A Chicken By Any Other Name

I like surprises, don’t you?  They keep life fresh and interesting, especially when it comes to relationships. ;)

But first, allow me to share an unexpected award from my lovely friend at Shirley’s Luxury Haven!

Shirley bestowed this award upon me recently (as well as the Versatile Blogger Award, which I’d previously received and passed along), so I’ll limit my acceptance to the “Cherry On Top Award” with grateful thanks for BOTH!  If you haven’t visited Shirley’s blog, please click on the link above and prepare to be pampered, amazed and delighted! 

Before passing along this award, I did some “research” and again found a variety of protocols to follow.  I’m not sure why they change along the way, but here’s what I found…

Answer this question: “If you could go back and change anything about your life, what would it be and why?”; Share your favorite photo (not necessarily food); Pass it on to 15…10…6… other bloggers; Tell 6…7…10…things about yourself, etc…

Instead, I hope you don’t mind if I make make up my own rules.  Here are five exceptional bloggers who truly put that “little bit extra” into all they do — hence the “Cherry On Top!” Please pass this onto bloggers who you feel do the same and include any or all of the above — or not.  Surprise!

1)  Isabelle At Home

2)  Basilmomma

3)  Cooking Healthy For Me

4)  The Culinary Lens

5)  ChopinandMySaucepan

Congratulations Isabelle, Heather, Ann, Mike, and Chopin & Mysaucepan — and thanks again, Shirley!  Your blogs keep me inspired, happy, cooking, and SURPRISED!

Okay, back to the topic at hand…

Back when the hubby and I were newlyweds (many moons ago), he surprised me by informing me that “chicken once a week” was often enough for him. (A surprise to this poultry lover!)  Seems he’d eaten a fair share of fowl in his bachelor days and he was ready for some meat and potatoes cookin’, ala yours truly.  No problem, though.  I’ve had free reign in the kitchen, as well as his respect and confidence in my ability to manage the grocery budget — and menus — at my discretion.  LOVE IT!  LOVE HIM!

Then one dark and stormy night…  I roasted a whole chicken.

Generally on such occasions, I’d “break it down” after dinner, freeze the leftovers and reintroduce them somewhere past Day 7 the following week.  (Or make separate meals to accommodate both of our tastes.)  The things we do for love!

But, it was late and I was tired, so I wrapped what was left of that delectable chicken and put it in the fridge.  I was also pressed for time for dinner prep the following night.  What to do…

The opposite of surprise in a relationship is familiarity.  It’s that lovely/loving quality that emerges over time, like the patina on a cherished piece of furniture or the hugged-thin spots on a favorite teddy bear’s coat.  Somehow, I just knew my man wouldn’t mind “Chicken Round Two” given the circumstances.

(It’s like those times when I’ve added an extra handful of breadcrumbs to a meatloaf or a couple of extra egg whites to an omelette) — he trusts my judgement and expects good food!  Plus, I had a hankerin’ for something chicken-y and — well — the only trick was getting around the title.  (I wasn’t being deceptive… just “creative”…  make that familiar.)

How do you not mention chicken, as in: “Sweet-Sour Chicken?”

Sweet-Sour Chicken

2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (I used leftovers…)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 sweet yellow onion, diced

1 (20 oz.) can of pinepple tidbits, drained (reserve juice)

2 T. oil (I used part sesame oil/part olive oil)

Sweet-Sour Sauce (recipe follows)

Hot cooked rice

For the sauce:

1 T. reserved pineapple juice

1 T. cornstarch

1/2 c. Turbinado sugar

1/2 c. soy sauce

1/4 c. white vinegar (apple cider vinegar is good, too)

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

1/2 t. ground ginger (or freshly grated ginger if you have it)

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Prepare the main ingredients first.  (You’ll want them ready to wok and roll when your oil gets hot. :)  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and seasonings; heat until boiling.  Combine the reserved pineapple juice (1 T.) with cornstarch; whisk into sauce.  (Keep whisking — it thickens fast!)  Remove from heat when mixture becomes thickened and bubbly; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil (whatever combo you choose) in a wok or large skillet.  Add peppers and onions; sauté until the veggies are nearly cooked; push to the side.

Add pineapple tidbits; allow them to caramelize a bit before giving everything a good stir.  Place cooked, cubed chicken over the top.  At this point, remove the pan from the heat and cover — since the chicken was already cooked, it only needs to reheat.

