Quick, easy cheater’s dinner

September 20, 2010

Yeah, I overcooked the broccoli. Deal with it. It was still good.

This would be Kung Pao chicken, inspired by the fact I had chicken tenders in the fridge I needed to use. And it was easy, and it was quick, and I had been to WalMart and was in a foul mood, and I did not care about catering to any of the other individuals who share this house with me.

They had choices. They could eat KP chicken. They could make a sandwich or open can of soup or eat cereal or cook a frozen pizza. Or they could go hungry. And I Did Not Much Care.

They ate the chicken, because? It was pretty good.

I sauteed an onion and some garlic and some ginger and some carrots. Threw in the chicken; stir-fried it on medium high heat. Added the broccoli, too early, so it cooked too done.

Then I dumped a bottle of Kung Pao sauce from the Chinese market on it.

What, you thought I was going to make my very own from scratch Kung Pao sauce? I did not, for several reasons:

  1. I was not that freakin’ ambitious.
  2. I don’t know how to make Kung Pao sauce.
  3. These people are Chinese. They sell products imported from China. I trust that they can make better KP sauce than I can.

So. Here’s the proportions:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch chunk of ginger, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch or so thick
  • 1 cup or so broccoli florets
  • 3/4 pound or so of chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch or less chunks
  • A bottle of Kung Pao sauce. I cannot tell you what brand I used, because nothing on the label is in English, but the hand-lettered sign on the box said it was Kung Pao sauce and that’s what it tastes like.

Saute the onion and carrots over medium heat until the onion is soft. Add the ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant. Turn the heat to medium high and throw in the chicken; saute it until there’s no pink showing. Put a lid on it, turn it down to medium, and let it steam for about five minutes, until you’re sure the chicken is done all the way through. Take the lid off, add the broccoli, and saute it a minute or two. Add the Kung Pao sauce, however much you want to make it as juicy as you want, and let it come to a good bubble. Serve over rice.

I had green onions I meant to throw in right before the sauce, and forgot. I also had peanuts I meant to chunk on top, and forgot that too.

The only thing I’d probably do differently is saute the broccoli separately, over pretty high heat, for just a minute or two, and then take it out before I did the other stuff. Then I’d add it back in right before adding the sauce. It was cooked too much.

It was pretty decent stuff.

I experimented with a new wine, because it was five bucks in WalMart, and you can risk five bucks on a bottle of wine from WalMart, though I wouldn’t want to risk any more. It’s Post Familie, an Arkansas winery, and it’s “traditional table wine.”

I guess it’s worth five bucks. It’s drinkable. A tad sweet for me.

So you and y’mama ‘n ’em bring your chopsticks and come on. There’s leftovers.


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