Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Best Stir-Fried Chicken

One of my biggest pleasures in life is Chinese food. Particularly when it comes from Great NY Noodletown, and particularly when I happen to be nursing (otherwise known as a monster hangover). Their pan-fried noodles and salt-baked shrimp are out of this world, as is their no-nonsense, lightning quick service. Chinese waiters get a bad rap for what is perceived as their brusqueness, but I think it's kind of refreshing sometimes, especially after a string of 2-hour+ dinners where, after the 5th course, you're looking desperately around for the waiter so he can maybe bring you your check before you pass out face first in the remains of your dehydrated pear with salted caramel and saffron ice cream dessert.

But as much as I love Chinese food and all it's trappings, I very rarely indulge in it. I'm talking maybe once every two or three months. Lo mein noodles and General Tso's chicken are awesome, but let's be real--the aftermath is a world of grease and regret. Not so fun. This recipe, from Gwyneth Paltrow, the queen of good food decision-making, mimics the taste and texture of the best Chinese stir-fried chicken dishes without the MSG hangover. It's my new hero. xo

Best Stir Fried Chicken
From My Father's Daughter, by Gwyneth Paltrow
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup peeled and minced garlic
1/4 cup peeled and minced ginger
1/2 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
Pinch red chile flakes
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Toss the chicken with the cornstarch, a large pinch of salt, and quite a bit of pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick wok or nonstick pan over medium-high heat (this is a gentle stir-fry). Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and chile flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar, and about 6 grinds of black pepper. Boil on high for 3 minutes, or until the sugar has really caramelized, the vinegar has mellowed a bit, and the whole mixture is dark brown and sticky and lovely. Add the soy sauce, cook for another 30 seconds, and serve immediately, topped with a sprinkling of the cilantro.

Serves 4.


  1. YUM! I have to give this a try. I love all of the clean ingredients - and being that this is a stir fry, double yum!

    1. It's a great recipe! Let me know how it turns out for you. x

  2. I made this last night. It was absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I made this the other night, added some string beans in with the chicken for some vegetable love and served it over brown rice. It was wonderful!

    Thanks for the recipe I imagine it will be on heavy rotation now!


    1. Love the idea of adding a veggie to the mix! Thanks, Caity. x

  4. I also made this recipe earlier and it was delicious and quick to cook! I also recommend this recipe to my friends. Anyway, if you want to read more about stir fry recipe, just Click Here!

  5. Made this for dinner last week and it was DELICIOUS! Even better when I let it sit in the fridge for a day and had it as leftovers - the flavors were that much bigger!

  6. I'm a first time visitor to your blog and, oh my goodness, it is gorgeous! I just spent the past hour reading through tons of your recipes, and bookmarked more than a couple. :) This is the first one I'm going to try - looks so delicious!