Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry


To stir fry: to cook food in oil (mostly of the Asian persuasion) in a wok while stirring it.

That, is a spicy chicken stir fry, adapted from a recipe seen in the Everyday Chicken Cookbook.

I'll admit, the recipe in the cookbook is a bit ... lacking. The food looked good and the flavors all sounded brilliant. A big reason I chose this recipe was that it features the spice turmeric and I've been dying to cook with it.

Mostly because I wanted it stain my fingers that lovely ocher color and I love its fragrance and it's distinguished taste. My boyfriend's mom recently went to Morocco and brought us back a gift of spices and a cute mini tagine. Among the spices she picked up for us from the souq was a glowing bag of turmeric. Every time I went into my kitchen, I'd see it, like magical gold fairy dust, begging me to cook with it. Get some turmeric. It'll light up your palate.


What you'll need if you want to make the stir fry ... let me just say, it's not spicy as in bottle of Tabasco, it's more spicy as in a load of aromatic spices go into making the rub for the chicken.

1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp sunflower oil
salt & pepper to taste
3 bell peppers (the more colorful, the better), julienned
4 stalks of celery, julienned
4 stalk of green onions (aka scallions or spring onions), julienned
a handful of dry roasted peanuts
rice noodles or any other Asian noodles you like
3 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, diced*

Now, here's what you do:
Combine the ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl.
If you purchased normal chicken thighs, remove the skin and bones then dice. Once all diced, add to the bowl of spices and thoroughly coat. Allow to marinate for as long as you want. I normally leave it for about 10 minutes.
While the chicken is getting cozy with the aromatics, prepare the vegetables. Julienne the bell peppers, being sure to leave the seeds out if you don't want to blow people's heads off, the celery and the spring onions. Set these aside.
Warm 2 tablespoons of the sunflower oil in your wok. When ready, fry the chicken in batches. I normally just do two batches. After the first batch is finished, use a slotted spoon (so you don't remove all of the oil from the work) and place the cooked chicken onto a sheet of aluminum foil. Cover the chicken to form a parcel and fry the remaining chicken. Once cooked, add this chicken to the aluminum foil and reseal. I like to cover it with a dish towel to keep in the heat.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the wok and fry the vegetables for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently. You do not want the vegetables to burn, but you do want them a bit golden.
Add the chicken from the aluminum foil back to the wok along with the honey and the lime juice. Stir fry for about a minute before adding the noodles. Stir fry all together for one to two minutes, depending on the types of noodles you are using.
Plate up and enjoy!

*Instead of paying a ridiculous amount of money for boneless and skinless chicken thighs, I always buy on the bone chicken thighs and de-bone and skin them myself. It takes 5 minutes and it's about $2.00 cheaper.

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