Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Moments to Savor: Chicken and Chinese Cabbage

This is why I love age four:

As we were coming back from a walk downtown tonight, Ian asked me: "Mommy, how old are you?"

Me: (mumble mumble)
Ian (running ahead of me to face me, flinging his arms wide open to hug me as I came closer): "Mommy, I'll love you even when you are really old."

Me (bending down to scoop up my boy and smother him in hugs and kisses, knowing that this time is fleeting): "And Ian, I'll love you forever, too."

The days of fresh produce are waning, too: just about four more weeks to go in the CSA share.  Last week, our box contained the following: two heads of lettuce, a bag of spicy lettuce, a bag of arugula, bok choy, and a ginormous (yes, that really is a word) head of Chinese cabbage.  I was having flashbacks to the first few weeks of our CSA, when I found myself drowning in greens.  I've been making lettuce sandwiches (really, no joke) for lunch, and turned the chard into Lentil Chard Soup again, and we'll stir fry the bok choy, but I needed to figure out what to do with the cabbage.  It's a lot of cabbage for two and a half people.

It seemed only right to turn it into something Chinese; besides, stir fry makes a mountain of greens into a more manageable molehill.  And though we've been eating mostly vegetarian this summer, I decided to cave and make something that the boys would appreciate, especially if I was going to make them eat mounds of cabbage.

Chicken and Chinese Cabbage

1 1/3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 T. plus 4 t. soy sauce
3 T. dry sherry
1/4 t. cayenne
2 T. cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. ground coriander
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1/2 head Chinese cabbage (about 1 lb.), sliced
3/4 c. drained sliced water chestnuts (from one 8 oz. can)
2 t. tomato paste
1/4 t. dried red-pepper flakes
3 T. water
3 T. chopped cilantro or scallion tops
1/8 t. salt

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with the 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sherry, and the cayenne. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, and coriander. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sherry and the vinegar. Cook, stirring, 1 minute longer.

Add the cabbage, water chestnuts, the remaining 4 teaspoons soy sauce, the tomato paste, red-pepper flakes, and water and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes longer. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices, the cilantro, and the salt and cook, stirring, until the chicken is just done, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
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    1. Such a lovely moment. :-)

      I use chinese cabbage and similar flavours to this but make wanton dumplings. To make the husband happy sometimes I put in a minute amount of chicken, which just adds the flavour he loves. And I say nothing of the tofu.

    2. I'm going to try this recipe. I'm always looking for something else to do with chicken. Hello from ICLW


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