Spicy Taiwanese Chicken and Celery

By • March 15, 2012 • 3 Comments



Author Notes: This dish is an homage to the many nights my family has spent at our favorite Taiwanese restaurant in Flushing, Queens. None of us are huge fans of celery, but the use of Chinese celery in the dish made us believers. This is how I imagine they make it, but I can't be sure. The rendered chicken fat gives the dish a lot of flavor and the Thai chiles offer the right kind of heat. Feel free to use less if heat isn't your thing. Ventilation while cooking is recommended.

If you don't have access to Chinese celery, use the inner, more tender parts of conventional celery. Fibrous doesn't work, here. Julienne and you're good!
chairmanhu

Serves 4

  • 1 bunch Chinese celery (approx 1 lb), cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 chicken thighs (de-boned, but fat reserved), julienned
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 red Thai chiles
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  1. Excluding the celery and chicken fat, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Allow to marinate for at least a half hour but no more than 4 hours.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the chicken fat and render for 3 minutes or until no more fat renders. Discard solids and pour off rendered fat into a bowl, leaving approximately 1 tbsp in the skillet.
  3. Add the chicken to the skillet and saute, stirring constantly until the meat is almost done. Move chicken to a plate.
  4. Add another 2 tablespoons rendered fat to the emptied skillet and then add the celery. Saute for 2 minutes, but don't allow them to cook completely. Add the chicken, stir for another minute and then remove from heat.
  5. Serve over rice!

Comments (3) Questions (0)

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6 months ago Judy

The first time I cooked this I used normal celery and it was delicious. It was so easy to cook and the flavours worked together really well. The second time I added capsicum and carrot. It was also delicious. Everyone really loved both dishes. I will be cooking this again and again. 5 stars out of 5.

Monadnock

6 months ago chairmanhu

thank you!

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6 months ago Judy

Rendering the chicken fat was easy, but I had to look for pieces with enough fat on (bit hard to find here in Oz). Think I'll save and freeze fat from whole chickens for next time. Using the chicken fat certainly added to the flavour - YUM! I julienned the top ends of normal celery (the skinny bits, cutting off the leaves) and it worked very well. The chicken was incredibly tender. So so good!