Saturday, August 7, 2010

Just because I had to use the Asian Eggplant I've Been Growing....

I put together this Asian Fusion Garlic Eggplant, Chicken, Red Pepper and Onion Stir Fry this evening and it was so delicious that I wanted to share it with you.  I can't give you specific amounts for everything because I invented as I went along.  If you've ever done stir frying or a bit of Asian cooking, you will be able to fill in the blanks.  Read the recipe first since several things are going on at the same time and you can be confused about what to do when!

Here are the ingredients for four smallish servings:
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into largish bite-sized pieces
1 lb. long thin Asian Eggplant cut in bite size pieces, skin on.
1/2 large Vidalia onion cut into bite size pieces
two red peppers or one very large one (as I had) cut in bite sized pieces
lots of fresh garlic, put through garlic press
Oil for frying (very little - you periodically add chicken broth to keep the bottom of the pan from scorching)

Bulgogi Marinade from Debra Samuels' The Korean Table (minus scallions)
Swanson's canned chicken broth
few shakes of  Oyster Sauce
few shakes of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tbsp. Cornstarch thinned with a couple of tablespoons of cold water

Place chicken in container you can securely cover and turn over to make sure marinade coats well.  Pour bulgogi marinade (maybe 1/3 cup) over the chicken and grate fresh ginger on it.  Stir to combine with the chicken and  cover container.  It doesn't have to marinate very long - maybe 5-10 minutes.  Turn over and shake periodically while eggplant and pepper are in the microwave.

Put a generous tablespoon of oil in a wok of heavy skillet over high heat and fry chicken till it's no longer pink and begins to feel slightly firm.  Don't overcook it!  Remove and set aside when done. * You can be nuking the eggplant and pepper while you fry the chicken and then the onion.

*The eggplant and pepper pieces are placed on a large platter in the microwave and nuked on high for about 7 minutes until they soften.  Precooking them means you can use way less oil to stir fry them.

While eggplant and pepper are nuking, put a couple of tablespoons of oil in the same messy wok or skillet that you just took the chicken out of.   Add onion pieces and stir fry for a couple of minutes and turn off heat.  Add the nuked eggplant pepper pieces  when they're ready. Also add some garlic.  Eggplant will quickly soak up oil.  This is when you have to add chicken broth to keep things moving and to keep the bottom of the pan from scorching. (You don't want the veggies to swim in broth - you just don't want them to scorch.)  Leftover broth can be stored in fridge for several days for later use.

When veggies are stir-fried (over high heat) to your liking (not too much) add the pre-cooked chicken pieces and stir to combine.  Add dashes of oyster sauce and Thai sweet chili sauce, plus a bit more chicken broth, heat stir well and add cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken as you stir.

Serve over rice.

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