Master Stir-Fried Chicken: 8 Pro Tips For Perfection
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Stir-frying is a cooking technique that has its roots in Chinese cuisine. The word "stir-fry" is a translation of the Chinese term "chao," which means to stir-fry or toss food. The technique is believed to have originated in the Han Dynasty, around the 2nd century BCE, when Chinese soldiers would cook their meals over open fires. They would use a wok, a round-bottomed pan, to quickly cook small pieces of meat and vegetables. The wok's shape allowed for the food to be constantly tossed and stirred, ensuring that it cooked evenly and quickly.

As the technique spread throughout China, it became a staple in many regional cuisines. and has since spread to other parts of the world too. The combination of ingredients used can vary widely, but common ingredients include beef, chicken, shrimp, tofu, and vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots. One of the reasons stir-fries have become so popular is their simplicity. It is a quick and easy way to cook a wide variety of ingredients, and it allows for a lot of creativity in terms of flavour and presentation. Additionally, stir-frying is a healthy cooking method, as it uses very little oil and allows food to retain its natural flavours and nutrients.

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If you've ever attempted to make a chicken stir-fry at home and felt like you could have done it better, here are a few tips to keep in mind while making the perfect stir-fried chicken.

Do not use ice-cold ingredients

After adding the cold chicken, your pan will quickly cool. To avoid this, allow the meat to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. You can marinate it in soy sauce and a little wine during this time.

Marination is the key

Marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and corn flour before stir-frying. This will add flavour and help the chicken stay tender and moist.

Use a good-quality sauce

Sauces such as oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, or sweet chilli sauce give added flavour.

Ensure your wok is extremely hot

When ready to cook, remove the meat from the marinade, drain it, and pat it dry before adding it to the pan. One of the most common problems that home cooks face is not getting the pan hot enough. To make a good stir-fry, you need an extremely hot wok. A sauté pan can also be used. This is true not only with stir-fries but in general. Restaurants use powerful burners that produce extremely high heat quickly, allowing them to cook food instantly so that the meats do not spend too much time in the pan and yet achieve a beautiful sear on them.

The chicken pieces must be even 

Cut the chicken into pieces that are all the same size. This ensures that they cook at the same rate.

Cook the chicken in small batches

This will help the chicken cook evenly, get a nice sear, and prevent overcrowding the pan.

Stir-fry the veggies, right?

Add vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and broccoli to the stir-fry for added flavour and nutrition. Stir-fry the vegetables separately or add them to the chicken.

When do you know your chicken is done?

Cook the chicken until it's no longer pink in the centre and its internal temperature reaches at least 165 °F (74 °C) to ensure that it's fully cooked.

Serve the stir-fried chicken immediately, while it's still hot and crispy.