My second Wok Wednesdays endeavor produced a generous, satisfying dish: hearty, gorgeous, and perfect as a party dish or a one-dish family meal. In contrast to our first recipe, Stir-Fried Garlic Spinach, with its hallmarks of simplicity and focus, this dish, Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken plunged us into the world of contrasts and organization, with multiple ingredients and advance preparation on the menu.
I chopped up the chicken and tossed it with the cornstarch mixture, and set it in the fridge while I took care of business with the peppers, zucchini, ginger, and garlic, and measured out all the ingredients.
Then I put the rice on to cook and took a break for daily life (e-mail! dog-tending! homework-advising! laundry-folding! staring out the window…). Once rice was ready, the table was set, and the family was handy, and my was on the stove, it was showtime!
I love the process of stir-fry cooking, where everything is, well, in your face. I am watching and working, making things happen (swirling the oil, tossing the garlic and ginger, spreading the chicken pieces out over the hot pan, tumbling in the peppers) and also leaving things alone, to sizzle, sear, soften, and scent the kitchen with promising aromas. It’s fast and noisy and things change, from color of the raw chicken to texture of onions and peppers. In this dish, I loved how the chicken took on color once the spices were introduced, and the way the main ingredients stayed substantial while releasing that marvelously tasty rust-colored sauce. Big Red Kitchen has a smart, cool and pretty idea for stir-fry prep: organizing your mis en place in jars.
I took it easy on the chili heat, since the levels of appreciation for fiery food varies at my house, but this is a dish which could shine with the chili-dial turned up. I love the insight on how Chinese culinary traditions were interwoven with local Burmese and South Asian ingredients with this family kitchen.
For Grace Young’s recipe for Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken , visit this week’s host, “My Culinary Mission”, by clicking HERE.
Here are posts on Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken from some of my fellow Wok Wednesday cooks: