Chicken Stir-Fry with Almonds
Don't let the long list of ingredients discourage you, this dish is worth the extra bit of effort. The key to successful, stress-free stir-frying is to prepare all the ingredients in advance—and lined up in the order of use—before you begin the cooking process, which is quick and only takes a few minutes. So, get out your sharpest kitchen knife and start chopping!
4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch thin strips
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chicken base or bouillon granules*
1 teaspoon fish sauce**
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil - divided use
2 cups cooked Asian noodles or pasta such as spaghetti or angel hair
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and cut into strips
2 medium carrots, pared and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 (1-inch) piece gingerroot, peeled, finely minced
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3 ounces snow peas
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 medium green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (also called Chinese parsley)
- Cut up chicken; set aside.
- Cut up and prepare the vegetables, fresh ginger and herbs; set aside. (Tip: Group prepped ingredients together in the order they are used.)
- Place cornstarch in a 2-cup glass measure or small bowl, slowly add water while stirring with a small whisk or fork; mix well. Add the soy sauce, chicken base, fish sauce and sesame oil; mix well; set aside.
- In a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, dry-toast the almonds until golden brown, stirring constantly; remove from wok and place in a large bowl; set aside.
- To the wok, quickly add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat over high heat until nearly smoking; add the Asian noodles or pasta and stir-fry for 1 minute; remove from wok and place in the bowl with almonds; set aside.
- To the wok, quickly add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat over high heat until nearly smoking; add the chicken, garlic, salt and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken is done and nicely golden brown; remove from wok and place in the bowl with the almonds and noodles; set aside.
- Continuing over high heat, quickly add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the wok; add the onion, celery, carrot and gingerroot; stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the bell pepper and snow peas and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms and green onions; stir-fry for 1 minute; add the bean sprouts and cilantro and stir just until combined.
- Return the cooked chicken, noodles and almonds to the wok.
- Quickly stir the cornstarch/broth mixture to mix well and add to the wok, stirring constantly, bring to a boil and continue cooking until slightly thickened. Immediately remove from heat.
- Serve immediately.
Make 4 to 6 servings.
*I prefer and use Redi-Base soup bases available at www.redibase.com.
**Usually found in most supermarkets on the aisle where Asian specialty foods are sold.
Tips and Variations:
- Mix and match vegetables, add or substitute veggies such as sliced Napa cabbage, sliced zucchini or steamed broccoli, etc.
- Omit the Asian noodles or pasta and serve the stir-fry over hot, cooked jasmine rice or other long-grain rice.
- Beef or pork can be substituted for the chicken.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe): 488.5 calories; 30% calories from fat; 17.0g total fat; 24.8mg cholesterol; 1222.6mg sodium; 719.7mg potassium; 65.1g carbohydrates; 5.2g fiber; 8.0g sugar; 59.9g net carbs; 21.4g protein.