Thursday, February 13, 2014

Easy recipe: marinated chicken for stir-fry

I lived in the dorms my first 2 years at UCLA so I never worried about cooking. Freshman 15? Try Freshman 25. When I moved to an apartment Junior and Senior year I had to start cooking - this simple marinated chicken recipe got me through the rest of college. I'd fly Southwest back to UCLA with a bag full of frozen tubs of marinated chicken that my mom prepared. I've since learned how to do it myself and it's still one of my staples to this day.

This recipe yields chicken that is tender and lightly seasoned and can be added to any veggie stir-fry. It only requires 5 ingredients, including the chicken! Total prep and cook time for the chicken: about 20 minutes (10 minutes alone just to prep and cut the chicken).

I use 2 pieces of organic boneless and skinless thigh meat. Trim the fat and dice the chicken into bite-size pieces. Cut against the grain of the meat to make it more tender. Cutting the chicken is the most time-consuming part of this process.

Add soy sauce and toss to coat

Add Chinese cooking wine and toss to coat

Add a spoon of corn starch - this makes the meat more tender

Mix in corn starch well

Add a little canola oil and mix well

That's it! Here are the ingredients I used (not including canola oil)

You don't need to let the chicken marinate - you can cook it immediately. Sauté the chicken until just done (should only take a few minutes). I like to cook it on one side until it develops a nice brown crust and then flip and toss it to cook thoroughly. After you're done sauteing, put the chicken in a separate bowl while you saute your other items.

Stir-fry your other veggies and when the veggies are cooked, add the chicken back in. At this point you're just warming up the chicken because it's already cooked. Add flavoring/sauce. You're done!

Serve and enjoy the dish over a bed of rice.

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