My sister likes to tease me that nothing is ever simple with me; she's right. I can never just make a recipe without tweaking it a bit – for better or for worse. It's a compulsion that I just can't control; sometimes I succeed, and other times I fail miserably, but the fun is in the trying!
One dish that I love to make is my mom's Chicken Chow Mein. My mom used to own her own restaurant, and she's an amazing cook! I'm proud to say that I've finally mastered this recipe…although she frowns upon me for adding in some water chestnuts (she dislikes them, but my husband loves them).
Mom's version keeps it neat and simple – but my version adds in the broccoli and water chestnuts. Either way, it's super yummy (my kids even eat it!) and so much better for you than ordering take-out!
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 8 oz baby carrots
* 3 stalks celery, plus celery greens
* 4 tablespoons red onion, diced
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
* 3 thin-sliced chicken breasts (I used half a package of Perdue thin-sliced chicken breasts.)
* 32 oz chicken broth
* 3 bags Uncle Ben's 10-minute rice
* 8 oz can water chestnuts, drained
* 8 oz bag frozen broccoli*
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* La Choy Chow Mein Noodles, for sprinkling on top
* Kikkoman Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Step 1: Heat a large sauté pan with 1 tbs olive oil.
Step 2: Cut up the vegetables. Dice the onion. Finely chop the celery greens. Thinly slice the baby carrots and celery stalks to reduce the cooking time.
Step 3: Add vegetables and greens to the hot pan and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Step 4: While the vegetables are softening, cut chicken into thin, small strips.
Step 5: Push vegetable mixture to the outskirts of the sauté pan. Add chicken to the center of the pan and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.*If using fresh broccoli, add it once the chicken is cooked.
Step 6: Add salt, pepper and celery seed to the pan and mix thoroughly.
Step 7: Add 3/4 of the box of chicken broth. Add frozen broccoli and drained water chestnuts. Simmer the chicken and vegetables for about 15 minutes. (Vegetables should be tender at that time.)
Step 8: Meanwhile, cook rice according to the package directions.
Step 9: Place 1/4 cup cornstarch into a bowl. Slowly pour 4 oz of hot chicken broth over the cornstarch. The mixture will be very thick at first; keep stirring until cornstarch is dissolved. (This will form the glossy sauce.)
Step 10: Slowly, add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering broth and vegetables. Stir constantly, while pouring cornstarch mixture, to keep lumps from forming.
Step 11: Simmer until the broth thickens (about 3 minutes). If broth is too thick, just add more broth (or water) to thin it out.
Step 12: Serve chicken and vegetables over rice. Top with Chow Mein Noodles and soy sauce, to taste!