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
Chinese celery (approx 1 lb), cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
chicken thighs (de-boned, but fat reserved), julienned
cloves garlic, minced
red Thai chiles
Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
In This Recipe
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.
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.
Add the chicken to the skillet and saute, stirring constantly until the meat is almost done. Move chicken to a plate.
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.