Richard Johnson: Pineapple chicken stir-fry — this is going to be terrific. It's going to go really quickly, so we've got to make sure that we have all of our ingredients ready. So I've got my rice cooked; I chopped up all my vegetables. We've got some nice, fun ingredients. We've got some bok choy. We also have our chicken already marinated and ready to go. The last thing we need to do is to make our sauce, and what we're going to use to do that is some fresh ginger, which I'm going to use with this very fine grater. If you like the peeling, you can leave it in; go ahead and do that. That looks pretty good to me. We're also going to use some of the pineapple juice that we used from the canned pineapple in this recipe, some rice vinegar, some low-sodium soy sauce and some cornstarch. Now I'm going to need to whip that up real quick to dissolve the cornstarch. I want to make sure my cornstarch is all the way dissolved before I cook. And our last ingredient is some fresh garlic, so I'm just going to dice that up a little bit; throw it in our bowl.
I want to make sure my wok is hot; I've got a little water to test it with. Looks good, nice and hot, ready for oil. The ingredients that are going to take the longest to cook are my carrots and my peppers, so I want to start off with them. As soon as I put them in there, give it a nice stir; you keep them moving, for just a couple of minutes, and then we'll add our bok choy and our pineapple. Now, the pineapple can add a little liquid to the process, so it's just going to steam a little bit and make our carrots and peppers a little more tender. Just at the very end, some fresh green onion and some snow peas. Now those are going to cook really quickly as well, so we don't want to add them until the very end. Give them a couple of quick tosses, no more than a minute, and we're ready to remove that to a bowl, just to set it aside for a minute.
We're going to cook our chicken next. A little more oil, and then right in with our chicken. Keep it moving. If you lose a little heat in your wok, just slow down, let it catch up, let it brown. We want to get some nice caramelization going on, so we'll let that just sit for just a minute. Depending on how big you have your chicken cut, it might take between three and five minutes for it to cook. But you really want to make sure that it's done before you move on, and really the only way to do that is using a thermometer. So when I think it's close, I'm going to pile it up in the middle of my wok and use my thermometer. And what I want to make sure is that anytime I cook with poultry, that it's at least 165 degrees for 15 seconds. And that looks really good. Give it a couple more tosses. Add my vegetables back in. Let all those things get to know each other real well, give my sauce one more stir to make sure that cornstarch is completely dissolved, and pour it right over. Make sure you stir it right away. What we're looking for here is for the cornstarch and the sauce mixture to coat the vegetables and the chicken really well, and it shouldn't be cloudy. It should look clear and kind of shiny. Now that's looking really good to me, it smells terrific — I wish you could smell this.
What we're going to end up with is something that looks something like this. Lots of nice, bright colors, great textures, good flavors, a lot of nutritional value, very quick, very easy. Enjoy!