 6 people to eat for 2 meals... even better!
This one came about while I was browsing for chicken recipes. I knew I had only 4 breast halves in the freezer, meaning that in order to stretch that for 6 people, it would have to be a casserole or stir fry. I came across a recipe for Chicken Chow Mein. Now, I don't know about you, but this was a dish my mother made in the 70's... and granted, as a kid I liked it, but the majority of it came from a can. The last time I had tried the version from a can, it wasn't quite what I remembered. But I was willing to give it another shot... on my terms. This began my search for a REAL recipe for Chow Mein. I found quite a few, took my favorite parts of each one and came up with this. Not only did it stretch those 4 chicken breast halves to feed all 6 of us, it also made enough for leftovers for Monday... BONUS! I also had most of the ingredients on hand already, the only purchase I made for this was the bamboo shoots, beans sprouts and cabbage... which cost all of $2.40.
4 large chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs), cut in bite size pieces
3 Tbs canola or vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 ribs of celery, sliced
1 med onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
12 oz package sliced mushrooms
2 handfuls fresh bean sprouts
1/2 small head of cabbage, sliced
1 cup chicken stock or broth
7 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs oyster sauce
1/2 cup rice wine
3 Tbs honey (I prefer honey, but you can use sugar)
1/4 cup water
3 Tbs cornstarch
6 green onions, white and green parts chopped
crispy chow mein noodles
Heat oil in large frying pan over med-high heat. Season chicken to taste with salt and pepper, then brown in hot oil. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and set aside.
Add celery and onions to the pan, and saute 2 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, ginger, mushrooms, bean sprouts and cabbage. Continue cooking 2 more minutes or until vegetables just start to cook down.
Mix together chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine and honey in a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch until smooth, then add to the broth mixture, mixing well. Add sauce mixture to the pan, stirring almost constantly until sauce begins to thicken.
Return chicken to the pan, add green onions and heat through. Serve over rice and top with chow mein noodles.