Stir fry has become a staple in many people’s diets.
Chicken is the way to go when it comes to a hearty but healthy stir fry.
It is easy to make and can pair well with different kinds of vegetables and sauce.
With the information in this article about how to choose chicken for stir fry and what cut of chicken is best in this recipe, you can make a quick and delicious meal for week-day dinners without any fuss.
How to choose chicken for stir fry?
While chicken is traditionally baked, roasted, or deep-fried in Western cuisine and in the American diet, this ingredient has become more popular in Asian recipes like stir fry.
So how to choose chicken for stir fry?
Let’s check it out!
1. Use fresh chicken instead of frozen chicken
Fresh chicken makes a difference in your dish.
When using frozen chicken in your stir fry, chances are it will produce a lot of water and make not only the meat but also ingredients like vegetables soaky, spongy, and lose their crunchy texture.
You can find the fresh chicken in most local butcher shops.
Otherwise, just opt for air-chilled chicken in the meat section of many grocery stores or supermarkets because this kind of chicken contains fewer bacteria and water thanks to the air-chilling process.
2. Choose boneless, skinless cut-up chicken
Chicken in a stir fry should be used without the bones and skin so that it will cook quicker.
Moreover, since the stir-frying recipe often calls for some kind of olive to cook the ingredients, there is no need for the chicken skin.
If you use chicken skin in the recipe, your dish might end up too greasy for you.
3. Slice chicken into small pieces and marinate with a kind of acid to tenderize the meat
If a roasting or baking recipe can call for a whole cut of chicken, stir fry uses chunks or slices of chicken instead.
This makes the meat be cooked evenly and quickly.
Another tip is to marinate chicken with a kind of acid like vinegar, buttermilk, or lemon juice because it will help tenderize the meat.
4. Use a marinade to prevent the chicken from drying out
One of the problems when stir-frying chicken is that people often end up with dried and rubbery chicken.
So just use a marinate from a kind of sauce like oyster sauce or soy sauce to keep the meat juicier while cooking.
Best chicken for stir fry
There are not many cuts of chicken sold on the market because of its small size.
Therefore, most chicken cuts are used interchangeably in most recipes.
However, for the best chicken stir fry, here are our suggestions:
1. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Chicken breast is one of the sought-after cuts of chicken and even cuts of meat in general.
It is the leanest cut and most tender cut if properly cooked.
This is why chicken breast is also the most expensive cut among other cuts of chicken like chicken thighs, drumsticks, or wings.
The good news is that most chicken breast sold on the market is without the bones and skin.
Therefore, you can easily find a good cut of boneless, skinless chicken in most local butcher shops or supermarkets.
2. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
If you expect another cut that is more affordable and flavorful, chicken thighs will be a good choice.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are great for stir-frying too or any other recipe to replace chicken breast.
However, chicken thighs are often considered less healthy than white meat chicken like chicken breast due to the higher fat content.
Therefore, you should limit your portion of chicken thighs to avoid some risks of heart disease.
The bottom line
Making stir fry the easy way is just a matter of picking out the best of chicken.
The good news is that both white meat chicken and dark meat chicken can work in this recipe.
Chicken breast and chicken thighs, the two meatiest cuts when sold without the bones and skin are ideal in a stir fry.
Find out what cut of chicken you prefer for stir fry by trying both.
You’ll be glad you did!