So if you are a new reader you might not be fully aware of my slight obsession with eggplant. I actually wasn’t even fully aware of my eggplant obsession until I found myself earmarking every eggplant recipe in my cookbooks. Needless to say right now I am in eggplant heaven. It is totally eggplant season in California and the markets are overflowing with every possible type of eggplant you could imagine (and some you might not have ever imagined!).
For now I am retiring my dream to recreate my favorite eggplant, tomato, mozzarella pasta dish, so on to new uses for eggplant. This week’s eggplant recipe: stir-fry!
I have to say that this was another market inspired recipe (if you can call stir-fry that). The Japanese eggplant looked too amazing to pass up. They also happened to be sitting right next to a beautiful bag of baby bok choy for $2. A dish was born.
The hubby is growing a little tired of our shrimp stir-fries (we do them a lot in the house) so we opted for chicken and added some baby bello mushrooms.
One of my biggest issues with home-made chicken stir-fry is the consistency of the chicken. It usually ends up too thick, dry, sometimes chewy, and just not like it takes from a Chinese restaurant. So I thought I would out smart the chicken this time and use my chicken cutlet trick. I sliced the chicken breasts length wise and then diced them.
The hubby, aka Wok Master, did all the cooking work. I just have not mastered the wok yet, plus he really likes to cook and I seem to be taking over most of that responsibility in the house thanks to this blog so he gets the wok.
First he heated the oil in the wok until it was smoking then in went the chicken, eggplant and mushrooms. We have not yet gotten to making our own stir-fry sauce so we generally alternate between sweet chili sauce (my fav!) and Trader Joe’s General Tsao’s sauce (also a good choice). Wok Master felt that General Tsao’s sauce would work best.
After everything cooked down nicely he added the bok choy, cooked it until it wilted, and served.
So I still had the chicken problem again! It was a little dry and a little chewy so here are my thoughts:
(1) We are overcooking the chicken.
A total possibility but I do not think it is the ultimate culprit.
(2) We need to marinate the chicken before stir-frying
I think this is my problem.
Any stir-fry connoisseurs out there? Is the second really my issue and do you have some good marinade recommendations? Or am I totally just overcooking my chicken?
I can handle the truth.