Posted by: Georgi 

Velvet Chicken

This classic Chinese dish uses a technique to keep the chicken creamy-white, when stir-frying, while the meat is still succulent and juicy instead of dry and brown as with most stir-fries. Cut baby bok-choy in three inch lengths so that it stir-fries fast. However, you can also cut regular bok-choy in two inch lengths and substitute instead.

4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


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)


To prepare this dish, place chicken bits in a medium bowl. Add I egg white, a tablespoon of cornstarch, ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons of sherry or rice wine. Stir well to avoid lumps till the mixture forms a thick paste. Whisk in a tablespoon of oil and keep this marinated mixture in the fridge for thirty minutes uncovered.

Take a small bowl and into this add broth, white pepper, ½ teaspoon cornstarch, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of rice wine. Ten minutes before removing the chicken mixture from the fridge, take a large saucepan and bring water to a rapid boil adding a tablespoon of oil. Now lower the heat and slowly add the chicken to the simmering water, making sure you continue to stir gently so that it does not form lumps. Cook chicken for a minute or so. The color should be opaque and not brown. Drain chicken in colander to remove all traces of water.

Heat a wok which is about 14 inches and flat-bottomed over high heat. To test whether the heat is right, sprinkle a drop of water in the wok. It should vaporize within the first few seconds that it comes in contact with the heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add ginger, a third of a cup of scallions, crushed red pepper and stir this with a metal spatula for about 10 seconds till you get a fragrant aroma. Now add the bok-choy with ¼ teaspoon salt for about a minute or two till crisp-tender. Add chicken and pour the broth mixture over, in a swirling movement. The chicken should be lightly coated with the sauce and stir-fried until lightly cooked for about 30 seconds and not more than a minute. Sprinkle a third cup of scallions over the cooked chicken before serving.

Tips: Juliennes of ginger are prepared by peeling fresh ginger and cutting it into very thin slices. Place about 3 of these paper thin slices of ginger. one over the other and then cut them about 1/8 inches wide, to resemble fine matchsticks.

Note: Shao xing or Shao Hsing is an Asian special rice wine that is seasoned. This can be found in any large supermarket in the Asian section or in a specialty market. Substitute dry sherry if you do not have this wine.


Per serving: 251 calories; 13 g fat ( 2 g sat , 6 g mono ); 63 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 26 g protein; 1 g fiber; 526 mg sodium; 597 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (75% daily value), Vitamin C (42% dv), Potassium (17% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat

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