Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chicken Stir-Fry with Pineapple and Pecans

Stir-fries are not only quick and easy—they’re also a very healthful way to prepare a flavorful dinner with simple ingredients. Fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and grains, small pieces of lean meats—all make stir-fry a tasty and nutritious homemade dish for your dinner table.

In this recipe, flavors range from sweet to spicy and savory to nutty with pineapple chunks and hot chiles, red bell pepper, scallion, and crunchy pecans. The sweet-and-sour sauce is slightly thickened to provide a warm glaze for the entire dish.

Serves 4


For the Sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp chile-garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 6 tsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
For the Chicken Stir-Fry
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced and separated
  • 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups pineapple chunks (halved, if large)
  • 1/2 cup broken pecan pieces
  • 2 cups cooked white rice, for serving
Chicken Thighs Cut into Strips
Stir-Fry Ingredients

For the Sauce
  1. Whisk the chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chile sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk the water and cornstarch in another small bowl until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.
  3. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry 20 seconds. Add the broth mixture and simmer 3 minutes. (Reduce the heat if the mixture comes to a hard boil.)
  4. Re-whisk the cornstarch mixture and add to the wok. Stir well until the sauce is slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Do not wipe out the wok.
Garlic and Ginger Beginning to Cook 
Sauce Beginning to Cook
Stir-Fry Sauce
For the Chicken Stir-Fry
  1. Re-heat the wok over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the wok. Stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and pour any excess liquid from the wok.
Chicken Beginning to Cook 
Stir-Fried Chicken
  1. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add the white parts of the scallions, chiles, and bell pepper and stir-fry 3 minutes.
  2. Add the pineapple chunks and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken to the wok and stir in the reserved sauce. Simmer 1 minute.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
Chile, Pepper, and Scallion Beginning to Cook 
Pineapple Added 
Sauce Added
Cooked Stir-Fry
To serve, divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls. Divide the chicken mixture on top and sprinkle the green parts of the scallions over all.

Chicken Stir-Fry with Pineapple and Pecans

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