Tales from the Big Green Egg: Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
This week's Big Green Egg adventure was a return to cooking on the Egg in a giant cast-iron Dutch oven, which we'd used for the Veggie Noodle Stir-Fry a couple of months ago as well. Featuring a homemade sauce, this stir-fry was a fun and delicious way to enjoy an Asian-inspired meal, and of all the recipes from the Big Green Egg cookbook we've tried so far, Brent declared it "the best one yet!"
While the Egg preheated to 500 degrees, I prepared the sauce, a combination of minced garlic, minced ginger, rice wine, soy sauce, chicken stock, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, cornstarch (to thicken), and chili garlic sauce. Before cooking, the sauce tasted like it would be pretty spicy, but in the final product was actually fairly sweet and not spicy (and delicious!). If you like a little more heat, be sure to add extra chili garlic sauce. The cubed chicken pieces also "got happy" in a delicate marinade of more minced garlic and minced ginger, plus a couple of tablespoons of toasted sesame oil.
Next it was time to chop the broccoli and get the veggies ready. The original recipe called for julienned carrots, but we're not big carrot fans so I substituted presliced white mushrooms instead. Once that was all done, we got everything ready to go outside. These stir-fries cook quickly so you've got to be prepared!
Once the Dutch oven had preheated for 10 minutes, we added some canola oil and chicken, stirring for a minute or two before closing the lid of the Egg and letting the meat cook for about 5 more minutes.
We then added all of the vegetables and cooked for another 3 minutes, constantly stirring. Cooking over hot coals like this felt a bit like pioneer living, especially considering it was still probably 90 degrees at 8 o'clock at night here in Alabama. No air-conditioned kitchens, gas ovens, or microwaves back in those days!
The finishing touch was the homemade sauce, which thickened in a matter of minutes over the high heat. We brought it inside and got everything ready to serve! A sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds added a nice visual touch and mild crunch and really gave this dish an authentic feel. We enjoyed the stir-fry over some freshly steamed brown rice.
Our friend Chad had joined us for dinner as well, and this recipe made plenty for us all to eat our fill and even have leftovers for lunch the next day!
If you'd like to prepare this Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry, here is the original recipe:
Stir-frying is a fast, easy, and healthful way to cook and shows just how versatile the EGG can be. Though chicken is used here, you can easily make this dish with just about any meat or vegetable that you have on hand. Just remember that to ensure even cooking, try to cut all of your vegetables about the same size.
Porcelain coated grid, Dutch Oven or a wok
Set the EGG for direct cooking with the porcelain coated grid
Preheat the EGG to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup rice wine
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
1/2 cup canola oil
4 cups broccoli florets
1 cup broccoli stems, trimmed and julienned
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup drained water chestnuts, diced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Combine the sesame oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the ginger ina small bowl, add the chicken, and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes.
To make the sauce, mix the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, rice wine, soy sauce, chicken stock, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the Dutch Oven on the grid and preheat for 10 minutes.
Place the canola oil and chicken in the Dutch Oven. Close the lid of the EGG and cook for 5 to 65 minutes, until seared on all sides. Add the broccoli florets and stems, carrots, and water chestnuts and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring well. Add the sauce and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened. Remove the Dutch Oven from the EGG.
Transfer the stir-fry to a bowl and garnish with the sesame seeds.
—From Big Green Egg Cookbook/Andrews McMeel Publishing