Velveted Chicken Stir Fry

Velveting chicken is when you coat the chicken in oil and cornstarch mixture before cooking it to prevent the chicken from drying out. This is a perfect technique for chicken breast, which has a tendency to overcook very quickly. Marinating the chicken also gives it a boost of flavor. The chicken has a velvety texture and is so soft, you won’t believe you’re eating chicken breast. I use the velveting technique from America’s Test Kitchen. They are one of my favorite cooking shows, where everything always turns out flawlessly. I use my favorite vegetable combinations and a silky, tasty sauce to be served over a bed of rice.

Yields: about 6 servings

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

2 chicken breast halves

1/8 cup soy sauce

1/8 cup red wine

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup water

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1  Tablespoon flour

For the rest of the stir fry:

2-3 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces

1 celery stalk, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces

1 broccoli crown, cut into florets

1/2 a cauliflower head, cut into florets

1 onion, sliced

1 can baby corn

1 can water chestnuts, optional

2 garlic cloves, minced

Sauce:

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon mirin or sherry

1 Tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon asian chili sauce, optional

Cut the chicken into 1/4 inch thick slices, by slicing chicken across.  IMG_8305 Then cut the slices into 1 inch squares.  IMG_8310 Marinate the chicken in the water, soy sauce, red wine or sherry and garlic. Set it aside while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  IMG_8316 Combine the sauce ingredients in a liquid measuring cup, using a whisk and set aside.  IMG_8354
It’s very important to have all the vegetables and the sauce ready to go, since a stir fry cooks so quickly. You can prep the vegetables and sauce ahead of time and keep in separate containers in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook.

Whisk the oil, cornstarch and flour to combine. Drain the chicken and toss in the cornstarch mixture.  IMG_8372 You want to do this right before cooking the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, without stirring until browned on both sides, about 1 minute per side.  IMG_8378 Set aside in a bowl until the vegetables are cooked.

Using a nonstick skillet, heat up 1/2 Tablespoon of oil on high heat. Add the carrots and celery, season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the carrots and celery are softened. Set aside in a small bowl. (I usually use regular soup bowls for all this.)  IMG_8331 In the same skillet, add another 1/2 Tablespoon of oil and add the broccoli, season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook on high heat until the florets are starting to curl, about 2 minutes.  IMG_8341 Add 1/4 cup water or broth to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the skillet and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the broccoli is tender but still vibrantly green. Set aside in another bowl. IMG_8344 Repeat the same with the cauliflower. Set aside.  IMG_8348 In the same skillet heat 1/2 Tablespoon of oil and add the onions, cook on medium high high for 2-3 minutes, just until they are tender. Add the baby corn, water chestnuts, carrots, celery and cook until heated through. Move the vegetables aside to make a well in the center, add a little bit of oil and the minced garlic. (You can also add about a teaspoon of grated or minced ginger in with the garlic.) Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds and then combine with the rest of the vegetables.  IMG_8386 Pour in the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens.  IMG_8394 Add the broccoli, cauliflower and chicken, mix to combine.  IMG_8401 Serve with rice. IMG_8479

Velveted Chicken Stir Fry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breast halves
  • ⅛ cup soy sauce
  • ⅛ cup red wine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
For the rest of the stir fry:
  • 2-3 carrots, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 broccoli crown, cut into florets
  • ½ a cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 can baby corn
  • 1 can water chestnuts, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
Sauce:
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin or sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon asian chili sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken into ¼ inch thick slices, by slicing chicken across. Then cut the slices into 1 inch squares.
  2. Marinate the chicken in the water, soy sauce, red wine or sherry and garlic. Set it aside while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Combine the sauce ingredients in a liquid measuring cup, using a whisk and set aside.
To cook the chicken:
  1. Whisk the oil, cornstarch and flour to combine.
  2. Drain the chicken and toss in the cornstarch mixture. You want to do this right before cooking the chicken.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, without stirring until browned on both sides, about 1 minute per side.
  4. Set aside in a bowl until the vegetables are cooked.
Finishing the Stir Fry:
  1. Using a nonstick skillet, heat up ½ Tablespoon of oil on high heat.
  2. Add the carrots and celery, season with ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  3. Cook until the carrots and celery are softened. Set aside in a small bowl. (I usually use regular soup bowls for all this.)
  4. In the same skillet, add another ½ Tablespoon of oil and add the broccoli, season with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook on high heat until the florets are starting to curl, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add ¼ cup water or broth to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the skillet and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the broccoli is tender but still vibrantly green. Set aside in another bowl.
  6. Repeat the same with the cauliflower. Set aside.
  7. In the same skillet heat ½ Tablespoon of oil and add the onions, cook on medium high high for 2-3 minutes, just until they are tender.
  8. Add the baby corn, water chestnuts, carrots, celery and cook until heated through.
  9. Move the vegetables aside to make a well in the center, add a little bit of oil and the minced garlic.
  10. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds and then combine with the rest of the vegetables.
  11. Pour in the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens.
  12. Add the broccoli, cauliflower and chicken, mix to combine. Serve with rice.

 
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Comments

  1. Gulyana says

    I made it for dinner tonight. I used a different set of vegetables, whatever I had on hand–cauliflower, yellow squash, carrots and green beens. It turned out really good, almost like take-out food! I added a little more salt and honey to my taste :)

    • says

      I would recommend using red wine. The red wine vinegar would be too acidic in my opinion. However, it’s up to you. It will still turn out fine.

  2. Alina RN says

    Hi Olga,
    I really want to make this, but I also do not have red wine or sherry. I only have red wine vinegar. Is there something I can use to substitute the wine? Thanks so much

    • Alina RN says

      I made this dish tonight and did use the wine vinegar instead of wine (but used only 1 T.) still turned out so yummy. I do have a question, about how long should it take the sauce to thicken? And how thick should it get? It took longer than I thought, and my sauce actually barely thickened….I wonder if I did something wrong?
      Thank you for keeping up with this blog it’s amazing!

      • says

        I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe, Alina.
        The sauce should take only a few minutes to thicken up. If you like it thicker, just add more cornstarch next time.

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