When I was growing up, my dad did an incredible job as a single parent cooking for three kids.  He cooked well-balanced and tasty meals for us nearly every night, and I never did any cooking for myself until I moved into my college apartment.  One of the dinners that he made often was chicken stir fry, and I always loved it.  Unfortunately, it was more of a semi-homemade dinner (Market Day, anyone?) so there was no real from-scratch recipe he could pass on to me.  When I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman, I was so excited at the prospect of having good stir fry once again.  And as with all of her recipes that I have tried, this was fantastic!

My only complaint is that she calls it “Monday Night Stir Fry”, seemingly because it is quick and easy to throw together.  Easy, yes.  Quick?  No.  I think this took me nearly an hour to prepare, just because of all the chopping – and I’m good with a knife!  Now don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy meals that require a lot chopping, but I definitely would not make this again on a night where I am looking for a quick, low effort meal.  However, I absolutely will make it often when I have more time.  It was really delicious!  Since there was quite a bit of sauce, I think next time I will add water chestnuts and broccoli to the mix as well.  There was plenty left over for lunches as well.

(This was a brief intermission in my slew of dessert posts.  Be prepared for more sweetness very soon :P )

Chicken Stir Fry
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup soy sauce, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 tsp. sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth, divided
2 rounded tsp. arrowroot
3 tbsp. peanut oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
2 tbsp. of fresh ginger, minced
8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
1 can baby corn, cut into pieces
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl.  Drizzle lightly with soy sauce and sesame oil.  Set aside.  Have all of the vegetables cut up and ready to be added as you cook.  In a small prep bowl, combine 1/2 cup soy sauce with 3 tablespoons sugar.  Stir well and set aside.  In another small prep bowl, combine the chicken broth and arrowroot.  Stir and set aside.  Measure an additional 1/4 cup of chicken broth and have it ready.

Heat a skillet or wok over high heat.  When it is heated, add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil.  Add the chicken to the skillet and fry quickly, stirring around for 2-3 minutes.  When brown and just cooked through, remove to a separate bowl with a slotted spoon.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the skillet.  Add onions and cook for 1 minute.  Add red pepper and cook for 30 seconds.  Add garlic and ginger, and stir well.  Add the mushrooms, stir well, and cook for 45 seconds.  Add the baby corn, and stir well.

Pour in the 1/4 cup chicken broth and soy sauce mixture.  Add in 1 teaspoon rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.  Return the cooked chicken to the skillet and stir.  Pour in the chicken broth/arrowroot mixture.  Stir together, then turn off heat.  Sauce should be thicker.  Just before serving, stir in fresh cilantro.  Serve over cooked rice.

Variations: you could also add in broccoli, water chesnuts, snow peas, green onions, zucchini or carrots to suit your taste

Source: adapted from Pioneer Woman