Monday, March 16, 2009

Chinese Chicken

I can't believe it has taken me so long to post this recipe; this creation inspired my cooking blog! Three years ago we were spending at least $30-$40 a week on Chinese take-out which is ridiculous! I did some research online and discovered a Chinese cooking technique used in stir-frying called velveting chicken. It produces perfect Chinese chicken (just like take-out)! The brown sauce took a couple tries but I finally nailed it! Honestly though, the brown sauce is something you will have to taste and adjust to your liking. We like ours to be spicy to replicate the "Chicken with Garlic Sauce" we used to order from Chinese take-out... notice I said "used to order". We no longer buy chinese take-out, it's awesome!

3-5 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 egg white
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Brown Sauce Ingredients
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Optional- 1 teaspoon Huy Fong Hot Chili Garlic Sauce (this spicy sauce adds the heat).
I had a hard time finding it in groccery stores so here is a picture ;-)

I start with the brown sauce since it can sit and wait while I'm working on the chicken. So in a sauce pan whisk together all the brown sauce ingredients; beef broth, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sugar, ginger, garlic, and the chili garlic sauce if you want it spicy. Once the sauce is whisked together and the cornstarch is mixed in turn on stove to medium heat. Stir the sauce occasionally as it cooks so the cornstarch doesn't separate. Once the sauce starts to simmer you will notice the color will change from a cloudy tan to a dark brown. It's ready! Turn the heat off and let the sauce rest, it will thicken even more as it sits.

Now let's focus on the chicken! Slice your chicken breasts into thin strips.

In a bowl or a plastic bag toss the egg white with the chicken then mix in the 3 table spoons of cornstarch. You can use more cornstarch if needed.

Put the chicken into a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes blanching it. As the water starts to boil again the water will get really foamy, that is normal.

With a slotted spoon or colander pull the chicken out of the boiling water. This is velveting chicken! Kinda cool, huh!

I don't have a fancy schmancy wok, just a large skillet. I use the same large skillet to blanch the chicken and to stir-fry the chicken. So once I pull the chicken out of the boiling water I dump the water out of the skillet and return it to the stove. Whichever you use, a skillet or a wok... it's time to stir-fry! On high heat put your chicken into the skillet and pour on the brown sauce! Stir the mixture and cook until it's hot and bubbly!

Serve over white rice for an authentic Chinese take-out experience!
享用 (Chinese for enjoy! )


  1. I can't wait to try this. I was surprised it was BEEF broth not chicken broth. Does it taste beefy??

  2. Oh this sounds so good! I love making this kind of food at home rather than ordering take-out. I've never tried 'velveting' so I can't wait to make this dish. Thanks for the post!

  3. Coleen, the brown sauce doesn't taste beefy but I am sure you could use chicken broth for a similar result!

    In my early brown sauce trials I didn't use broth at all and it was always so salty and strong so I searched for some brown sauce recipes online and saw that they added broth... that was the missing link, it's been perfect ever since!

  4. Thanks Carrie, I think I'll try the chicken broth...I've never heard of velveting chicken.

  5. Wow, I've always wondered how the velveting works but have never actually looked for an explanation (I'm lazy quite simply)

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hello.

    I found this recipe via Google and just prepared it. It was delicious. Any thoughts on using powdered Ginger as opposed to fresh?

  7. This is amazing!!! We are having it for the second time tonight. Amesome recipe, thanks for sharing!

  8. I found a great deal of helpful information above!

  9. I can't believe how easy it is to make this! Thanks so much for this amazing recipe. I did use chicken broth (didn't have beef) and it was great!

  10. What a great recipe - really enjoyed it. The sauce keeps well in the fridge to be re-heated later. My only concern is how salty it was, so I had to add more sugar to balance, so not exactly healthy, but very nice for a treat! Those watching their salt intake could use low sodium soy sauce I guess. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Looks great! How many servings does the recipe make And can I make this a day in advance?

  12. Hi Anonymous
    I use a 2 pound bag of chicken and it serves 4 people (2 adults and 2 hungry boys).
    You can definitely cut the chicken, dip it in the egg, and dip it in the chicken the day before. You can also make the brown sauce the day before.
    I would wait and do the chicken boiling and sautéing with the brown sauce until you are ready to serve it though.
    I hope this helps!

  13. Didn't have the chilli garlic paste, so went ahead and the end result wonderful!! Thank you.

  14. I can't believe I finally found this recipe again!! I made it about 2 years ago and never saved the recipe and have searched the internet for hours every couple of months trying to find it with no luck. Finally I have it again, best recipe for garlic chicken!!

  15. I love this recipe and my family loves it too! It has become my go to recipe when I'm craving chinese food. Thanks for sharing it with us:-)

  16. I don't know what we did wrong but this was terrible. Me and my husband tried this a few nights ago, following the recipe. The sauce was so thick and when we tasted it, it tasted like super salty water with a hint of beef.We couldn't eat it. Now, we did use a cheap brand (Best Choice) soy sauce but even after adding more garlic and more sugar it didn't improve the flavor. I will try this again with better soy sauce, low sodium beef broth, and maybe some other changes.