I have a few more sweet posts in the works, so I thought it might be time to mix them up with something more on the savory side. This was one of the first 3 recipes that my husband had lined up for me to make after I returned home. I have talked about his love for Chinese food on here before, but I am really not kidding. While we were in undergraduate college, we went to the Chinese buffet so often that the owners would ask him if he wanted them to make anything else for the buffet when we walked in the door. The guy loves his Chinese.
One of the things I like about making Chinese food at home is that you can make it so much healthier than you can get at a restaurant. The basis of the food is good for you - lean meats and vegetables served over rice. If you watch the sodium in your ingredients and don't fry your meat, you can have an easy, healthful meal.
The recipe for this chicken dish came from blogchef.net. There are tons of Chinese recipes on this site, and we've made several of them. It's definitely the first site I look at when the hubby is wanting Chinese. The original recipe for this dish calls for deep-frying the chicken. I tend to shy away from deep-frying anything at home for various reasons. The health part of it is a big factor, but I also just don't like to deal with a big pot of hot oil. I ended up following the recipe through the breading part and cooked the chicken in the wok in about a tablespoon of oil. Truthfully, this didn't work very well. Much of the breading ended up falling off the meat, so I just picked it out when I removed the chicken from the wok. I don't think this was a fault of the recipe as I imagine it would have worked much better in a pot of oil. Next time, I may try draining the marinated chicken and coating it lightly with cornstarch to give it just a little bit of crisp, but I'll write the recipe as written.
With the exception of the breading issues, this dish was great. It was different from the other Chinese dishes that we've had in that it doesn't rely on spice to flavor the sauce. In that manner, it would be great if you're needing a milder dish for children or adults who don't like a lot of heat in their food. I ended up adding a little cornstarch at the end to thicken the sauce, but this is more personal preference as my husband likes his sauces to be thicker. It has been awhile since we've made a Chinese dish, but I really feel like this is one of the better dishes I have tried at home. It's now on our ever-growing make-again list. Enjoy!
Garlic Ginger Chicken
Adapted from blogchef.net
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 Tbsp. rice wine
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 c. cornstarch
fryer oil or olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 c. dry brown rice
6 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
6 Tbsp. rice wine
3 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
1 bunch green onions, sliced (optional)
Add chicken bits to a large bowl. Add 4 Tbsp. rice wine and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce. Marinate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. After the 30 minutes is up, add the egg and cornstarch to the chicken mixture if you are wanting to fry the chicken pieces. Stir and blend until the chicken pieces are coated with batter. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees. Fry chicken in batches for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Alternatively, after the marinate, drain the liquid from the chicken and toss with just enough cornstarch to coat the chicken. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir-fry the chicken pieces until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Set aside. Turn heat down to medium and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the wok. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add remaining soy sauce and rice wine, sugar, and chicken. Stir and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture at this time if desired to thicken the sauce. Top with sliced green onions and serve.
Yield: 2-3 servings