Ginger Chicken with Broccoli and Glazed Walnuts

by feastonthecheap on May 18, 2010

Mary Anne here. Recently, thanks to a tumultuous tummy, I’ve been revisiting an old friend in the kitchen: ginger. This multi-talented ingredient reputedly has multiple medicinal uses ranging from an anti-inflammatory, a diaphoretic that cleanses the system of accumulated toxins, and most popularly, an aid for nausea due to pregnancy, motion sickness and other digestive annoyances.

In addition to my own intestinal woes, a dear old friend of mine has been undergoing a spate of health issues that have rendered her appetite nearly non-existent. We discovered that dishes prepared with a healthy dose of fresh ginger not only go down easy, but they actually quell discomfort for several hours post-eating! Added bonus: ginger is natural and quite inexpensive – a far more Feast-worthy solution than a chemist’s costly compound!

Nausea or not, this simple and nutritious meal showcases a spectacular array of color, texture, sweetness and spice rendering it an apt choice for an unhappy gut – or surprise guests!

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Ginger Chicken with Broccoli and Glazed Walnuts
Serves 8

Note: Place the whole chicken breasts in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. This exercise firms up the meat and allows for the thinnest of sliced strips, approximately 1/8th of an inch thick and 1 inch long.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, rinsed and patted dry and then cut into very thin 1 inch strips (see note above) – $6.58
1½ lbs. fresh broccoli, cut into florets (freeze the thick stems for future soup stock) – $2.49
3 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced – $0.40
1 large sweet onion, i.e. Vidalia, cut into 1 inch pieces – $1.39
2 red Bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces – $2.72
2 cloves garlic, minced – stock
1 cup walnut pieces – stock
2 Tablespoons sweet butter – stock
2 Tablespoons brown sugar – stock
8 Tablespoons Canola oil, divided – stock
10 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce, divided – stock
6 teaspoons corn starch, divided – stock
1 cup chicken stock – stock
1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes – stock
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Kitchen: $13.58
Total Per Serving:$1.70

1. While the chicken is getting firm in the freezer, prepare the glazed walnuts. In a small skillet placed over a medium flame, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, stirring well to combine. Add the walnuts, and stirring constantly, sauté for about 10 minutes over medium-low flame until nuts are fragrant. Transfer to a small dish and allow to cool completely. The glaze will harden during the cooling process.

2. Slice the chicken as directed in the notes above. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 Tablespoons of oil, 4 teaspoons of soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of corn starch. Stir in the chicken strips, coating well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the veggies by chopping according to the above directions.

4. Using a wok or a very large, heavy skillet, heat 6 Tablespoons of oil over high flame. The oil is hot enough when a spritz of water sizzles. Stir fry the chicken strips until white, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a large slotted spatula, transfer the chicken to a platter or bowl.

5. In a small bowl whisk together 1 cup chicken stock, 6 teaspoons of soy sauce, and 4 teaspoons of corn starch. Set aside.

6. Using the leftover oil from the chicken in the wok/skillet, stir fry the onion, ginger, and red pepper until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes.

7. Add the garlic and broccoli to the wok, and continue sautéing the veggies until the broccoli is bright green, about 2 to 3 minutes.

8. Add the chicken to the veggie mixture. Stir in the chicken broth/soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly until thickened.

9. Serve over brown rice. Top with the glazed walnuts.