Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Honey Soy Stir Fried Chicken: Can I order an easier life?

For all those who have it harder than I do....

I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself these days, with all the suffering I've been doing at the hands of Son's unsuccessful potty training venture, Daughter #1's start of school, and Daughter #2's temper tantrums over swim lessons, and all in all just being tried day after day.  First grade homework stresses me out like you wouldn't believe, which sounds slightly ridiculous I know, but the act of trying to get through homework without pulling out all of my hair is a feat only managed by the best of women I'm sure.  I am not one of them.  At one point during first grade homework, my voice will rise and I will lose my temper.  I know you're all snickering.  First grade homework?  How hard can it be?

Add on top of that the driving that suddenly has tripled in my routine.  Three different schedules mean that sometimes I am driving back and forth to three different places three times a day.  This, I will assure you is not fun.  The cops that hang out around our neighborhood pick on women who are doing this, because they know they will easily catch someone who is speeding or talking on their cell phones while madly trying to manage driving a car and the kids.

Which leaves me tired.  And cranky.  And very very reluctant to cook.  Why should I when after all the driving is done, I can't even remember all the places I've been to in the hours past and I can barely stand up, let alone cook.  But a family calls me, and I try and answer.  They order chicken and I'd like to order an easier life.

But this recipe - it's my answer to a day that was too too crazy.  I spent my morning dashing around all over, my afternoon dragging myself to different lessons, and dinner?  Done quickly and easily with this recipe.  It's the tastiest stir fried chicken I've ever eaten and while I was eating I thought to myself, something this easy shouldn't be this good.  But it is.  And so easy.  And - Daughters and Son LOVED it.  Gobbled it,  rubbed the sauce all over their rice and chewed it down.

And when I saw them eating their meal with relish, giggling and laughing at the table as we talked about the day, I thought, well - it's a hard life, but it's one worth having. 

As a note, I did cook it and then remove some for son to eat WITHOUT oyster sauce as he is allergic.  His tasted significantly different without the addition of the oyster sauce but delicious nonetheless.

Honey Soy Stir-Fried Chicken
(adapted from Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking)
Serves 4-5

Chicken and marinade
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons shao xing wine or sake
2 tablespoons finely diced or grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pinch of black pepper

For cooking
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

In a mixing bowl, combine chicken with all ingredients of marinade, cover and refrigerate until needed.  (I let it sit in the marinade for about 3 hours, but you could even do it overnight if you wanted.)

In a mixing bowl, combine chicken with all ingredients of marinade, cover and refrigerate until needed.  (I let it sit in the marinade for about 3 hours, but you could even do it overnight if you wanted.)

Heat oil on high, in a heavy fry pan or wok until the surface shimmers.  Add chicken with all the marinade (Be careful!  It could splatter!) and stirfry until chicken is fully cooked about 7-8 minutes .  Watch carefully as the marinade will begin reducing down, bubbling and becoming slowly sticky, and the chicken will become caramelized.  It can easily burn at this point, if you are not carefully watching.   Reduce heat and add oyster sauce, tossing chicken until it is all coated with oyster sauce.

Serve topped with cilantro or spring onions as garnish.  (I REALLY liked it with the cilantro!)

Printable recipe

If your family orders this, you'll be happy because it is so easy to make.


halim said...

this looks soooo good. i'm making it tomorrow!

Buckeroomama said...

This is my go-to dish for those days when I want something easy. My MIL first introduced me to this, but she uses dark soy sauce instead of oyster sauce... I`ll have to try it with oyster sauce next time.

Sandi said...

ohhh how I remember the days of pulling my hair out over homework!!! with my older son it got a lot easier as he got older...with my younger son, unfortunately not so much...but I will tell you this....they all do eventually grow up. My kids are now 22 and 17 but I truly do remember how it was when they were young.....sometimes I wish they were young again because now that I look back it was sometimes a whole lot easier.....ohhh gee I have been rambling...LOL!!! Anyway, your chicken dish looks great and I would like to try it

Jammie said...

looks awesome!! I'll definitely try it. I'm a huge fan of cooking with honey soy sauces. :)

jcrewphd said...

I'll try making this dish this weekend. Looks delicious!

Jonah said...