When warmed to your liking, uncover and stir in sauce until everything is coated — or serve on the side if you like.  Ladle over hot cooked rice.  Chopsticks optional.

When my hubby dearest walked through the door that night and asked “What’s for supper,” I answered with a cheerful (and truthful), “Try this!” and gave him a taste.  His reaction…?

The Man Of Few Words aka Man Of Fewer Chicken Dinners said:  “This is really good!”

After the first helping, he dished up seconds.  After the second helping, he admitted to contemplating thirds!  (Which is very unlike him.)  When he got up from the table he asked, “So what did you say this stuff was called again?”

I grinned and replied:  “Stir Fry.” … ;)

Enjoying life’s little surprises,

~ Kim

16 thoughts on “A Chicken By Any Other Name

  1. Hi Kimby,

    Thank you!! We are truly honoured with the award because we have only been blogging for 6 months. We have found that sticking to a blogging philosophy that we have set for ourselves since the start has really guided us in blogging about food and lifestyle issues that hopefully make a difference to other people’s lives.

    Your sweet and sour chicken looks delicious and love the alternative suggestion of apple cider to vinegar too, never thought about that one! But we have not heard of Turbinado sugar though :)

    • Hi, ChopinandMysaucepan! Your well-thought out philosophy shines through in your blog and your food (music, too!) — I’m still amazed by your “dish a day” creations in October!

      I’ve only been blogging 7 months but it’s been fun to put thoughts and ideas (and food) into words and pictures. The best part has been meeting new friends. :)
      ~ Kim
      P.S. Turbinado sugar is also known as “sugar in the raw” — you may be able to find it in a health food store? It’s golden brown, crystallized in appearance and has almost a molasses-y taste from being unrefined. I’m having fun experimenting with it — hope you find some!

  2. Haha! Stirfry, eh? Totally truthful.
    I love your description of familiarity–isn’t familiarity as it’s expressed in marriage the most comforting thing on earth?

  3. Congrats on the award again & once again, pls accept my appreciation for all the wonderful time u spent at my blog :)

    Sweet & Sour Chicken? I’m impressed that u can whip up a delicious Asian meal too. Well done! Have a wonderful weekend, sweetie!

    • Thanks, Shirley — I appreciated the pat on the back from you! Neat how bloggers encourage each other — food, friendship and the occasional fun award make “blog world” a nice place to be! :)
      ~ Kim

  4. Wow – that looks DELICIOUS! I’m a poultry fan, too! I grew up in a family that ate it very seldom so now I eat it A LOT!

    Thank you SO much for the award…you made me smile with your sweet words!

    • Ann, I enjoy reading your blog and how you re-make old favorites (or invent new ones) — healthy & delicious! Looking forward to your version of “stir fry!” :)
      ~ Kim

    • Heather, my pleasure! I honestly think we (the Man Of Few Words and I) were paired up in life because of his complete lack of interest in food (other than chicken frequency, lol) — we balance each other out. Gotta love “cooking with love.” :)
      ~ Kim

  5. Lol, I haven’t thought about That Girl for the longest time… I had Marlo Thomas hair throughout high school (after the bowl cut grew out into a modified “flip do” with bangs, that is..:)

    Let me know when you get your hands on that sweet & sour pork recipe! (Please translate first… :)

  6. I am doing GREAT, Kim! And my mom makes a mean sweet and sour pork. She got the recipe when she visited my dad in Taiwan when he was in the Air Force. I don’t think I was born yet. She must’ve felt very much like That Girl or a Pan Am stewardess.

    It’s actually written in Chinese. I need to get that from her…

    Just a coupla’ hours till kick off…Boomer Sooner!

  7. That looks amazing. I need to get out of my PJ’s and go eat, apparently.

    My mom, also a wonderful cook, is a meat and potatoes gal. As a newlywed, that is what she fed my father, night after night. At some point, my father said he was a little tired of potatoes. So my mom switched to rice. For many years. Just a few years ago, he told my mom, “I’ve never liked rice; can we have potatoes again?”

    [facepalm] Oh, and my dad is wonderful. He wasn’t being a jerk, just honest.

    Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Loved that story, Sid! I didn’t think your Dad was being a jerk either — just very patient… and tired of potatoes… and/or rice! :) Too funny! Sounds like you’re having a PJ kind of day — hope everything’s ok! Time to order Chinese take-out? (Next best thing to this!)
      ~ Kim

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