When I am not at the grocery store, kitchen, or farmer’s market, I am out working in my garden. In case you didn’t know I have another blog called the pea project. One of my goals is to start a business growing and selling my very own peas at the farmer’s market. I have worked with an orchard at market in the past. I love that environment. I would love to bring my own product to sell. In the meantime, I am growing as many pea varieties as I could fit into my gardening spaces. It has been a quite the learning process. I have been sharing that process over at the pea project. I want to bring a piece of my pea harvest to Eat Like No Else as well. I am creating an pea e-cookbook for the pea project. To preview that cookbook I am going to share with you one of the recipes it will feature – Chicken with Snow Peas.
UPDATE – The cookbook is now available. See how to download it from my gardening blog.
Why Chicken with Snow Peas?
Chinese food or the Americanized version there of, has become my go to when I have something going on and can’t make lunch at home. It’s typically cheap, easy to find, and filling. I find it to be a much better option than your standard fast food burger joint. I feel like if I eat at one of those I find myself hungry an hour later. Pay about the sme price either place so might as well get “Chinese”. I have seen Chicken w. Snow Peas on the menu of most take out joints. I tried it one time and felt I could do better at home with my fresh peas straight form my garden.
What is the Dish?
Yes it is chicken with snow peas – pretty self explanatory. The chicken and snow peas are coated in a chicken broth based sauce. It typically with feature water chestnuts that come in a can. If you ever wondered what those are, they are not actual chestnuts at all. They are a tuber of a plant that resembles a grass. It is native to the Eastern Hemisphere and grows underwater – hence the name “water chestnut”. The only way most people here in the U.S. will find them is in a can. If you have a good Asian market nearby, you might be able to find the fresh thing. I haven’t seen them myself, so for this recipe I call for the canned.
1. Use the freshest peas you can get your hands on. I used 3 different colored snow peas from my garden (check out the purple and yellow ones I grew). You could use snap peas too. I prefer snow in this case as they cook faster.
2. You can use breasts or thighs for the this recipe. I prefer the taste of thigh meat, but white meat looks better when cooked so I used that for the photo.
3. If you can use homemade chicken stock. It has a more rich flavor than you are going to get in a can or carton.
4. Adding a little Chinese 5 spice is a great way to spice up this dish. 5 Spice is typically made up of blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns. You can make it yourself by combining all these ingredients or you can buy it already put together. Making it yourself will give you a fresher, stronger flavor.
- The meat
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite sizes pieces
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil (sunflower, grapeseed, canola)
- kosher salt
- The veggies
- 8-10 ounces of snow peas, removed strings if needed
- 1 can (around 8 ounces) of water chestnuts, drained, and sliced
- kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon flour or corn starch
- The sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
- 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
- white or black sesame seeds (optional)
- Heat up a large saute pan or wok over high heat. Add 3 tablespoon of oil
- Once hot, add the chicken. Season liberally with kosher salt.
- Stir frequently to make sure each piece is evenly cooked
- While your waiting for the chicken to cook, mix together all the ingredients of the sauce.
- Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, remove to a plate.
- Add the snow peas and water chestnuts. Season with salt. Add more a little more oil if needed. Cook until the peas are brighter in color with some bite left to them about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour or corn starch over the peas and water chestnuts.
- Add the sauce, stirring to cover all the veggies.
- Add the chicken back in.
- Cook until the sauce has thickened, a couple of minutes.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice.