Tag Archives: Chinese

Cool Off with Cold Chicken Chinois

10 Aug

The hot weather begs for cold chicken that you can really get your hands into.

This is yet another New York Times-inspired recipe for which I happened to have some — but not all – of the ingredients on hand so I had to adapt. I very much liked the Asian inflections in the chicken, but what I noticed most was how moist and tender the chicken stayed and how well it absorbed the flavors with the long, slow simmer. I will be trying the same technique with different seasonings in the cooking liquid in the very near future. In the meantime, do try the wrap idea at the bottom; we took it to the pool for a light evening meal and it was just the thing.

I simmered this one at night when the temperature had dropped, since it was going into the fridge for the next day anyway! Link to the original NYT article at the bottom!

Chilly Chicken Chinois

(factor in overnight refrigeration)

1 lb. boneless chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

1 two-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thick

4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 star anise

2 scallions

Season the thighs generously with salt and pepper. Place in a heavy pot and add enough cold water to cover. Add the ginger, garlic, star anise and scallions. Bring to a gentle boil, scooping out any foam. Turn heat to very low, cover and simmer ever so gently for an hour.

Transfer the thighs to a bowl to cool. Skim the fat off the surface of the remaining liquid. Reduce the liquid by half over high heat (5-10 minutes), then strain it over the thighs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Serving suggestions: Sprinkle with cilantro, slivered scallions and sesame oil. Or….

Quick chicken wrap ideas

Spread a wrap or your choice with mayonnaise. Add cucumber, sliced lengthwise, pieces of chicken, slivered scallions and cilantro. Add a sprinkle of lime/sesame oil and a drizzling of Asian Stir Fry Sauce https://hotcheapeasy.wordpress.com/?s=asian+stir+fry+sauce roll up and serve.

You can do the same by substituting hummus and roasted vegetables for the mayo, stir-fry sauce and cucumber.

Article from nytimes.com which inspired this dish. You will note David Tanis recommends free-range birds; I used organic thighs from Costco with very good result.



Stir-fried Vegetables (Faster and better than ordering out)

2 Apr

Saturday lunch -crisp and light and zippy

When I am in the mood for some crunchy, spicy Asian vegetables, my first instinct is not to pick up the phone, but to open the refrigerator door.

I am forever buying virtuous items that I mean to use right away, but that slip into the deep recesses in of my mind and the even deeper recesses of the fridge. A good stir-fry is a way to use up just about any crunchy vegetable in a way that will bring the virtue right back (nothing should go to waist or waste!).

Such was the situation today, when my dad started pulling out vegetables for a raw salad, and my mom and I convinced him it would have more flair in a hot and spicy variation.

So we got to chopping and measuring and whisking and in very little time (about 20 minutes) we were crunching and nodding and going for seconds. While there is a place in every household for Chinese takeout menus, it is so easy to make your own, without the gelatinous goopiness that passes for brown sauce, that this is really worth making part of your repertoire. I can see tossing in some peeled shrimp just as the vegetables have cooked in the first step….on this occasion, my dad seasoned and sauteed strips of chicken breast separately as the vegetables were cooking, rather than incorporate the chicken. As a result, the chicken played a gentle counterbalance to the sizzle of the vegetables.

Here’s what we did (adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for Stir-Fried Broccoli)

Stir-fried vegetables in brown sauce (serves four for a light meal or as a side)


1/2 Cup low sodium vegetable broth

2 Tbs dry white wine (or dry sherry, if you’ve got)

4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp olive oil (or one toasted sesame oil)

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp Thai chili sauce (can be increased, depending on your sauce AND your tolerance for hot and spicy; the one we used is already prepared as a marinade, so is sweet. If you use straight Thai chili – like a sambal – it could be stronger!)


6 cloves garlic, minced (you can play with this proportion, especially if your chili sauce has a lot of garlic)

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp vegetable oil


2 Tbs vegetable oil

2-2.5 lbs mixed stir-fry vegetables, cut into ¾ inch pieces (we used onions, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, red peppers, green peppers, but you can play around with this!)

½ tsp sugar

Whisk ingredients in A (broth, wine, soy sauce, olive/sesame oil, cornstarch and chili sauce) in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix up ingredients in B (garlic, pepper flakes, and 2 tsp vegetable oil).

Now for the ingredients in C. Heat the remaining two Tbs vegetable oil in a 12 inch skillet with a heavy bottom, until just rippling and just beginning to smoke. Add vegetables and sprinkle the sugar over, coat with the oil and cook, stirring frequently, for about eight minutes, looking for caramelization on the vegetables. Lower the temperature to medium if you get a lot of sticking.

Push vegetables to the side and add the garlic mixture (B), stir to heat, then mix with the vegetables. Add vegetable broth mixture (A) and stir for a bit less than a minute, or until warmed and the sauce gets a bit thicker. Serve with rice.


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