Home > cooking > Chicken Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry

Tonight’s dinner was a chicken stir fry. Now, I don’t pretend my stirfries are authentic. They’re not. But they smell of garlic and ginger and scallions, and they taste good, so we’re happy.

The essence of a stirfry is the mise en place because it all goes very quickly once you get the heat on, and you want the heat ON. You don’t need a wok – even my stove with the extra large burner won’t get it hot enough and it’s the wrong shape anyway. You need as big a frying pan as you have – a nice heavy one if you have it, with high sloping sides. You don’t need non-stick, either. But you want that burner high and you will not turn it down.

Get everything assembled first – the soy sauce, some kind you like. Sesame oil. Canola oil. Red pepper flakes. I like spice. Garlic, ginger and scallions. A vegetable, and a protein. Tonight, the vegetable was carrot and the protein was chicken thighs. Can be beef, can be turkey, can be tofu. Can be green beans or sugar snap peas. Can be mushrooms. But they all MUST be fresh. I believe in frozen veggies, but not for stir-fries.

Prepare the garlic, ginger and scallions. Peel an inch of fresh ginger with a spoon. Grate it on a microplane, or mince it finely with a knife. Whack a couple cloves of garlic with a knife or a bowl or a pastry board cleaner. Peel them, and grate them or mince them. Do not press them. If you really want, chop them up with a hand blender or a food chopper on pulse until they’re small but still recognizable. I like my knife – it’s the easiest to clean. In fact, for this, a wipe will do. Slice four or so scallions and cut them, any size you want so long as they’re all about the same size, at an angle. White and green. It’s all good. Put these all in the same bowl.

Peel four or five carrots. Cut them very finely on an angle. Thin is best. Knife is best. Trust me.

Cut the chicken thighs into strips or cubes. I did strips this time.

Get that pan hot. Crank it up. Pour on about a tablespoon of canola oil. Throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes – more if you like. Then toss in the chicken. Toss that around with whatever will survive the heat – a silicon spatula or a wooden spoon, by preference. Love silicon spatulas, by the way. I find them indispensable for white sauce.

When that’s looking more or less cooked, add the carrots. Toss them around. You don’t want them to burn, which is why everything is ready NOW. And then throw in the garlic scallions ginger. Yes, traditionally you add them first, but then they burn. Add them next to last. Really. And then add the sauces. You want about two tablespoons of soy and maybe a teaspoon of oil. Toss it all around.

You’ll notice that it doesn’t use cornstarch. You don’t need it for this. You’re not making a lot of sauce. You’re flavoring the protein and veg.

It will start to smell glorious. That means it’s done. Serve it over rice. I use brown basmati I make in a rice cooker because this way I can go away and not worry about it. I love my rice cooker a lot, and all I use it for is rice and oatmeal.

If you don’t like any of these ingredients, substitute or leave out. Soy can be replaced by salt, sesame oil and red pepper flakes by black pepper. Leave out the ginger or the garlic or even the scallions, or use onions. It’s your food. You don’t want it to taste bad or kill you. But don’t use garlic powder, onion powder or powdered ginger. Fresh or not at all. Unless you have no choice. Just don’t tell me.

Categories: cooking
  1. otherdeb
    June 2, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Sounds glorious. I omit the ginger, of course, and often serve mine over shirataki noodles. House Foods makes an OU shirataki noodle that is no cholesterol or sugar, glute-free, and vegan.

    I do mine (more pad see ew, than classic stir-fry) as follows – rinse noodles. put oil in skillet, when hot dump in meat of choice, then noodles, add soy sauce and spices. Move items up the sides of the pan (I use a huge paella pan instead of a wok), and put a raw egg into the space in the center. Add greens, and stir so that the egg gets fragmented into little bits as it cooks.

    Serve in a bowl.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: