Whether you want to feed your entire family or you are just preparing a meal for yourself, chicken stir fry is always a good choice. Not only is the meal scrumptious, it is also easy to prepare. Here are guidelines on how to cut chicken breast for stir fry.
What you’ll need
It’s important to prepare everything that you’ll need before you begin cutting the chicken. This includes readying all tools that you are going to need, and removing unnecessary items on the work counter. Here are important steps to follow in the preparation stage:
- Clean the kitchen counter to reduce danger of contamination. Fill a sink with warm water, add some vinegar, and dip a rug into it before wiping the counter to disinfect it.
- Ensure tools such as the cutting board, knife, and bowl are clean before you begin cutting the chicken. If the knife isn’t sharp enough, you can sharpen it to make it easier to cut the chicken slices.
- Wash your hands and wear gloves before you handle the chicken.
- Remove the chicken from its pack and inspect it to ensure it isn’t spoilt. A cream or yellow colored chicken in normal. On the other hand, grayish color is an indication that the chicken is spoilt. If this happens, discard it, seek a refund and get another one.
- Place the chicken in the freezer bag, put it in a metal tray, and chill for 20 minutes to firm it up before you begin cutting.
Cutting the chicken for stir fry
After you’ve gathered all the needed tools, you can now begin cutting the chicken. Being able to cut chicken will increase your versatility as a cook since you’ll not rely on others to do this for you. Here’s what you need to do to get perfect strips for chicken stir fry:
- Put the chicken on the chopping board and use a knife to remove excess fat.
- Find the grain of chicken muscle. These should be easy to see as all meats including chicken has lines run through them.
- Firmly hold the chicken breast and slice against the grain. Be careful not to cut your fingers.
- If you want to use smaller slices, stack the slices and cut across them to produce julienne pieces.
- You can also dice the slices. Start off by cutting large slices then cut horizontally to produce neat cubes.
What to do if you’ve bought a whole chicken
You can still cut the chicken breast for stir fry is you have bought a whole chicken. You just need to know how to get the breast piece from the chicken. You can then refrigerate other pieces until you are ready to use them. Here’s a useful guideline.
- Begin by removing the chicken legs. This will entail cutting the skin between the leg joints with a sharp knife and popping the socket joint before completely removing it with your hands.
- Then remove the spine using a sharp knife to cut the sides of the rib.
- Finally, separate the breasts. To do this the easy way, apply pressure on the breast bone and cut into half. Put this part in a different container since it will be used immediately.
- Pack other pieces in a Ziploc freezer bag and put them in a freezer.
Clean your work surface
After cutting the chicken, clean the work surface and the used equipment. Leaving the surface unclean (or not cleaning it properly) can lead to infection as chicken quickly spreads salmonella. That’s why knowing how to clean up correctly is just as important as being able to cut chicken. This is how to quickly and thoroughly clean up your work surface:
- Wipe the fluid on the chopping board and work surface using paper towel.
- Wash the cutting board, knives, bowls, and counter top with warm soapy water.
- Put a rug in water with vinegar, and use it to wipe down the work surface and cutting board to disinfect them.
- Rinse in the cutting board and other tools in running water and leave to air dry before storing in a clean cupboard.
Using the slices to make chicken stir fry
Now that you have learnt how to cut chicken breast for stir fry, the next step is to find out how you could use the pieces to prepare delicious chicken stir fry. Well, before you begin, ensure that you have a pound of chicken cut into strips, a tablespoon of peanut oil, two minced garlic cloves, and a teaspoon of minced fresh ginger. Other important ingredients are two cups of cubed carrots, one diced red bell pepper, two cups of peas, broccoli florets, two teaspoon corn starch, a cup of chicken broth and soy sauce.
Start the cooking process by heating the oil in a large skillet. When the peanut oil starts shimmering, add ginger, and garlic and fry for a minute. Then add the chicken and cook until it turns golden brown. Make sure both sides cook properly. When ready, place them in a bowl lined with paper towel. Then cook vegetables in the same skillet. Cook the onions, pepper, and carrots for two minutes. Then add broccoli, corn, peas and cook a while longer.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing the soy sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch in a container. Then return the chicken slices to the skillet, pour sauce over it, and thoroughly mix everything. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. When ready, you can serve with rice, spaghetti, or another dish that you prefer.
Learning how to cut chicken breast for stir fry will be another feather in your cap. By and large, this is an important skill for any cook since you will be able to try so many recipes. You don’t have to eat boring meals anymore. Check out our other chicken cutting techniques.