Classic Chicken Stir-Fry
Thinly slice chicken into bite-size strips; set aside. In a small bowl stir together the cold water and cornstarch; stir in soy sauce and dry sherry. Set aside.Advertisement
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add carrots; stir-fry about 10 minutes or until carrots are nearly tender. Add pea pods and water chestnuts; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until pea pods are crisp-tender. Remove from wok.
Add chicken strips; stir-fry 2 minutes or until cooked through. Add soy sauce mixture to wok, stirring to coat chicken. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Stir in carrot mixture and heat through. Sprinkle with green onions and additional crushed red pepper.
Tips: Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.
Variation: Shrimp Stir-Fry: Prepare as directed, except substitute 12 ounces fresh or frozen large shrimp in shells for the chicken breasts. Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Replace 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce with water. Use 1 cup asparagus cut into 1/2-inch pieces instead of carrots; 1 cup thinly sliced leeks instead of pea pods; 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (1 stalk) instead of water chestnuts; 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning instead of fresh ginger; and stir in 2 cups fresh spinach leaves instead of topping with green onions. Nutrition Facts per serving: 123 calories, 12 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 4 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 2 g total sugar, 45% Vitamin A, 16% Vitamin C, 569 mg sodium, 8% calcium, 10% iron Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1.5 lean meat, .5 fat Carb Choice: .5
Curried Pork Stir-Fry: Prepare as directed, except substitute 12 ounces pork tenderloin for the chicken breasts. Use 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms instead of pea pods; 1 small onion, cut into thin wedges, instead of water chestnuts; 1 teaspoon curry powder instead of fresh ginger; and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped dry roasted peanuts instead of green onions. Nutrition Facts per serving: 165 calories, 21 g protein, 9 g carbo., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 55 mg chol., 2 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar, 103% vit. A, 7% vit. C, 350 mg sodium, 3% calcium, 8% iron.
Tex-Mex Beef Stir-Fry: Prepare as directed, except substitute 12 ounces boneless beef top sirloin steak for the chicken breasts. Use 1 cup thinly sliced onion (1 large) instead of carrots; 1 medium green or red sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thin bite-size strips, instead of pea pods; 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn instead of water chestnuts; 1 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (see Tips), instead of fresh ginger; and stir in 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped, instead of sprinkling with green onions. Nutrition Facts per serving: 195 calories, 21 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 5 g total sugar, 8% Vitamin A, 59% Vitamin C, 336 mg sodium, 2% calcium, 12% iron
2 vegetables, 2 1/2 lean protein