One of the easiest ways to get dinner on the table quickly is a stir-fry. Or it can take a while… it really depends on how you want to go about it. I like to marinade my meat (sounds dirty… really isn’t) for at least 30 minutes in the spices and sauces that I intend to flavor the dish with, but it isn’t entirely necessary. For a chicken stir-fry I tend to favor boneless, skinless chicken thighs as they have a lot more flavor and moisture than chicken breast, and they tend to stay moist, even in the high heat environment of a wok. Speaking of, it is best to do this sort of thing in a steel wok, as you can toss the ingredients really easily. You could do it in a chef’s pan, but they tend to be of a denser material and have a flatter bottom, one makes heat transference a little slower (really not the point here) and the bottom can lead to uneven cooking. That aside, this week in our CSA box we received a nice portion of scallions (or green onions for those of that bent) and our first carrots of the season. I usually use a lot more vegetables in a stir-fry, but in this case, I wanted to showcase the mild oniony flavor of the scallions and the sweetness of the carrots.
Chicken Stir-Fry with Carrots & Scallions
5 boneless, skinless CHICKEN THIGHS, cut into bite sized portions
1 large bunch SCALLIONS, cut on the bias
4 medium sized CARROTS, cut on the bias
1 thumb sized piece of GINGER, peeled
1 small GARLIC CLOVE, also peeled
2 tbs MOLASSES
2 tbs low-sodium SOY SAUCE
2 tsp RICE WINE VINEGAR
1 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES
1 tsp GINGER POWDER
1/4 tsp GARLIC POWDER
2 tsp CORN STARCH
1/4 cup CHICKEN/VEGETABLE BROTH or WATER
In a small bowl, marinade your CHICKEN THIGHS in 1 tsp VEGETABLE OIL, 1 tbs MOLASSES, 1 tbs SOY SAUCE, 1 tsp RICE WINE VINEGAR, the fresh GINGER and GARLIC (grated), the RED PEPPER FLAKES. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables. Cut both the CARROTS and SCALLIONS on the bias (diagonally to create oblong slices).
Preheat your wok for at least 5 minutes over high heat. Add a splash of VEGETABLE OIL and swirl it around inside your wok. When the oil starts to shimmer, toss CHICKEN THIGHS and their marinade with 1 tsp of the CORN STARCH and add to the wok. Cook, tossing often, for around 6 minutes. Remove from the wok and add more VEGETABLE OIL. Add CARROTS and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the MOLASSES, the BROTH, SOY SAUCE, VINEGAR, GARLIC and GINGER POWDERS, and CORN STARCH. Cook until the CARROTS are slightly softened and the sauce has reduced to almost a glaze. Add a little more VEGETABLE OIL to the pan and add the SCALLIONS. Toss for 2 minutes and add the CHICKEN back into the wok. Toss until well combined and the glaze you made with the carrots has evenly coated everything. Serve over rice.
A riesling or gewurztraminer would be lovely with this, as they are with any Asian-style or similarly spiced food.