We love Chinese food, but trying to replicate restaurant-style food at home doesn’t always work out. While it’s usually really good cooked at home (and probably way healthier), it’s just not the same. Until now. One of my (new-found) favorite bloggers, Kathy over at Las Vegas Food Adventures, did a post on a basic stir fry recipe that you can use as a base and adjust however you like. Let me tell you…this base stir fry recipe is spot on. My only complaint is that, when we made it, we went a little crazy with the veggies and there wasn’t enough sauce (this was totally our fault, Kathy mentioned in her post that the recipe isn’t very saucy). regardless, it was delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Serves: about 4, depending on how many veggies you add to the base recipe
– 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 3 to 4 tbsp oil for frying
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp sherry
– a few drops sesame oil
– 2 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp brown sugar
– 2 tbsp sherry
– 3 tbsp water
– 1/2 tsp cornstarch
(- for a more saucy dish, add 1/2 to 3/4 cups chicken broth and an extra 1/2 tsp cornstarch)
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
– 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Apparently, the secret to making super tender chicken without going through all the trouble they do in Chinese restaurants is pounding it out before cooking. Not to mention that pounding out food is a perfectly acceptable way to take out your frustrations!

Pound out the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap (or using a Ziplock bag) until it’s an even 1/2 inch thick. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and toss in a bowl with the soy sauce and sherry. Set aside and prepare any veggies you need to chop up.

Once all your prep work is done, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until the sugar and cornstarch have dissolved. Set aside (you won’t be using the sauce until everything is cooked).

In a large saute pan or wok, heat the oil over high heat. Once the oil and pan are very hot, add the garlic, ginger and scallions. Stir the ingredients around, they will only cook for about 30 seconds — until they become fragrant. Add the chicken to the pan and fry until the chicken begins to brown and is mostly cooked through, about three minutes. Add in any veggies or other ingredients that you’re using and continue to fry until everything is cooked and a little brown, time will vary depending on your ingredients (probably anywhere from one to five minutes).

Whisk the sauce to combine, then add it to the pan, stirring continuously. Cook until the sauce thickens, one to two minutes. Spoon over freshly cooked jasmine rice or Chinese noodles (or a combination!).

Garlic Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

The flavor of this sauce was amazing. It really did taste like something you’d get in a restaurant. Best of all, the chicken doesn’t need to marinade for a lengthy period of time — just long enough for you to prep everything else. The chicken came out very tender, and the veggies were all cooked perfectly. It’s amazing how quickly a steaming hot wok will cook things and make them taste delicious.

Like I said earlier in the post, my only complaint was the lack of sauce. There was plenty to coat all the food, but not enough to really drizzle anything extra over. I think this was partially due to the fact that it wasn’t a very sauce recipe to begin with, but mostly because we added a ton of veggies.

Check out Kathy’s original post here. Her’s looks more like chicken stir fry than ours — I should have called titled my post veggie stir fry with a side of chicken!