Too Hot to Handle–Stirfry on the Grill

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So, you know how I rave about the benefits of monthly meal planning?  Yeah, it’s great–except in May.  Oh, sure–I saved money and time with the major grocery shopping run out of the way.  But trying to predict meals for spring weather?  Right!  It was eighty-eight degrees today.  That’s one eight followed by another.  As in HOT.  And my meal plan says “Chicken Stirfry.”  Seriously?  How am I gonna do that?  But instead of throwing up my hands and getting out the peanut butter and bread, I challenged myself to do it.  Using my gas grill and microwave, here’s how it worked.

First, about 50 minutes before I wanted to have supper on the table, I lit my grill and heated it to 350-ish degrees (I turned all 3 burners on high for 8 minutes or so and then turned them all down to medium-low). 

Next, I gathered my list of ingredients.  (You can use whatever veggies you like in stirfry or happen to have on hand.)

  • 1-1/2 cups white rice (not instant)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 chicken or beef bouillon cube
  • 1 large onion, cut into strips
  • 1 cup baby cut carrots or carrot strips or slices
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli cuts
  • 1 cup green pepper strips
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup-ish orange juice

Taking a cue from recipes for baked rice, I took out my disposable 9-inch round foil pan.  (You could use a square one or a rectangular one or whatever you have that’s grill-safe.)  I poured in the rice and water, added the soy sauce, garlic powder, and bouillon cube, and covered it with foil, keeping one side a bit looser so I could check on the progress as it was cooking. 

Next I took a length of foil about 4 feet in length and folded it in half.  I placed the onion strips in the center of the foil with the carrots.  I folded the foil into a tight packet (bring short ends up over the food, roll tightly, then roll up the ends), adding about 1/4 cup of water before sealing the last end.  I took another length of foil to wrap around the packet to ensure the water wouldn’t all leak out into the grill.

I placed both the rice and the veggies on the grill and shut the lid.

Next I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  About 10 minutes after putting the rice & veggies on, I oiled the grate on the grill with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil and cooked the the chicken for about 20 minutes, until the thermometer reached 170 degrees, turning once during cooking.

Meanwhile, I cooked the green pepper and broccoli in the microwave for 5 minutes, but you could easily make them into a foil packet and add with the chicken. 

 Then I mixed the 1/4 cup water, vinegar, and cornstarch in a microwave-safe dish and microwaved it for 1-1/2 minutes.  It formed a gelatin-like blob, but then I stirred in the soy sauce and orange juice until it was a thick, almost pourable consistency.  (You can also cook this on the stove top.)

When the chicken was done cooking and the rice had absorbed all the liquid, I cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, dumped the veggies and chicken in a large bowl, and added the sauce.  The water from the veggies helped loosen the sauce up to coat everything.  Served over the rice, it was delicious!  What I liked about the rice is that the bottom got nice and toasty brown and slightly crispy–yum!  We also sprinkled chow mein noodles on top for a bit of crunch.

So, there you go.  Sorry there aren’t pictures–I was just working to get supper on the table.  🙂  I won’t guarantee perfect results, but I can guarantee that your kitchen will not be any hotter than before you started!

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