My next step forward happened when Grace and Matthew Lardie created Wok Wednesdays where we cook a recipe from the book every other week. I haven't always been on-time, but we've done 11 recipes so far and I haven't missed one yet (my results are posted here). This has been fun because it forced us to try recipes I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise, and I learned more about the ideas and techniques that make a stir-fry successful. During this time I also moved from using a flat-bottom carbon steel Wok indoors on an electric stove to using a traditional round-bottom cast iron Wok on the grill as I learned that the high temperature is what really brings the Wok and the stir-fry to life. "Wok hay," as they say. Cooking over hot coals is my favorite way to produce the heat that is key to making these meals special.
The third big step happened just this week when I saw some of Grace's recipes published in the October '12 issue Fitness magazine (stolen from my wife's magazine stack). These are not your ordinary stir-fry recipes. Instead, the Wok Evangelist has adapted familiar dishes such as Beef Fajitas, Coq au Vin, or Pork Piccata to the Wok and probably made them more healthy in the process. It kinda blew my mind. I tried the Coq au Vin right away to see how such a dish would actually translate to the Wok and it was delicious. More important to me, it was fun!
|Coq au Vin Stir-Fry.|
So while I'd love to say I came up with this recipe on my own, the truth is that I just took cues from Grace's recipes to adapt my standard Chicken Marsala to the Wok. It was a lot faster than my normal method, it was more fun, and it turned out great...
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about a pound)
- Mushrooms (Shiitake this time)
- Prosciutto (we like the diced dry-aged cubes better than the super thin slices)
- Marsala Wine
- Chicken Broth
- Peanut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Pasta (Perciatelli used here)
- Cut chicken into 1/4" strips and marinate in 2 tablespoons Marsala, 2 teaspoons Olive Oil, 2 teaspoons Cornstarch, 1 tablespoon chopped Garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, & 1/4 teaspoon Pepper.
- Cook pasta.
- Add 2 tablespoons Peanut Oil to hot Wok and cook Chicken in one layer for one minute. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds or so and remove to plate.
- Add another tablespoon of Peanut Oil and cook 3 tablespoons Shallots with Prosciutto for about 30 seconds.
- Return Chicken to Wok and add 1/3 cup Marsala + 2/3 cup Chicken Broth. Stir-fry for a couple minutes to finish cooking chicken and let sauce thicken.
- Stir in 1/4 cup chopped Parsley before removing from Wok.
Chicken Broth not pictured.
|Mise en Place I.|
|Cook the pasta.|
Add a splash of Marsala to keep it moist while you stir-fry.
|Mise en Place II.|
Grilled lemon halves are easier to juice and have more flavor.
|Cook the chicken in one layer for a minute and then stir-fry for half a minute or so.|
|Remove the chicken to a plate.|
|Stir-fry the shallots and prosciutto.|
|Add the mushrooms.|
|Return the chicken to the Wok and add the wine/broth sauce.|
|Add the parsley for a final stir before removing from Wok.|
|The obligatory motorcycle or Corvette pic that has nothing to do with nothing.|
KTM Super Duke R after a 420-mile round trip.
|Stir-Fried Chicken Marsala.|
A nice squeeze of lemon finishes the dish. Time plate with pasta and enjoy...
|Stir-Fried Chicken Marsala.|