Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring greens with chicken in peanut sauce

A friend and I went to the last Winter Pantry at Schlafly Bottleworks today. It's their continuation of their summer Wednesday night Farmers Market.

As I hoped, I brought home a big bag of spring greens -- chard, baby kale, and beet tops. We've been practicing a dish for a couple of weeks using spinach that we wanted to try with greens.

There were four kinds of leaves, I'm not really sure which is which. Numbering from the left, I think 1 and 2 are the chard because of the deeply colored veins. 3 is the most bitter of the greens. But I don't know whether that's the kale or the beet top. [Edit 7/06/08: now that I've had a whole spring's eating of greens, I'm pretty sure that left to right is chard, beet green, collard green, and kale].

We learned recently that chard and beets are the same species, Beta vulgaris. Varieties cultivated for leaves are called chard, varieties cultivated for roots are called beets.

The recipe originated with the booklet, Stir-Fry Recipes: Light and Easy Recipes, that came with R's new wok. But we've now modified it beyond all recognition and we're still thinking that it could use more greens and fewer peanuts. Here's the version we made tonight.

Spring greens with chicken in peanut sauce
5 cups baby greens, washed, spun dry, and put in the refrigerator for awhile to dry further, coarsely chopped

Chicken & marinade
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin pieces about 1 inch long
1 Tbl chicken stock
2 tsp hoisin sauce

Peanut Sauce
2 Tbl reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbl chicken broth
2 Tbl peanut butter
1 Tbl hoisin sauce
2 tsp honey

2 oz dried Asian noodles (broken angel hair pasta works, too)
1/4 large onion, chopped
scant 1/2 cup of unsalted roasted peanuts
sunflower oil as needed for stir-frying (we don't measure this)

Prepare the greens so that they have time to dry in the refrigerator for awhile before cooking (dry ingredients work much better in stir-fries).

Marinate the chicken for 10 minutes to an hour in the broth and hoisin sauce.

Whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Cook the noodles in boiling water, uncovered, until just tender. Drain, then toss with oil in the cooking pot. Put the lid on to keep them a little warm and set aside.

Stir-fry the chicken for a minute. Add the onions and continue stir-frying until the chicken is opaque. Add the greens and stir-fry until they wilt, about a minute or two more. Stir in the peanuts, noodles, and sauce. Stir until everything is combined and hot.

We used angel hair pasta the first few times we made this until we found Asian noodles at Global Foods Market. We use one and a half of the bird's nests of noodles. They untangle themselves in the boiling water. We found that the Asian noodles have a fuller flavor than the angel hair pasta. We like the Asian noodles better in this dish.

If we're both hungry, this is two servings (yep, that means we eat 2 1/2 cups of greens each!). This time we have a snack-sized portion leftover for tomorrow.

1 comment:

Alanna said...

We're ready for the "real" farmers markets, yes?