This weekend was full of international cuisine for the Terrys. On Saturday we had Greek from Zakia’s and I discovered how much I love falafels (why have I not tried these before)? On Sunday I decided to make the Asian food that we passed up on Saturday for the Greek. The best part of this meal is that you can do most of it ahead of time and then when you’re ready to eat, just blanch a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and toss ’em in. It’s also great for families that eat in shifts, because you can keep the rice separate so it doesn’t get soggy and just mix it in when you plate up the food.
1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetables of your choice (I obviously like the snap pea variety, and with lots of sliced carrots–lots of bright color and good crunch!)
Quick-cooking rice (again, your choice, but a healthier brown rice will also add a firmer texture and a nuttier flavor)
Granulated garlic, salt, pepper
Teriyaki sauce (low sodium is always a plus)
Boneless, skinless chicken breast (optional–this meal is totally delicious as a meat-free dish, too)
I marinate the chicken in the teriyaki sauce for as long as I can ahead of time. Usually at least an hour in the refrigerator is good, but whatever time you have is worth it. I also like to set the chicken on the counter about 10-15 minutes before cooking so it can come to temperature a little, which will help keep it juicier. I like to add the garlic and pepper while it’s marinating, too.
When I set the chicken out, I toss the veggies in boiling water and blanch them, drain them and set aside. In the same water I used for the veggies, I cook the rice according to package directions. *This will add more flavor to the rice and save water (aren’t you a superhero?!). If you really want to pump up the flavor, use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water to boil in. I drain the rice and empty it in the same bowl as the veggies, setting aside.
Then it’s time to bring your deep saute pan up to about medium heat, and just coat the bottom of the pan with a very thin layer of canola oil. While that’s heating, I slice the chicken into bite-size pieces and then toss it in the pan. I coat with teriyaki sauce and season with just a bit of salt (the teriyaki adds lots of it). When the chicken is cooked through, I toss in the rice and veggies, and add teriyaki sauce and vegetable (or chicken) stock until there’s just enough liquid to coat it all and loosen it up. You can add as much or as little as you like, tasting as you go.
This meal is delicious all hot and fresh, but it makes for great leftovers, after the flavors have a day or two to really mix in the refrigerator.