Friday, June 6, 2014

Light Stunt: Chicken Stir Fry with Spinach and Peanuts

Chicken Stir Fry with Spinach and Peanuts

Call this my first cookbook review.

A while back a college friend had given Mrs. Stuntman and I a copy of Fifty Shades of Chicken by FL Fowler. As you can imagine, I was a little skeptical. The book does contain fifty chicken preparations divided into three sections: the first using whole bird, the second using chicken parts and the third more complicated dishes. Preceding each recipe is some really corny dialog about how a chicken feels about being prepared. I'd rate it a PG-13.

So the other night, I was thumbing through the book looking for last minute dinner ideas and found this dish that looked appealing.

The Challenge

Determine whether this book is more style than substance.

The Source

Adapted from page 88


1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped fine (separate whites from greens)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
Cooked white rice, for serving


1. Finish the mise en place: Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, corn starch and honey, then set aside.

2. Sear the chicken: Put the peanut oil and sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet and place over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the chicken and fry, stirring frequently until almost cooked through, approximately five to seven minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside once the chicken has browned.

3. Flavor the stir fry: Once the chicken has been removed, add the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and scallion whites. Stir until fragrant which should take a minute or two. Add the spinach and stir until wilted, an additional minute. Deglaze the skillet with the chicken stock mixture and bring to a rapid simmer, scraping up any fond from the bottom of the skillet. Once the fluids thicken, add the chicken, peanuts and scallion greens and cook until the chicken is cooked through, approximately one to two minutes. Toss to combine then serve over rice.


If you can look past the cheesy elements of this book, it's a good book for beginning cooks. Mrs. Stuntman also enjoyed the dish which came together rather quickly; perfect for a weeknight meal.

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