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Restaurant-Quality Dining: Chinese Garlic Chicken Recipe Made Simple

If you're looking for a delicious and easy weeknight meal, Chinese garlic chicken is a great option. This dish is packed with flavour and can be made quickly with a few essential ingredients. Whether you're an experienced cook or a beginner, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends.

A wok sizzles with diced chicken, garlic, and green onions in a savory soy sauce. A sprinkle of sesame seeds adds the finishing touch

To make Chinese garlic chicken, you'll need chicken, garlic, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil. You can also add other vegetables and spices to customize the dish to your liking. The preparation process is simple, and you can have this meal on the table in no time. Serve it with rice or noodles for a complete meal that everyone will love.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese garlic chicken is a delicious and easy weeknight meal that can be made quickly with a few essential ingredients.
  • You can customize the dish with your favourite vegetables and spices to make it your own.
  • Serve Chinese garlic chicken with rice or noodles for a complete meal that everyone will enjoy.

Essential Ingredients

A sizzling wok with diced chicken, garlic, and green onions stir-frying in a savory soy sauce, creating a tantalizing aroma

When it comes to making Chinese garlic chicken, there are a few essential ingredients you'll need to have on hand. In this section, we'll take a look at the key components that make up this delicious dish.

Chicken Selection

The first and most important ingredient is, of course, the chicken. You can use either chicken breast or chicken thighs for this recipe, depending on your preference. Chicken breast tends to be leaner and less fatty, while chicken thighs are more tender and juicy. Either option will work well in this recipe.

If you're looking to switch things up, you could also try using seafood instead of chicken. Shrimp or scallops would be a great choice, as they pair well with the garlic sauce and other ingredients.

Garlic Sauce Components

The garlic sauce is what really makes this dish stand out. To make the sauce, you'll need garlic (fresh is best), soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, rice vinegar, and sugar. You'll also need cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

When it comes to the soy sauce, we recommend using a low-sodium variety if possible. This will help keep the dish from becoming too salty. If you don't have rice vinegar on hand, you could substitute with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Vegetable Varieties

To add some colour and nutrition to the dish, we recommend using a variety of vegetables. Green onions, ginger, and scallions are all great options. You could also add some sliced bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli for some extra crunch.

If you're looking to add some seafood to the dish, you could also try adding some snow peas or bok choy. Shrimp or scallops would also pair well with these vegetables.

That's it for the essential ingredients! In the next section, we'll take a look at the steps involved in making this delicious Chinese garlic chicken recipe.

Preparation Basics

A wok sizzles with diced chicken, garlic, and ginger in a fragrant soy sauce. Chopped green onions and red chili peppers wait nearby

Before you can start cooking your Chinese garlic chicken, you need to prepare the ingredients properly. Here are the basic steps to follow:

Marinating the Chicken

Marinating the chicken is an essential step in making Chinese garlic chicken. It helps to infuse the chicken with flavour and makes it more tender. To marinate the chicken, you will need to cut it into small pieces and then mix it with a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch slurry. You can also use seafood such as shrimp or scallops to make this dish.

Creating the Sauce

The sauce is what gives Chinese garlic chicken its distinctive flavour. To make the sauce, you will need to mix together minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, and cornstarch until smooth. You can adjust the amount of garlic and honey to suit your taste.

Stir-Frying Techniques

Stir-frying is a quick and easy way to cook Chinese garlic chicken. To stir-fry, you will need a wok or a large skillet. Heat the wok or skillet over medium-high heat and add some vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and garlic mixture to the pan and stir-fry, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

It is important to use a high heat when stir-frying to ensure that the chicken cooks quickly and evenly. You should also avoid overcrowding the pan, as this can cause the chicken to steam rather than fry.

Preparing Chinese garlic chicken is a straightforward process that requires a few basic techniques. With a little practice, you can create a delicious and authentic Chinese dish that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Serving Suggestions

A plate of Chinese garlic chicken with steamed broccoli and white rice, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, arranged on a wooden table

Accompaniments

Chinese garlic chicken is a delicious and flavourful dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. The most common accompaniment for this dish is steamed white rice, which absorbs the rich garlic sauce and complements the flavours of the chicken. However, you can also serve this dish with cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.

If you want to add some greens to your meal, you can serve Chinese garlic chicken with stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, snow peas, or bok choy. These vegetables add a fresh and crunchy texture to the dish and provide some extra nutrients to your meal.

For a more filling meal, you can also serve Chinese garlic chicken with noodles. You can use egg noodles, rice noodles or even udon noodles. The noodles will soak up the garlic sauce and add some extra texture to your meal.

If you are a seafood lover, you can also add seafood to your Chinese garlic chicken dish. You can use prawns or scallops to add some extra protein and flavour to your meal. Simply cook the seafood separately and add it to the garlic sauce before serving.

Garnishing Tips

To make your Chinese garlic chicken dish look more attractive and appetising, you can garnish it with some toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions. The sesame seeds add a nutty flavour and crunchy texture to the dish, while the green onions add some freshness and colour.

To toast the sesame seeds, simply heat a dry pan over medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Stir the seeds constantly until they turn golden brown and fragrant. Be careful not to burn them.

To chop the green onions, simply slice them thinly on a diagonal angle. You can use both the white and green parts of the onion for garnishing.