Hi Joanne,

I'm a big fan of your blog. Always enjoy the stories, and your wonderful recipes. Had a question with this recipe, do you need sake or the wine, and oyster sauce?
Thanks again for sharing your recipes :)

Joanne Choi said...

Hi Jonah -
I definitely think you need all. The sake and wine perhaps you could leave out and substitute just whatever alcohol you have around, but the oyster sauce adds a depth of flavor that is missed when not there. Thanks for cooking and good luck!

halim said...

i achieved caramelization!! the first time i made it, the chicken was more steamed than caramelized because i didn't cook it long enough. this time, i actually had to cook it for 10+ minutes to get the sauce to reduce down and caramelize. it tastes sooo much better that way. the flavors are concentrated and the glazed texture adds a really nice component.

this dish is so easy and so yummy. lawrence said he could eat it again tomorrow night. but tomorrow night, we're having your sweet, sour, spicy chicken wings.

Joudie's Mood Food said...

Well i think you have a right to feel sorry for yourself. You must be exhausted. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world. EVen after all that tiredness, you still manage to rustle up something delicious. Will have to try it out for sure. Lovely Blog!

Becki Sue said...

I had trouble getting the sauce to caramelize like in your pictures. I cooked it for 15 minutes with no success. I finally made a corn starch slurrie to thicken the sauce, because I didn't want the chicken to be overcooked. What level of heat were you cooking the sauce and chicken with? I was using a wok. I really wanted to achieve that thick, gorgeous sauce! The taste of the sauce was a hit with my husband, so I'd be willing to give it a try again.

Joanne Choi said...

Hi Beckie -

I cooked over high heat, and made sure the oil was also very hot before adding the chicken. The great thing about chicken thighs (one reason why I LOOOOOOOOOVE them) is that they are actually VERY difficult to over cook. Mostly cooking helps to render the fat and make them even more tender, so next time just go for cooking it longer and see if you can't get the caramelization. The cornstarch slurry was a great solution, but the reduction and the subsequent glaze is really .... fantastic.

beem221 said...

so excited to try this recipe tonight - my chicken's marinating in the fridge right now. i used chicken breasts though because my husband doesn't like dark meat (i know - weird, right), so hopefully it'll turn out just as good. might not get carmelization but that's ok. thanks for inspiring me to do a stir fry - i haven't in SO long because i'm usually too lazy to marinate ahead of time.

Susan said...

Toasted some sesame seed and sprinkled over this dish before garnishing with chives - delicious!

Kirsten said...

Made this for dinner tonight. Just stopped by to say that it was wonderful!! I'll be making it over and over from now on :)

Wanting What I Have said...

I've got three young children. This recipe is EXACTLY what I need! Thanks for sharing!!!

Patti said...

I just made this tonite and it was SO good!! My three kids loved it as well!

Jeri @ TheFatLossAuthority said...

I tried this recipe two days ago and it was wonderful. The nicest part of making it s that my son Chris is who has to be the pickiest eater I have ever seen actually liked it! This is going at the top of my recipe book!

Ethan @ Fat Burning Furnace said...

I just found your recipe today so I have not had a chance to try it. However, I do plan to do so very soon as it looks like something we would like. Appreciate you sharing your recipes.

Caitlin said...

I found that the last time I cooked it, it did not caramelize! I was so disappointed. I also started a small fire that went out on its own from the oil being so hot. When I added my chicken to the pan, some of the oil splattered on the stove burner and a fire started. This time I am marinating for a full three hours, and I will cook it for longer. Hopefully that works. I noticed that you could see the oil in the sauce basically. So was I using too much oil?

Joanne Choi said...

Caitlin - maybe try a bigger flatter pan or try cooking only HALF of the chicken with less oil. The key is to get the heat as much as possible so that the sauce reduces and the fat from the chicken renders. It's really the fat from the chicken as it cooks that leaves that lovely oily texture...:)

Kylie from FB said...

I'm hungry, it's late... but I'm still sooo making this for dinner tonight :) AGAIN! Love this recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

this looks so good!

As a side note, imagine what those home-school parents must feel, when all school work is "homework!"

Anonymous said...

My family loved this...thanks!

Anonymous said...

Is it alright to marinate for 15 minutes?


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