I really want ‘my family and other hungry animals’ to contain recipes in addition to tales and challenges from the farm. The only problem is, I never remember to take any pictures, or record down what went into a meal; amongst the hustle and bustle, and trying to get the children involved (as anyone that read the last post will know!), it’s the furthest thing from my mind. But I have resolved to pay more attention to recording the food that’s made in our kitchen; so please hold me to it! As it’s a blog, every recipe has to come with a story and a background, doesn’t it?! So here goes with ‘Ben’s Garlic & Ginger Chicken Stir Fry with Easy Egg Fried Rice’…
As many families do, we have always included ‘stir fry’ into our weekly meal plan. This was just a generic thing, and the conversation usually went as follows.
Vicky: shall we have a stir fry one night this week?
Ben: yeah ok
Proceed to supermarket shelf (yes, even we use them sometimes) and buy into their brightly stickered ‘meal deal’ by putting one bag of limp shredded vegetable mixture (with an unimaginative name along the lines of ‘brightly-coloured stir fry or crunchy stir fry’), one pack of noodles and one giant, squidgy sachet of Sauce. Obviously, for the chicken; no thanks Waitrose, we got that covered on our end!
Of course, this was fine, it was a meal. But one day we had enough and started asking ourselves the important questions in life. ‘Doesn’t this sauce taste REALLY sweet and sickly to you? Yes, and a bit synthetic. I wonder how many ingredients there are in it? (Proceed to be shocked by the ingredients list)’ and also questions like ‘what’s actually in this vegetable bag? It looks a bit dry where it’s been sliced up for ages, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t we prefer it if we put the veg we actually wanted in it?’ And also the very important observation ‘it’s not actually very cheap at all, it would save us so much money to make our own’. So that was it, bye bye meal deal and hello home made meal!
Ben is a great cook, he loves making new and exciting things. In contrast to me, Little Miss ‘safe-option-that-I-have-made-a-million-times-and-know-everyone-likes’, Ben tries new things all the time, I don’t think he’s ever made the exact same thing twice without some new ingredient, new twist, new style of cooking. He loves asian food, and experiments all the time, which made us question why we hadn’t started making our own stir fry sauces long ago. This makes for exciting meals, but just try documenting what he’s done and you will find its near impossible! So tonight I made a point of quizzing him as he went along about what he was doing, how much he was putting in and taking a few pictures too. For today’s sauce, Ben went for a ginger, garlic and teriyaki base, with free range chicken breast (from none other than Radmore Farm). The veg we put in today was sliced red pepper, thinly sliced carrot, mange tout and sugar snap peas, broccoli, and edamame Beans, but that’s largely because that’s what we had in the fridge. This will work well with all manor of veg, we often use bean sprouts, courgette, and baby corn too. The accompaniment today was quick egg friend rice; if Ben makes this as a main course he packs loads of veg in (Diced carrot, butternut, peppers, onion) and sometimes prawns too. But as it was a side dish today it was a plain and simple version.
So here we go, Ben’s Garlic & Ginger Chicken Stir Fry with Easy Egg Fried Rice, we think it’s cheaper, healthier, more exciting and definitely tastier than the ‘meal deal’! Plus it can be easily adapted to what ingredients you have available.
Ben’s Garlic & Ginger Chicken Stir Fry with Easy Egg Fried Rice
This served 4 of us (2 were children, and the other 2 were hungry)
3-4 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
Fresh Ginger (about 2 inch piece)
3 large Cloves Garlic
1 large whole or 2 small fillets of skinless free range chicken breast
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 large Onion, diced
salt and pepper
Veg (we used: 1 sliced red pepper, 1 medium thinly slices carrot, 1 handful of each mange tout and sugar snaps, 10-12 stems tender broccoli, small handful edamame beans)
For the egg fried rice-
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2-4 eggs depending on preference
Cooked rice (we used brown rice, enough for for a side portion for 4, around 250g)
A little soy sauce
How to make it tasty:
Ben made the sauce ahead of time so he could marinade the chicken in it for a few hours first, but if you are short of time you could skip this part. Ben put the teriyaki, peeled garlic cloves and peeled and roughly chopped Ginger into the blender and pulsed until smooth. He then added enough water to make a pouring consistency.
Ben kept the chicken breast as one piece, seasoned it and pricked it all over with a fork, before smoothing in the blended sauce, and refrigerating for 4-5 hours.
When it was dinner time, Ben heated the rapeseed oil in a wok, over a high heat, and browned the onion. Whilst the onion was browning, he took the chicken out of the sauce, and Diced into chunks. The Diced chicken was added to the browned onion, and cooked through, and then the remaining sauce added to the pan. A little water was added at this stage, perhaps 2 tablespoons. The veg was then tossed in, stirred thoroughly to incorporate with the sauce, removing from the heat before it lost its crunch.
For the egg fried rice, you will need some rice that’s been cooked ahead of time, or a pack of shop bought ready cooked rice could be used also. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Ben then whisked up the eggs, he used 4 but this was very eggy, which is ok for us as we have eggs in ABUNDANCE, but would have been ok with 2 or 3. He tipped the egg into the pan, and stirred continuously to scramble until it was fully cooked. When it started to stick he used a little soy sauce to help prevent sticking and enhance the flavour. Then he added to the pan the cooked rice, and a little water and finished with a drop more soy sauce to taste.