I love Chinese food. Anytime I am asked to pick where I want to eat I always pick Chinese. Maybe it’s from growing up in NYC, and having a family tradition of going down to Chinatown with my parents and grandparents every Sunday night. Considering that it has one of the largest chinatowns in the US, it always strikes me as funny that we went to the same restaurant, 456 week after week (not to be confused with the 456 Shanghai restaurant which is currently in operation). I have such fond memories of testing different methods of eating an egg roll with my brother (do you bite down into it, do you empty the contents and eat them first…) and trying to get the hang of chopsticks with my little fingers. My kids love Chinese as well. I have always struggled with finding an easy stir fry recipe, that used fairly common pantry ingredients, that I could put into my weeknight rotation.
But now I’ve found it. I’m covered one night a week. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Stir-Fried Chicken from her cookbook “My father’s Daughter“ is just that. The best stir-fried chicken that I’ve ever made, and tastes like the real deal. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected anything less from another NYC girl. It’s super simple to make, and surprisingly uses common ingredients so you won’t have to run to 3 specialty stores. Make this immediately and you’ll see that you have a new keeper for the weekly rotation.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup peeled and minced garlic
- 1/4 cup peeled and minced ginger (I omitted this as my kids don’t love the flavor)
- 1/2 cup minced green scallions (white & green parts)
- Pinch red chili flakes (optional) I used it and it was delicious
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (I omitted this as Middle doesn’t like this flavor)
- I added in 1 cup of broccoli florets
- Toss the chicken with cornstarch, a large pinch of salt and quite a bit of pepper.
- Heat oil in large, non-stick wok over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger, scallions and chile flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, for one minute.
- Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.
- Add the vinegar, sugar, and five or six grinds of black pepper.
- Boil on high for three minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and the whole mixture is dark brown and sticky and lovely.
- Add the soy sauce, and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Serve with rice
Middle declared this the best Chinese food that he’s ever had! He had two bowls full. That’s saying something considering we have trouble keeping him above 50lbs!