Sunday, August 7, 2011

Honey Soy Stir Fried Chicken

Like I mentioned in the Fried Rice post, we don't make Asian food a lot. One of the reasons is that I've tried a lot of really bad Asian recipes. Chris and I still have bad memories about Orange Slushy Chicken. One of those meals that was so bad that we made grilled cheeses and called it a night. This recipe, however, is a great one. (otherwise I wouldn't have posted it!) The chicken was really flavorful, spicy, and nicely browned. The trick I think is to let the chicken and sauce cook for several minutes until the sauce reduces and caramelizes around the chicken. I think I'm going to try this technique with some other stir-fry sauces too. I'll be sure to report back on how that goes. I adapted this recipe from one on Week of Menus and hers looks so much prettier than mine. Oh well, it was really yummy.

Time: 10 minutes, plus a few hours for marinating
Serves: 2

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP shao xing wine, sake or Sherry (I used Sherry)*
  • 2 tsp finely diced or grated fresh ginger*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil*
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 3-4 dried chiles de arbol*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 TBSP peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 green onions

  1. Trim the fat from your chicken breasts and slice them thinly.
  2. Peel and smash your garlic cloves.
  3. Remove the bottoms of your green onions and slice them thinly.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, combine your 1/4 cup of honey, 3 TBSP soy sauce, 2 TBSP Sherry, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 2 smashed garlic cloves and black pepper.
  5. Using a fine grater, grate about 2 tsp of ginger into the mix.
  6. Remove the stems from your chiles de arbol and shake out some of the seeds. It's okay if a few stay in. Add the peppers to the mixing bowl too and stir everything together.
  7. Add your chicken to the mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate until you're ready to cook. I'd say to marinate for 2 hours if you can but you can probably get away with less if you need to.

  1. Place a large skillet or wok over high heat and add your 2 TBSP of vegetable or peanut oil. Let the oil heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add your chicken with all of the marinade. Yep, that's right - you dump the whole bowl into the skillet.
  3. When the simmering settles down, fish out your garlic cloves with a spoon and throw them out.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, toss the chicken and sauce around every few minutes for about 10 minutes. At first, everything will look pretty gross, light brown and mushy.
  5. After 5 minutes or so, the sauce will darken a little bit. At this point, the chicken is cooked through but you want to take it a bit further.
    Around 7-8 minutes in, it really starts looking like something you want to eat. Watch it at this point and stir it a lot because it could easily burn. When it looks like this, garnish it with your sliced green onion and serve it with some rice and extra soy sauce and Sriacha.

    * Sherry - This is a wine used for cooking that I keep in my pantry. I don't use it that often, but it seems to have an interminable shelf life. I found mine at Tom Thumb with the wines and it cost about $7 if I remember correctly. Here's a pic of the bottle.

    * Fresh Ginger - Check out the Notes on my Chicken Tikka Masala post for more info on ginger.

    * Sesame Oil - You'll find this on the Asian aisle in your grocery store and I think it's a must-have condiment for Asian cooking. Once you open a bottle and smell it, you'll recognize the flavor. A little goes a long way with this one and I store mine in the fridge so it will keep. I've had it in there for a year or more and it still tastes great. This is the brand I have though I'm sure others are just as good.

    * Chiles de Arbol - These are spicy dried chiles that you should be able to find in your produce section or on the Mexican aisle of your grocery. Not only do I love these in Asian dishes, they add great flavor to salsa. Recipe on that coming soon. Here's what they look like - they're small and skinny.

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