Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quick Summer Stir-frys

Wednesday: hoisin chicken and teriyaki summer squash saute

Revisiting the hoisin chicken from last week, since we both liked it so much and it was super easy. One thing that makes it incredibly fast is to start with skinless, boneless thighs.

The kind of chicken really affects the flavor, too - I have made this with chicken from our local farmer's market, with "air-chilled" Smart Chicken, and last night with chicken from the butcher's counter at Whole Foods. The first two were both delicious, but the chicken we had last night wasn't as good, I think because it was "water chilled." (I've read that Whole Foods is converting all of its operations over to have only air-chilled chicken, but because we don't normally shop there - last night was something of a chicken emergency - I haven't kept track of when ours would switch over.) In any case, be aware that stir-frys tend to really let the flavor of the meat shine through, and a "clean tasting" meat will definitely be tastier in the end.

I opted for an easier-to-prepare veggie side this week: I julienned a yellow summer squash and a zucchini (both relatively small) and sauteed them in a little oil for about two minutes, until they were just barely cooked. I added some bottled teriyaki sauce and heated it a bit (perhaps 30 seconds).

We also had my favorite kind of rice, again in the rice cooker.


UPDATED 6/30/12
That link seems dead; here's the recipe for the chicken:


½ pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 bunch yu-choy, about ½ pound
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
Dash of water, as needed

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken chunks with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.

Rinse the yu-choy. Trim about an inch off the bottom end of the stalks, which is tough to chew. Cut the yu-choy into 2-inch segments. The leaves will shrink significantly once cooked, so if they are a little larger, it’s ok.

Heat wok over medium-high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and let heat through for about 30 seconds. Gently add the chicken and quickly start stirring to separate the chunks and so that the pieces don’t stick. Stir-fry the chicken pieces until just cooked through, about 3 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken chunks. Add the yu-choy and stir to combine. Once the yu-choy has wilted, add the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and the hoisin. Stir to combine. If it looks a little dry, add a touch of water to thin out the sauce.

Serve with rice and other dishes as part of a meal.

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