Monday, April 4, 2011

Stormy Sky Stir Fry Chicken

After a long Monday at work, I was ready to get home and ready to grill up a storm for tonight's NCAA men's basketball championship game.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature beat me to the "grilling up a storm" part.

Squall lines, strong winds, and tornado warnings made me reconsider.   The only reason my First Up covering wasn't flying away was because we had it tied down and 40+ pounds on each of the 4 feet.

So I regrouped and came up with this stir fry in the kitchen.  If you wonder why I use a blend of sesame oil and peanut oil, it's because
1)  Sesame oil gives a strong flavor and is associated with Asian dishes but to me, the flavor by itself is too strong and
2)  Peanut oil has a high smoke temp, tolerate of stir fry temperatures.   Together, the two are a nice blend for my tastes.

Stormy Sky Stir Fry Chicken

1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp peanut oil1 lb thinly sliced chicken (I deboned two breasts and sliced the breast and tenderloins into 1/4" slices)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 green bell pepper, seeded & cut into 3/4" pieces
1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into 3/4" pieces
3 Sweet mini peppers, sliced on a bias and seeded
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
2 green onions, sliced in 3/4" pieces
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchstick sized pieces *see note
1/2 cup Mr. Yoshida's Sauce (or teriyaki)
1 heaping Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp corn or potato starch
3 Tbsp cold water
4-5 leaves of Napa Cabbage, cut into 3/4" slices

Preheat your wok over medium high heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

The thing about stir frying is that it happens so fast.  You HAVE to have all your ingredients prepped and measured out (aka "mess in place" errr..... mise en place).

See?  I CAN cook without a grill.  I just don't like to.

Add the oils.  Once hot, add the chicken and stir fry until done.  This should take about 3-5 minutes depending on how hot you got the wok.  Remove from the wok and add a Tbsp more of peanut oil if needed.

Add the bell pepper and onion.  Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add the sweet mini peppers, celery, and the firmer white parts of the green onion.  Stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the ginger and garlic, stir fry for 1 minute.

Move the contents to the edges of the wok and add the Yoshida's, hoisin, sriracha and chicken stock.  Allow to come to a simmer for 30 seconds.  Stir together the cold water and starch to make a slurry.  Add enough of this to thicken the sauce.  You want a consistency that when you dip a clean spoon into the sauce, it clings lightly to the back of the spoon.

Return the chicken to the wok.  Add the napa cabbage and green parts of green onion.  Toss, reduce heat and cover for 1-2 minutes, just enough to wilt the cabbage.  

Serve with sweet jasmine rice and top with crispy rice noodles.  

The whole family liked this one and all 4 of us had seconds.

The worst of the storm has passed so now I can enjoy the lightning flashing and the thunder echoing across the valley.  It makes me appreciate being at home, safe, dry, and with a full stomach.  Very thankful.  


  1. Knowing you, you'd find a way to put a wok on a grill. It has to be possible! Give it a try, so you can keep your grill master title.

  2. Those stormy squall lines are heading directly to us in northwest panhandle of Florida...I love to cook when it rains. You did an awesome job with your stir-fry. I never doubted for a second that meals in doors are just as good as when they come off your grill.

    Have a great week.


  3. @Duo: You know it! I usually do my wok cooking on the grill with what I call "stir fire". Coal gives you the high temps a wok craves!

    @Velva: Stay safe down there!

  4. I do not miss the crazy storms - that video sure brought back memories. The indoor dish looks as good as your outdoor stuff, Chris. I knew you could do it. :)

  5. The recipe sounds delicious and the presentation is outstanding. After the recent tornados, I was much more alert this time and made sure the grandkids (with us for spring break) understood our emergency plan - luckily un-needed.

  6. Looks great Chris and a great answer to stormy weather!!

  7. I think you sent your storm up here because it is super dark and gloomy outside. And I am NOT liking it. You can have it back. Whenever you want. (Before I have to walk ten blocks to physical therapy would be optimal.)

    This stir fry sounds delicious! Love that blend of sesame and peanut get the flavor while still using a good stir fry oil. Nice.

  8. It looks great no matter where it was cooked. Great game but can't say the same about the weather.

  9. I mix sesame oil and peanut oil for the very same reasons, seems like a perfect solution. Yikes with the wind and warnings. Glad it moved along without incident.

  10. We had a sample of that same storm over the weekend.
    Also -- what a terrible final game. Those kids looked exhausted.

  11. That is some crazy wind - I guess that's a pretty good reason for not using the grill :)
    The stir fry looks delicious. I do love the ease they offer for sure. And used Sriracha, how bad could it be?? :)

  12. Godfrey! Shouldn't someone have been screaming in the background, "Hurricane-a-comin'!" I love that you have "Christmas" lights under your cover...ambiance no matter what the that's class! Oh, the stir fry looked good, too!

  13. i have what feels like a 15 gallon vat of mr. yoshida's in my fridge, which really needs to get used, i definitely want to make this. the fact that it looks totally delicious doesn't hurt either!

  14. I heard about all these storms! Crazy. This looks like a dream dinner, yummy.

  15. I don't think I EVER saw you cook inside before! You may hate it but the outcome is glorious! That looks a-mazing!

  16. Chris- I want to comment on your gorgeous stir fry, but I'm too busy being jealous of your gas stove top. That's it. I'm officially jealous.

    P.S. We had the same storm system move through KY. Our neighbor's trampoline ended up in the middle of the road. It made for a crazy sight!

  17. Yep, those storms did make it to SW Florida too, they were bad! Chris inside cooking in the kitchen, what a concept!

  18. Wow - what a windy day!!! The stir fry looks fantastic. I'll be trying the sesame/peanut oil combination nex time.


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