Chinese garlic chicken is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments and garnishes. Experiment with different combinations to find your favourite way of serving this delicious dish.

Nutritional Information

A plate of Chinese garlic chicken with a side of steamed vegetables, accompanied by a small bowl of white rice

If you're conscious about the nutritional value of your meals, you might be wondering about the nutritional information of Chinese garlic chicken. Here's a breakdown of the nutrition facts for a typical serving size of 1 cup (195g) of Chinese garlic chicken:

  • Calories: 280
  • Total Fat: 17g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.6g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11g
  • Cholesterol: 44mg
  • Sodium: 580mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.3g
  • Sugars: 5.1g
  • Protein: 18g

As you can see, Chinese garlic chicken is a good source of protein, but it also contains a fair amount of fat and sodium. If you're watching your calorie intake, you might want to consider reducing your portion size or pairing it with a healthier side dish, such as steamed vegetables or brown rice.

Seafood can be a great addition to this recipe, particularly shrimp or scallops. These seafood options are low in fat and calories and can add a unique flavor to the dish. If you're looking to add seafood to your Chinese garlic chicken, try substituting the chicken with shrimp or scallops.

Storage and Leftovers

A sizzling wok stir-frying chunks of garlic-infused chicken, surrounded by colorful bowls of chopped vegetables and bottles of soy sauce and rice wine

Once you've made your delicious Chinese garlic chicken, you may have some leftovers that you want to store for later. The good news is that this dish stores well and can be reheated easily.

To store your leftovers, simply place them in an airtight container and refrigerate them. They will keep for up to 3-4 days. If you want to keep them for longer, you can freeze them for up to 2-3 months.

When reheating your leftovers, you can either microwave them or reheat them in a pan. If you're microwaving them, make sure to cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap to prevent splatters. If you're reheating them in a pan, add a little bit of oil to the pan and heat the chicken on medium heat until it's heated through.

If you want to switch things up, you can also try adding some seafood to your Chinese garlic chicken recipe. Shrimp or prawns work well in this dish and add a delicious flavour. Simply add them to the pan with the chicken and cook until they're pink and cooked through.

Storing and reheating your Chinese garlic chicken is simple and easy. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container and follow the instructions for reheating.

Customisation and Substitutes

A wok sizzles with diced chicken, garlic, and vegetables in a savory sauce. A chef adds a personal touch, customizing the dish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a drizzle of soy sauce

Dietary Adjustments

If you have specific dietary requirements, you can easily adjust the recipe to suit your needs. For a gluten-free version, you can substitute the soy sauce with coconut aminos. Coconut aminos are a great alternative to soy sauce, as they have a similar taste but are gluten-free. You can also use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for a healthier option.

If you're looking to reduce your sodium intake, you can use low-sodium soy sauce or even substitute it with dark soy sauce, which has a more intense flavour and requires less quantity. Light soy sauce can also be used if you prefer a milder taste.

For those who are allergic to garlic, you can still enjoy this dish by using garlic-infused oil or omitting the garlic altogether.

Alternative Ingredients

If you want to switch things up, you can also add seafood to the recipe. Shrimp or prawns are great options that complement the garlic chicken perfectly. Simply cook the seafood separately and add it to the stir-fry at the end. Alternatively, you can replace the chicken with seafood entirely. Scallops, squid, or even fish fillets can be used for a delicious seafood version of this recipe.

You can also experiment with different vegetables to add more variety to the dish. Bok choy, broccoli, and snow peas are great options that add crunch and flavour to the stir-fry.

Overall, this recipe is highly customisable, and you can adjust it to your liking. Whether you have specific dietary requirements or simply want to switch things up, there are plenty of options available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you whip up a simple Chinese garlic chicken dish at home?

Making a Chinese garlic chicken dish at home is quite easy. All you need are some boneless chicken pieces, garlic, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Cut the chicken into small pieces and marinate them in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, garlic, and cornstarch. Then, stir-fry the chicken in a wok with some sesame oil until it is cooked through. Serve the chicken with steamed rice and some stir-fried vegetables.

What's the secret to that incredibly tender chicken in Chinese cuisine?

The secret to tender chicken in Chinese cuisine is called "velveting." This is a technique where you marinate the chicken in a mixture of cornstarch, egg whites, and rice wine vinegar. This coating helps to keep the chicken moist and tender during cooking.

Could you suggest a top-notch recipe for Chinese garlic chicken?

Sure! Here's a recipe that you can try at home:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Steamed rice, for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  2. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the chicken to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Serve the chicken over steamed rice.

What ingredients go into making a classic Chinese garlic sauce?

A classic Chinese garlic sauce typically includes soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and sugar. Some recipes may also include hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, or sesame oil.

What's the trick to keeping Chinese chicken dishes so succulent?

The trick to keeping Chinese chicken dishes succulent is to marinate the chicken in a mixture of cornstarch, egg whites, and rice wine vinegar. This coating helps to keep the chicken moist and tender during cooking.

Are there any quick Chinese chicken recipes that require minimal ingredients?

Yes, there are many quick Chinese chicken recipes that require minimal ingredients. For example, you can make a simple stir-fry with chicken, broccoli, and carrots. Just stir-fry the chicken in a wok with some vegetable oil, then add the vegetables and stir-fry until they are cooked through. Season with soy sauce and serve over rice. You can also add seafood like prawns or scallops to the stir-fry to make it more flavourful.