Stir-Fry recipes are tried and tested in my home at least on a weekly basis. Who can resist those delicious flavors in Asian dishes? I sure can’t! I am always on the lookout for the perfect stir-fry that has a great sauce that caramelizes really well with great flavor, has a nice brown color and is just plain lovely. With stir-fries, I’m either trying to reinvent dishes I already have, or trying every recipe I can find that looks like it might be amazing. Who knew that while I was poring over none other than Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, (which is one that I highly recommend having by the way), that I would find not only a good stir-fry but one titled “The Best Chicken Stir-Fry”.
Wow, the best? That’s a big claim to make. After making it for the first time I was in heaven. The ingredients seemed so basic and simple, yet the way they all work together is amazing. I then realized that the title of the recipe is for sure deserving of it’s name, at least in my book. I’m usually hesitant to try recipes that say they are the best. Everyone has their own opinions, likes and dislikes. So I find it hard to generalize something as the “best”. But again, trust me, it is pretty much the best. I have served it alongside white or brown rice as well as a variety of dishes like fried rice with kale & scallions (another recipe from her book that’s amazing). But in my house, we mostly eat it with Udon noodles. Udon noodles are a type of Japanese noodle that are a thick wheat flour noodle that comes in quite a few varieties and these are my absolute favorite to use. Sometimes you can find them at your local supermarket but not too often. You can also customize the recipe to your liking by adding cashews or peanuts, or maybe even some broccoli or asparagus. I love it as it is though, which is simple and quick, and with ingredients that you may possibly already have stocked in your pantry. I made a few slight changes from the original recipe, to my family’s liking.
So let’s get started on this recipe. You’ll need about 12 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces (about ¾ inch cubes or strips). In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch, a large pinch of kosher salt, and 7-8 grinds of freshly ground pepper.
For the stir-fry, heat a large nonstick wok with 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/8 cup minced ginger, 1/8 cup minced garlic, 1/2 cup minced green onions, and a pinch of red chili flakes if you’re using them, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of rice vinegar, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and 5-6 grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Boil on high for 3 minutes, or until the sugar has really caramelized, and the whole mixture is sticky and lovely. Add 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce, cook for another 30 seconds.
Serve immediately over udon noodles, rice or whatever you prefer. Sprinkle the top with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy!