My sweet niece texted me some advice on preparing chicken in stir-frys right before I was set to try out a new recipe. Kismet!
Her text told me to look up “velvet chicken” technique and you will never make stir-fry without doing it.
She is so right. Touche’ Jillian!
Check out the link above for the particulars, but in a nutshell you marinate your chicken breast cubes in a cornstarch mixture to seal in the moistness so it doesn’t end up all dry and tasteless. I will say that I did not use the full 2 cups of oil prescribed, but don’t be stingy with it either because your meat will stick if you are conservative with the oil. It needs enough cushion to float and cook. I agree with other notes there to use this for highly seasoned recipes.
Now for the Asian Jalapeno Chicken. Yu-meeeeee! Just the right amount of spice and sweet in an interesting sauce that’s not really difficult. As with all stir-frys, prepping is the secret to success and since you are marinating your chicken for 30 minutes, you have plenty of time to gather and prep your ingredients. Here are my other notes to make this recipe the most successful:
- Velvet the chicken rather than the simple saute’ listed.
- Substituted chopped cashews for the sesame seed garnish.
- I used rice wine vinegar instead of apple cider; that just seemed like a weird choice for an Asian dish.
- Added about a half a red bell pepper in a small dice – this is a huge improvement as it would’ve been too dull without the extra crunch and flavor.
- Because I added the bell pepper, it needs a bit more sauce. I don’t think you need to do too much except measure the sauce ingredients liberally or with a heaping measure. Possibly another half lemon.
- You could easily add more garlic to this if you are a fan.
- We used white rice versus quinoa – it was superb.
Gè bǎo (bon apetit!)