Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Stir Fry-groschenoper (Stir Fry Penny Opera; a Brechtian feast)

Peppers. Onion. Chicken. Cheese. Fork.
When I was in undergrad to earn that BFA that hangs crooked on my wall, living with two other guys in a place endearingly termed "The Gentleman's Lodge" by our classmates (it was very La Bohème), I started experimenting in the kitchen. With food, that is. Peppers were among the first vegetables I stooped to conquer, but we didn't have any cookbooks or anything. So I made something up. A stir fry. I just cut the peppers into strips and fried 'em. Throw in some chicken, and it's lunch.

It's been a while since I've made that dish, mostly due to my wife's rampant pescatarianism. But here it is in all its raw glory.

Sizzling Cheesy Stir-Fry

Heat a few tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 8 oz. chicken breast cut into cubes (Mack the Knife can help) with 1-2 pinches of salt. Stir and cook until the cubes are brown all around. Remove from pan and set aside in a covered dish; you'll want those for later. Add more oil to the pan, if necessary, and add half a green pepper cut into strips, half a red pepper cut into strips, 1 jalapeño cut into strips, a quarter of an onion cut into strips, and 3 cloves of garlic, sliced. Stir and sauté until browning begins, about 5 min. Stir in about ¼ c. white wine, a pinch of thyme, 1-2 shakes of paprika, and another pinch of salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 5 min. Re-introduce the chicken to the vegetable and stir together for another 5 minutes, until the liquid is mostly gone. Plate the stir fry and, if feeling devious, sprinkle up to 1 oz. shredded cheese on top. Cover for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Season to taste and eat.

Title inspiration: The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper), another piece of epic theatre by Bertolt Brecht, with music by Kurt Weill. Premiered at Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin on 31 August 1928. Und der Haifisch...

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