Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In the Kitchen - Stir-fried Chicken with Mixed Vegetables and Thai Basil

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Need to find new ways to prepare your fall greens? Try this stir-fry recipe. It's one of our favorites and never fails to satisfy. I love to serve it on top of sushi rice as the sauce coats the individual grains to add a certain level of creaminess with each bite.

Stir-fried Chicken with Mixed Vegetables and Thai Basil

Chicken and Marinade
1 boneless and skinless chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Sauce
3 tablespoons chicken broth
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
pinch of sugar

5 cups sliced mixed vegetables
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoon canola oil
12 whole Thai basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Thickener
1 tablespoon chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch

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Cut the chicken breast against the grain into thin slices. Add the marinade ingredients and stir until the chicken is evenly coated. Set aside.

In a small bowl, add the sauce ingredients and stir until the mixture is smooth. In a separate small bowl, combine the tablespoon of chicken broth and teaspoon of cornstarch. Set both aside.

Heat a large wok or skillet on high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact with the cooking surface. Swirl 2 tablespoons of canola oil into wok (it will smoke) and add the chicken. Using a spatula, spread the chicken evenly into single layer. Allow the chicken to sear undisturbed for 1 minute. Then move the chicken around and stir-fry for another minute or until it is cooked through but still tender. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.

Swirl the remaining tablespoon of canola oil into the wok and add the minced garlic and ginger. Stir for about 5 - 10 seconds or until fragrant and slightly browned. Add your sliced vegetables (and dried red pepper flakes if using) and stir-fry for 1 - 2 minutes (depending on what veggies you use). Pour the sauce into the wok and toss the veggies to combine. Stir-fry for another minute or until the sauce boils vigorously.

At this point, move the veggies away from the center of the wok. Using a small spoon, mix together the 1 tablespoon of chicken broth and cornstarch and then pour it into the sauce. Stir the sauce. As it returns to a boil, it will thicken. Add the chicken back into the wok along with the Thai basil and and stir-fry for another minute until everything is well combined. Serve immediately.

Helpful tips - The key to a good stir-fry is to make sure that your wok or skillet is hot enough. Your veggies should cook quickly and on high or medium-high heat. I'm pretty flexible when it comes to what types of veggies to use in this recipe. However, I always try to add half of a red pepper into the mix as the dish just isn't the same without it. Also, be sure to use vegetables that contain varying degrees of moisture. For instance, if you use only bok choy in this dish, which has a high water content, you will end up with a thinner and less flavorful sauce. Broccoli, green beans, asparagus, carrots and/or peppers work well in combination with Asian greens, cabbage and/or mushrooms. Finally, allowing the meat to sear undisturbed not only ups the flavor of the stir-fry but also prevents it from sticking to the wok.

10 comments:

  1. That looks fantastic, Thomas! Thanks so much for the recipe!

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  2. This looks absolutely delicious.

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  3. You already know my feelings on this:
    Stir Fry = Love..... :)

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  4. This looks like a really good way to turn all the broccoli shoots and the baby bok choy into a meal. I'll have to try it.

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  5. I'll ditto what Erin said! Love a good stir fry and it's so awesome cause you can pretty much do whatever you want! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I would have at least 3 servings with these. Look so delicious!

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  7. Thank you--I've been meaning to figure out how to do a good stir fry with my fresh garden veggies! I'll put this to good use!

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