Chicken and Veg Stir-Fry

We made this one night this past week when my husband offered a vague desire for something “Asian” with noodles. As I often do I turned to Cook’s Illustrated for inspiration and found their recipe for Thai-Style Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken and Broccolini.

The recipe is an exercise in repetition and restraint. After prepping everything you heat oil in the skillet, add some sauce and cook a component of the dish. Then you set that component aside and move on to the next one. At the end you add everything back and, presto, you have a complete dish.

Chicken and Veg Stir-Fry
Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 ounces (1/4-inch-wide) rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 oz.cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 red bell pepper, cored and julienned

Directions:

  1. Combine the baking soda with 4 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Clean excess fat from the chicken thighs. Cut into 1/4″ thick slices, cutting against the grain. Add to the bowl of soda and water. Toss to coat and let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Rinse chicken in cold water, drain well and set aside.
  3. Bring 8 cups of water to boil. Place noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over the noodles. Stir well to separate the noodles. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir again and let rest another 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Shake to remove excess moisture. Return to the bowl, add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and toss to coat.
  4. Place the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes on high. Drain the mushrooms of the accumulated liquid and set aside with the onions and pepper.
  5. Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon vinegar, molasses and fish sauce in a bowl.
  6. Crack eggs into a bowl and give them a good scramble.
  7. Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and the garlic. Stir to coat and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is browned and aromatic.
  8. Add the chicken and 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Toss chicken with sauce and spread chicken across the skillet in an even layer. Cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the chicken and again, cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes.
  9. Move the chicken to one side of the skillet. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and the eggs to the empty side of the skillet. Gently stir eggs until the are just cooked (they should be still wet). Stir the eggs into the chicken and cook until the eggs are fully cooked, maybe 30-45 seconds more. Transfer the chicken/egg mixture to a bowl.
  10. Add 2 more teaspoons of oil to the empty skillet and heat until it starts to smoke. Add the onions, peppers, mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Toss to coat and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the chicken/egg mixture.
  11. Add the remaining oil to the empty skillet and heat until it starts to smoke. Add the noodles and remaining sauce to the pan; toss to coat. Cook until the noodles begin to brown, maybe 2 minutes. Add the chicken/egg and vegetables back to the skillet and toss to combine. Cook, without stirring, for 2-3 minutes until everything is warmed through. Sprinkle with remaining vinegar, toss to coat and serve.

Notes:
Microwaving the mushrooms in advance releases some of their water and allows you to cook them much more quickly in the skillet.

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