Today’s post is inspired by a dish from Gwyneth Paltrow’s first cookbook entitled My Father’s Daughter. Have you read any of her cookbooks? She’s written three, and in my opinion, the first is her best. There are a ton of great recipes in there, and I’ve made a lot of them over the past few years.
GP calls this recipe “Best Stir Fried Chicken” and it is one I make all the time. It’s great to whip up for company, for comfort food, or just for something quick. It’s spicy, garlicky, sweet and completely addictive. Plus the cooking time is minimal after you’ve done a quick prep of chopping garlic and ginger (in the food processor!), slicing some scallions, tossing the chicken in a bit of corn starch, and mixing brown sugar with rice vinegar for the incredibly yummy sauce. In less than 20 minutes you’re eating a stellar dinner that’s (bonus!) GP approved.
I love to serve this chicken with my Coconut Sweet Rice. You can use any rice here – Jasmine is excellent; I prefer purple rice for the antioxidants. The subtle sweetness from the coconut milk and a bit of brown sugar is a perfect match for spicy food.
I’ve never met her, but a few years ago I was being interviewed for goop.com – GP’s lifestyle blog – when they were writing a feature on culinary schools. The interviewer was watching me assemble a sugar flower for the top of my wedding cake and said “Those are my boss’ favorite flower.” I held my breath. Then she said “Gwyneth absolutely LOVES Peonies.”
So you see G and I have, like, tons in common. Our love of peonies. And this chicken.
I make this with two chicken breasts to serve 2-3 people; 3 breasts will serve 4 generously. You can keep the other ingredient amounts the same; it will be slightly less saucy, but still amazing.
For the rice, you’ll want 2 cups of liquid total. You can do all coconut milk, or a mix of coconut milk and water. This recipe yields enough rice to serve 4.
Also, it’s not pictured, but for me a generous squirt of Sriracha makes this dish complete.
2. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the butter and brown sugar. Stir for about 10 seconds until butter melts and mixes with the sugar.
3. Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter/sugar mixture. Stir for about 20 seconds.
4. Shake can of coconut milk before opening it, then add to a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Add water to the can and swirl it around, and pour into measuring cup up to the 2 cup mark.
5. Add coconut milk to the rice and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, until rice has absorbed the liquid. Off the heat leave covered for about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
6. For the Chicken:
7. Toss the chicken with the corn starch along with a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
8. Heat the oil in a large non stick skillet over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions and crushed red pepper and stir fry for about 1 minute.
9. Add the chicken and stir fry for about 5-7 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink.
10. Combine the brown sugar with the rice wine vinegar, then add to the skillet with a few grinds of black pepper. Boil on high for 3 minutes, then add the soy sauce. Cook for 30 seconds longer, then serve garnished with cilantro over Coconut Sweet Rice.
* 1 3/4 Cup Purple Rice
* 1 Tbsp Butter
* 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
* 1 Can Coconut Milk - I used Red Rooster Brand and it was 398mL
* For the Chicken
* 2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into small cubes
* 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
* 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
* 1/4 Cup Minced Garlic
* 1/4 Cup Minced Ginger
* 1/2 Cup Minced Scallions
* Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
* 1/2 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
* 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
* 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
* Cilantro, for serving