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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

*spicy cabbage stir fry with panko-crusted chicken.

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Remember those panko-crusted cutlets I made yesterday? There were five of them, and Mama don't waste. (Well, technically Mama does waste, but Mama feels really pretty guilty about it.)

So Chicken week continues!

I really love cabbage for its freshness and crunch and that impression it gives of bearing healthful goodness. I also like that it is really hardy and long-lasting in the refrigerator, which means you can add it to all manner of things—toss sautéed cabbage into egg noodles and serve with Swedish meatballs, tumble it into stir-fries, or make a delicious slaw to top any number of sandwiches, from hot dogs and hamburgers to Reubens and Cubans—even though it comes as a head the size of your ... well, head, which means you'll be eating it in things for a while.

That's where the leftover makeover comes in handy.


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The only cure for leftovers, I find, is to turn them into something completely different whenever possible.

Monday's flavors were sort of (sort of) a Southern American homage, so I swung the pendulum all the way around last night and made a stir fry. You may think it is MORE THAN A LITTLE strange to put cole slaw in a stir fry, but it helps to know that I prefer my cole slaw super lightly dressed. It's not as though this ended up being a typical slaw with just a little soy sauce stirred in. (Because that might be weird. Or good. I don't know!)

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I did some Internet research on the best way to reheat fried chicken, and the Internet said ... don't. Pretty universally, the prevailing wisdom seems to be that if it's easy to screw up reheating fried chicken, and fried chicken tastes delicious cold, then what would be the point?

Still, I assumed that this cold chicken would be best with cold noodles, and because I wasn't attempting that, I gambled with 20 minutes at 325, and it was just right—heated through and re-crisped on the outside, but not dry on the inside.

I plucked a couple of jalapeños out of the slaw before heating it in the pan, just so they'd retain their crunch and heat. I also stirred in some sriracha to amp up the flavor it might have lost by being, well, leftovers.

Et voilà! A hot, delicious weeknight meal that didn't require another trip to the store, or a stop for convenience food, that didn't taste anything like the previous night's weeknight meal.

Enjoy!

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Spicy Cabbage Stir Fry with Panko-crusted Chicken

¼ small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
2 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 chicken cutlets or chicken breast fillets
All-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
Panko
1 cup jasmine rice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried ginger or minced fresh ginger
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Sriracha, to taste
Garnish: chopped green onions

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients; add to cabbage mixture, and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve.

2. Heat butter and 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat until butter melts. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge chicken in flour; dip in egg, and dredge in panko. Cook chicken in butter mixture 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain.

3. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat; add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in cole slaw, and cook until cabbage is tender.

5. Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, and sriracha in a small bowl. Stir cooked rice into cabbage mixture until rice is dry and toasted; stir in soy sauce mixture.

6. Top stir fry with chicken, and garnish, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


 

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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