Mary Anne here. This is a recipe that harkens back to my days as a very, very young mom. A dear friend of mine, Victoria, had a little boy exactly the same age as Mariel and when they were barely tots, Victoria and I used to take turns babysitting for each other’s kids, grabbing some precious mommy me-time. My escape inevitably involved the nearby barn and a riding lesson, while Victoria shopped ’til…well you know the saying.
One day, after spending a few blissful hours on horseback, I returned to Victoria’s apartment to retrieve my squeaky-voiced, pony-tailed little girl. Not so fast, I was scolded by my pal. She had found a new recipe and was determined to feed this guinea pig in riding britches! Victoria’s Hoisin Chicken immediately became a favorite of not only mine, but my husband’s and eventually two out of three of our kids. Almost a trifecta.
My older son popped in last week while I was stir-frying a batch and left with several containers of this healthful, homemade version of Chinese takeout. Added bonus – it’s a whole lot less expensive, especially if you have a well-stocked Asian pantry! Oh, and if you have a Wok, all the better, but don’t fret, a large sauté pan works just as well.
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes – $5.98
¼ cup cooking sherry – stock
2 Tablespoons corn starch – stock
1 Teaspoon salt – salt
½ Teaspoon sugar – stock
4 Tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil – stock
1 cup sliced mushrooms – $1.98
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped – $0.92
½ cup salted peanuts or cashews – $0.49
1 – 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts – $0.69
2/3 cup Hoisin sauce – $2.99
cooked brown or white rice – stock
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $13.05
Total Per Serving: $1.63
1. Prepare the rice according to package directions. Brown rice generally takes approximately 45 minutes while white rice cooks in 10 minutes. Plan accordingly. The Hoisin Chicken takes only a few minutes once the prep/chopping is completed.
2. In a 2-quart bowl, whisk together the sherry, cornstarch, salt, and sugar. Add the chicken cubes and toss to coat thoroughly. Set aside.
3. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large sauté pan. The oil is hot when you can see it shimmer across the top. Stir in the prepared vegetables and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the veggies and set aside.
4. Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat as directed in step 3. Add the chicken mixture and stir fry until the meat turns white and is cooked through. Add the vegetables, peanuts, and Hoisin sauce. Stir thoroughly to combine and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes until heated evenly. Serve over the hot rice.