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Mock Chicken Szechuan Stir-Fry

szechaun_shutterstock_89589397By Deirdre Imus, The Imus Ranch Cooking for Kids and Cowboys
This dish uses a spicy, dark sauce known to the Szechuan region of western china – it can kick any stir-fry into high gear. You can find prepared Szechuan sauce in the Asian food section of most grocery stores. One other secret to a great stir-fry is to make sure to have all your ingredients chopped and measured before you begin because once you start cooking, this dish comes together fast. This recipe is great served with or without rice. 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
I recommend using all organic non GMO ingredients.

Ingredients:

2     20-ounce packages frozen veat chick’n free Gourmet bites    

2     Limes, Halved

¼    Cup Sunflower Oil                                                                

3     Carrots, peeled and julienned

1     Head broccoli, cut into small florets                                      

2     Tablespoons garlic, minced

1     Cup fresh green bean, stems removed, cut in half on a bias   

2     Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

1     Cup button mushrooms, sliced                                                          

1     Medium red bell pepper, cored, Julienned

½    Cup of soy sauce                                                                  

3     Scallions, sliced thinly on a bias

½    Cup spicy Szechuan sauce                                                   

2     Tablespoons white sesame seeds

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Directions:   
Defrost the Gourmet Bites by running the plastic pouches under cool water until the pieces begin to separate. Remove from the pouches, place in a bowl, and set aside.  

Heat a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the sunflower oil, half the garlic, and half the ginger, and cook for 30 seconds.    Add half of the Gourmet Bites to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.    Add half of the soy sauce and half of the Szechuan sauce, stir to coat, and cook for 2 minutes, until the sauces are slightly reduced.  Transfer from the pan to a large bowl, scraping all the sauce into the bowl.  Squeeze a half lime over the mixture, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside. 

Put the sauté pan back on the heat and repeat the entire process using the remaining garlic, ginger, Gourmet Bites, soy sauce, and Szechuan sauce.   Add this mixture to the bowl with other Gourmet Bites mixture and squeeze another half lime over the entire mixture. Cover to keep warm.

Working in batches, sauté the carrots, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, and red pepper in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil; season each lightly with salt and pepper.  Sauté each batch no longer than 3 minutes, so that all the vegetables remain slightly crunchy.  As you sauté each batch, add it to large bowl of Gourmet Bites mixture and squeeze some lime juice over it.  Keep the bowl covered as you work. When all the vegetables are sautéed, add the raw scallions to the mixture and toss lightly.  Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately. 

Makes 6 servings

Reprinted with permission from the National Bestseller, The Imus Ranch:  Cooking for Kids and Cowboys by Deirdre Imus. Published by Rodale, Inc.

 

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