Velvet Chicken with Baby Bok Choy
Velvet chicken is a classic Chinese cooking technique that keeps the meat juicy and succulent, and the chicken stays creamy-white rather than getting browned as in most stir-fries. Baby bok choy is about 3 inches in length and stir-fries quickly. If you can’t find it, use regular bok choy cut into 2-inch segments.
Yield: 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 45
Total Time: 55
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick bite-size slices
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine (see Note) or dry sherry, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil, divided
- 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 6 cups water
- 2/3 cup chopped scallions, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely julienned or minced fresh ginger (see Tip)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 cups trimmed and halved baby bok choy (about 12 ounces)
- Combine chicken, egg white, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons rice wine (or sherry) and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir until the cornstarch is totally dissolved and no clumps are visible. Add 1 tablespoon oil and stir to combine. Marinate in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine broth, soy sauce, white pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons rice wine in a small bowl.
- When the chicken has 10 minutes to go, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Reduce the heat to low. Carefully add the chicken to the barely simmering water; gently stir so it doesn’t clump together. Cook just until opaque but not cooked through, about 1 minute. Carefully drain the chicken in a colander and shake to remove excess water.
- Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1/3 cup scallions, ginger and crushed red pepper; using a metal spatula, stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add bok choy and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir-fry until the bok choy is almost crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken. Stir the broth mixture again, swirl it into the wok and stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through and lightly coated with sauce, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/3 cup scallions.
Tips & Notes
- Note: Shao Hsing (or Shao xing) is a seasoned rice wine. It is available at most Asian specialty markets and in the Asian section of some larger supermarkets. If unavailable, dry sherry is the best substitute.
- Tip: To finely julienne ginger, cut peeled fresh ginger into paper-thin slices, make a stack of 3 slices at a time, then cut into fine matchsticks (about 1/8 inch wide).
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (75% daily value), Vitamin C (42% dv), Potassium (17% dv).
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat