I have been on holiday in France for a couple of weeks which always inspires me to get cooking again. In the town near where we are staying they sell Quinoa by the kilo. They literally weigh it out in front of you. This type of Quinoa is unprocessed and you need to spend close attention to rinsing it for two or three minutes before using it in any recipe. This is because the Quinoa seeds are coated in a bitter tasting saponin coating that needs washing off. Most supermarket Quinoa is prewashed so that you do not need to do this.
The recipe I decided to serve up to my friends and family here in France is shown below. I kept it reasonably simple because I am not used to the kitchen here. I must be getting old and fussy. I also used what I was able to pick from the garden here.
Classic Quinoa and Chicken Stir Fry
- 1 cup of carefully rinsed Quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 chicken breasts sliced in strips
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking
- 1 carrot Chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- Handful of French beans chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 medium strength chillies finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
- For flavouring I again used what I had to hand
- ½ cup Coriander (Cilantro)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon Light soy sauce
- 1 large egg
Method of Preparation
Start by cooking the Quinoa in the water. Bring it to the boil and then simmer for 12 minutes. The Quinoa will usually absorb all the water. Do not overcook the Quinoa as it will go soft and mushy. Better to drain off any excess water after the 12 minutes. Put the Quinoa to one side.
Use a wok or large frying pan and heat up the olive oil. Do not use extra virgin olive oil to cook with as this can taste burnt if you stir fry with it. Just use ordinary olive oil or vegetable oil. Fry the onions, chillies and the garlic for one minute before turning the heat to medium and cooking the chicken slices. They should take about 5 minutes to cook through. Add the other flavourings, salt, pepper, coriander and light soy sauce.
Cook for a further minute before adding the carrot, French beans and the red pepper and the Quinoa. Cook on medium/high and turn the stir fry over and over constantly. After three minutes the ingredients should now be well and truly combined. Turn the heat down and add the egg. Mix this in while over heat for one minute before turning the heat off and continuing to stir for another two minutes.
The stir fry meal is now ready to serve. I make this serve four although if you are feeding hungry workmen it might only feed two! Always serve hot from the pan.