Sweet and Sour Chicken with Brown Rice Source: Eating Well.com
2 cups instant brown rice (I used my new favorite thing: Birdseye Microwave Bag Brown Rice...it creates about 2 cups cooked rice in 4 minutes)
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 t crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided (I used a couple shakes of sesame oil and a calphalon wok that nothing sticks to!!)
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons finely grated or minced ginger
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 cups bite-size pieces of vegetables, such as snow peas, broccoli and bell peppers (My vegetables were 1 head of broccoli, 1 small red pepper, 1 small onion)
1 5-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Prepare rice according to the package directions (4 minutes, baby!!).
Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and apricot preserves in a small bowl. Set aside. (I added the crushed red pepper flakes here)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the outside and just starting to brown in spots, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add vegetables, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts and the chicken. Whisk the reserved sauce and add to the pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Serve with the rice.
The Review: It is a beautiful dish, isn't it!? I added even more shakes of crushed red pepper toward the end because it was pretty bland. Tony added salt and tabasco. It tastes like a Healthy Choice meal. Which, if you ever had one of those and wished for MORE, here you can make it yourself!! And if you want a NON sweet and sour chicken, you could seriously follow the same directions, minus the apricot, and sub in something like a Stir-fry sauce or General Tso's sauce from Trader Joe's, and you you'd have a whole other flavored Healthy Choice meal!! I am most likely going to do that in the future, as I love spicy stuff.
And the speed of this meal is great! Especially, plug numero tres, if you buy the steam bag brown rice!! I made this dish at 11:15pm, after Tony had been gone in Orlando for a training/sales meeting. His flight got in late, he didn't eat the taco bar lunch before he left, and thus was starving. And I don't think this meal gave me nightmares...so it was a winner! (My mom always told me certain things would give me nightmares: okay, hot chocolate. I could not have hot chocolate before bed or I'd dream about a crocodile chasing me and Ernie from Sesame Street).