Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not-What-I-Wanted Chicken

Waaaay back, nearly a quarter of a century ago, we used to frequent a Chinese restaurant in Waterbury 2 or 3 nights a week. I forget the name of it, because we called it "Jack's", in honor of the proprietor. One of my favorite things there was Moo Goo Gai Pan, in no small part because the name is so much fun - almost as much fun as Kung Pao Chicken. Anyway, I was very excited when I found a recipe for Moo Goo Gai Pan in a cookbook I bought at the little library's book sale, but quite disappointed when I realized I didn't have most of the ingredients. I had, to be exact, the chicken and the garlic. (sigh) Some days go like that.

Well, yesterday was another scorcher, so I decided not to turn on the oven, because I haven't turned on the central air yet. It's a rule. Furnace off May 1, central air on no sooner than May 2. The obvious thing to do was use my "entertaining" everyday pan, and go from there. So I came up with this....

UNNAMED CHINESE INSPIRED CHICKEN (name suggestions welcome)

3 pounds boneless skinless chicken
2 tbsp oil

1 pound french cut green beans
1 can water chestnuts
1 very large carrot, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder

fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 cup water whisked with 1 tbsp cornstarch

Pour the oil in the pan, and heat it. Cut the chicken into 1/2" strips, and add to the pan, with the garlic. Brown on both sides, then lower the heat a bit, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Add all of the vegetables, sprinkle with the ginger, bouillon powder and pepper, and stir. Add the sherry and cornstarch mix, stir well, cover and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Serve over
a bed of rice, or, as I did, a rice pilaf mix. My dearly beloved thought this was great. My youngest fussbudget told me he hates chicken because it's "blubby". Thor got no leftovers, except about 4 bites of rice I left for him, so I guess that tells you something.

15 comments:

Paula said...

I think it looks terrific! I just love those crunchy water chestnuts with chicken! My hubby would snarf this up in seconds. Um, I think I would, too. :-) By the way, my youngest loves Moo Goo Gai Pan, and I know she'd enjoy your version. The older kids will choke down the chicken and rice portions.

Channon said...

I'm not much on chicken either, but in my college days, Moo Goo Gai Pan was a favorite, and that seems pretty close!

doggybloggy said...

this is easy: mar -ji - gai- pan!

buffalodick said...

"Empress Mar-Gee Chicken" I promoted you to Empress!

noble pig said...

You are so hilarious with your quirks. We often have the heater on in the morning and the a/c in the afternoon...we can easily have 40 degree temp swings in one day. The worst thing is you never know what the heck to wear in the morning...shorts or jeans? I hate that.

I love the Moo-Goo inspiration and the crunchy veggies in there.

Pam said...

Yum. I think this looks really tasty, especially the water chestnuts.

I need to try Moo Goo Gai Pan, I've never had it.

gaylen said...

I love it. It looks very yummy :) Love the name suggestions too. g

Katherine Aucoin said...

I love buffalodick's comment. I vote for that name too. This looks great Marjie. The vegetables and the water chestnuta - yum!

The Blonde Duck said...

No air conditioning? I would DIE!

Melanie said...

How does your youngest son feel about re-heated chicken? I do okay with freshly cooked chicken, but when I try to eat left-overs... watch out! Something about the taste of re-heated chicken makes me want to gag.

Debbie Cook said...

Moo Goo Gai Pot, of course!

prairierunner said...

Doesn't matter what you call it, it looks good. Maybe that's because it's cold here today and the funace is running.

Pam said...

We're holding off on our air conditioner too. We like to see just how long we can go.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

It looks awesome!

Violin Mom said...

Wasn't it the Bob Newhart show when they got drunk and phoned in a take out order for Moo Goo Gai Pan except due to their drunken stupor, they instead asked for "More Goo to Go!" I guess you'd have to have been there.