We have a family tradition that has been in effect since I was a child. On Christmas day each person finds an envelope in the Christmas tree with $25 in it to be used for buying books at a local book store the day after Christmas. As children it allowed our parents to have a small idea of what we (their children) were interested in. This bookstore, in those years, also had one heck of a bargain basement. As adults it’s become an extension of tradition and time with each other. Last year we found one of those compiled cook books that contain hundreds of pages of recipes from one continent… this one being Asian.
This recipe has flavors that remind me more of Indian Chinese, a specific flavor of Chinese food that is served in Indian having been tailored a bit more to the Indian pallet. It’s DELICIOUS! Being that we were so hungry, we each had seconds and there was enough left over for one serving at lunch. If served with additional dishes you could stretch it to 6 servings at least.
I served it over steamed white rice.
Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry
Adapted from Asian: Enticing stir-fries and sensational aromatic dishes from the East
Consultant editor Linda Doeser
Serves 4-6 servings
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt (I used large flake Kosher)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 chili pepper, finely chopped, seeds included (seeds may be remove if you want to reduce the heat)
1/2 teaspoon extra hot chili powder (to your taste)
3 chicken thighs, fat and skin removed (boneless is fine but I just cut the meat from the bone)
1 bunch scallions
5 stalks celery
3 bell peppers, seeded (mix of red, green and yellow is fine)
2 small zucchini
1 cup sugar snap peas (I used frozen.) Snow peas may also be used.
cooking oil for stir-frying (I used the heart healthy soy/canola/olive oil blend)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
Cut the chicken into strips and drop into the spice mixture. Mix to coat all pieces.
Chop the scallions, and peppers and cut the celery into 2-inch-long strips. I cut the zucchini, skin included, on an angle in 1/4″ rounds. Trim peas if necessary. As i used frozen it wasn’t needed.
Heat a large tall sided frying pan or dutch oven (a wok is OK too) and add 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot pan. Cooking over a medium-high heat, add spice coated chicken in batches, cooking thoroughly until golden in color. Add additional oil if needed between batches. Remove chicken as it is done, setting aside.
When all chicken is done, I added about 2/3 cup of water to help deglaze the bottom of the pan. Those bits that stuck on are super tasty and we don’t want to lose their flavor! Cook on medium-high, scraping the bits off the bottom until the pan is mostly clean. When only a little water remains, add 1 tablespoon of oil and both chilies (fresh and powdered) taking care NOT to put your face over the pan as they cook. Cook for 1 minute.
Add all vegetables except the peas and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes. The vegetables should be softer but still have a crunch. Add the peas and cook 2 minutes.
Add the cooked chicken, honey and lime juice tossing well and cook 2 more minutes.
Serve immediately over white rice and wait for the oohs and aahs!
There is a small kick to the flavor between the chilies and black pepper, but not SPICY flavor.
Let me know how it goes for you and if you make any adjustments to the recipe that you find tasty!