Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Old Standby

My first few attempts to cook in Bulgaria just made me sad. A soup stock that made the house smell like onions for days, candied orange peel that died my hands neon. A pie whose crust shellacked itself to the counter and refused to budge.

Then I managed two successful dinners - Rachel Ray's chicken satay stir fry and a chicken couscous salad. Great was the rejoicing in the Potash household, and I have pretty much made the same two dinners at least twice a month ever since.

This Thai stir fry is my standby - having a bad day? Company coming? Red peppers practically free at the Bulgarian markets? Any of the above function as a not-really-needed excuse to spend one hour in return for taste bud bliss. That is, taste bud bliss if you enjoy gingery peanutty orange flavors dancing across your tongue.

Chicken Satay Stir Fry with Orange Blossom Rice

adapted from Rachel Ray


3 3/4 cups water

2 oranges’ worth of zest

2 cups rinsed jasmine rice


2 TBSP canola oil

2-3 chicken breasts or 8-10 chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces

3 cloves minced garlic

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks

optional but good: 6 shallots, cut on an angle into 2 inch pieces


4 TBSP chunky peanut butter

3 TBSP dark soy sauce

3 TBSP honey

1 inch ginger, peeled and minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 orange’s worth of fresh juice

1. Heat water with orange zest to boiling. Add rice, return to a boil and stir. Cover pot

and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until tender – 18 minutes (meanwhile, make chicken

and sauce). Fluff with a fork.

2. Put all the sauce ingredients in a small pan, mix, and let simmer on very low heat

while you cook the chicken. Stir once or twice.

3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add chicken pieces and onion (and

shallots) and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Add remaining

veggies and stir fry 5 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through (you can always

check by cutting into the chicken to see if it is pink).

4. Make sure sauce is warm and stir a couple of times. Then pour over chicken and

vegetables and combine.

Serve chicken and rice with a bowl of chopped or whole salty peanuts to garnish with.

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