Red-Roasted Chicken Stir-Fry (recipe)

Red roasted chicken stir-fry
From Natural Health Magazine: This stir-fry is inspired by the flavors of traditional Chinese red roasting, which derives its special character from the use of dark soy, Shaoxing wine and rock sugar.

This post was originally published on October 15, 2006 and was one of the first dishes I prepared for this site. A sentimental fave just right for revisiting! 🙂

This dish relies heavily on the quality of your soy sauce. For the best results use the good dark heavy stuff. I tried it once with a ‘lite’ one and it was disappointingly watery and flavorless (even with added salt). 🙁 When done right the chicken will indeed be a lovely deep rust color and imparted with a lightly sweet flavour.


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, white and dark, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 bunch scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth
1/4 cup naturally brewed soy sauce or reduced-sodium soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
2 ounces rock sugar (may substitute 1/2 cup brown sugar)
2 large carrots, julienned
2 red bell peppers, diced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and five-spice powder
2. Heat a wok coated 2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat and swirl to coat the pan.
3. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and stir-fry until cooked through, about 4 or 5 minutes.
4. Remove and set aside.
5. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok
6. When the oil shimmers, add the ginger, garlic and scallion whites.
7. Cook until soft (about 1 minute)
8. Deglaze the pan with sherry and red wine and reduce by half
9. Add the stock, soy sauce and rock sugar and stir to dissolve
10. Add the carrots and bell pepper and cook for an additional 2 minutes
11. Add the chicken and bring the sauce to a boil
12. Turn the heat down and allow the chicken to simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly (about 3 to 5 minutes).
13. Check seasonings
14. Serve the chicken over cellophane noodles and garnish with scallions