Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ginger Chili Chicken Stir Fry: On stirring your pot of expectations

I have been asking Son's teachers at school about his progress.  It is a totally new situation for him, whereas all of his classmates have gone to school for at least one year more, if not two.  He is brand new to a school setting and I have been worried about his adjustment.  Son LOVES his school, loves his classmates and loves going, so I assumed that all was going well.

I asked last week about his progress, and the teacher responded, "He needs to learn to sit up during circle time and use an inside voice while inside the classroom."

"Does he run around during circle time?" I asked.

"No, he lies down.  He can't sit up and generally he flops onto the floor, lying down," she responded.

"And what do you mean by using an inside voice?  Does he yell?" I asked, starting to feel a blush on my face.

"His voice is just very loud and he doesn't really have volume control.  He's either not talking or he's talking very loudly."

I began visualizing a first month report card for Son. (they don't have it at his school, so this is purely my imagination,)

First Report Card
Sitting still - F
Talking quietly - F

This was so far off from what I was expecting from his performance at school that I couldn't get my head around it.  When I arrived at home with Son, I asked him gently why he couldn't stay seated during circle time. "I'm tired Mom," was his concise answer.  I asked him why he was talking so loudly in class and he said, "I'm happy Mom.  It's my happy voice."

I completely did not expect those as answers from his mouth and then I realized that I really was over-reacting.  He'll learn to sit in the circle and as he adjusts to his school environment and his happy voice is just really loud.  I'll have to help him learn to make it softer, and make his smile bigger to show his happiness.  I will simply take it as a blessing that he is so happy where he is and that he is learning and will eventually (hopefully) get to place where I'll see the following mental postcard.

Last Report Card
Sitting still - A
Talking quietly -A
Being happy - A +

Now this stir fry dish turned my expectations on its head as well, because I'm not a huge stir-fry-as-a-main-dish lover.  Something about stir-frying always makes me think that everything slightly has a similar flavor.  Not so much with this one and it is definitely something new and different.,  I loved it as did Children, and the flavors are different and delicious.  You can control the spiciness of the dish by the chiles you use, but I used a Korean spicy pepper.  Other options are jalapenos, serrano chilis, Thai bird chilis or to keep it mild, just an anaheim chili.  Stir up your own pot of expectations and enjoy!
Ginger Chili Chicken Stir-Fry
Serves 4

Ingredients
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (around 1 ½ lbs), each thigh cut into 4 chunks
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
juice of one lime
¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, very thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper cut into bit size chunks
3 chiles (I used Korean green chili, but use whatever one you like, keeping in mind the heat of the chili)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 scallions, green and light green parts only, thinly sliced diagonally.

Method
Combine chicken, ginger, garlic, lime juice and sea salt together. Allow chicken to marinate for about 30 minutes, but up to overnight.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet or wok until very hot and then add chicken in two batches. Stir-fry over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is golden all over. Remove chicken from wok and repeat with second batch of chicken.

Add onions, chiles, and bell peppers to the pan and and stir fry for 2 minutes. Return all the chicken to the wok with the fish sauce and sugar and toss everything together. Reduce heat and continue to stir fry for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Taste and add more fish sauce if desired.

Garnish with scallions and serve with wedges of lime.

Printable recipe 

a little bit of the unexpected can be great

2 comments:

www.colchones.cn said...

I fully tie in with everything you have printed.

Michelle B. said...

I made this last night and I have to say it was wonderful!

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