Weeknight Chicken Stir-Fry
with carrots / mushrooms / celery
While we often turn to a stir-fry as a quick weeknight meal, this is the original version that we featured in November 2014. It remains one of our favorites thanks to its clean, classic flavors.
Weeknight Chicken Stir-Fry:
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 1/2 cups
- Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 4 Tbsp
- Vinegar, rice - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
- Carrots - 8 oz , thinly sliced
- Celery - 2 stalks , sliced at a bias
- Mushrooms, any brown - 8 oz , sliced (look for pre-sliced)
- Green onions - 4 stalks , green and white parts chopped and separate
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 lb (sub chicken breasts)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Water - 3 Tbsp
- Limes - 1/2 , juice of
- Hot sauce (opt) - for serving
- Rice - This makes enough for 2 nights. For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make stir-fry sauce - Chop garlic. Mix garlic with soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar and stock. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Carrots / Celery - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Mushrooms / Green onions - Prep as directed. Store mushrooms and white and green parts of green onions separately.
- Chicken - Chop into bite-sized pieces. Season with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
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- Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add first part of cooking oil and then chicken to heated oil. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes and remove chicken from pan and set aside (don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be cooked all the way yet).
- Return wok to heat and then add second part of cooking oil. Add white parts of green onions, carrots and celery to heated oil with a sprinkle of salt. Saute for ~8 minutes, until carrots are tender but still crunchy. If the pan ever looks too dry and ingredients may burn, add a splash of water or chicken stock.
- Whisk together cornstarch and water.
- Add mushrooms and chicken to vegetables in the wok. Push all ingredients to the sides forming a hole in the middle. Pour stir-fry sauce and cornstarch / water mixture into hole. Wait for it to bubble and darken before tossing everything through and making sure all the ingredients are coated in the sauce.
- Continue cooking until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from heat and squeeze lime juice over top.
- If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave. (Remember to reserve half for Wednesday.)
- Serve stir-fry over rice with green parts of green onions and some hot sauce (if you’d like) on top. Enjoy!