Tenderizing Technique


A downside of living with Weight Watchers is the tendency to become overly obsessed with point counting. It’s kind of funny if you think about it. We had pasta last night that was half spiralized zucchini. Our focus rested on the fact that the addition of zucchini cut the point count in half. On the plus side, we really like the crunch factor that zucchini imparts.

With point count on my mind, the stir-fry I made on Tuesday had far more vegetables than meat and scaled down the amount of oil. Under ordinary circumstances, I rarely use chicken breast because I find it dry. I focus on thighs that are much more tender and don’t dry out with cooking. They also have three times the point count.

Tuesday’s stir-fry started with one skinless chicken breast. Using an old Joyce Chen technique, I sliced the breast very thinly while it was still partially frozen. I tossed it with one teaspoon of corn starch, one teaspoon of dry sherry, and a teaspoon of salt. You would be surprised how this tenderized the meat. I then set this aside while I prepped the vegetables.

Stir-fries are flexible. I used onions, red bell pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms, but broccoli, asparagus, leafy greens are also good. I also minced about a tablespoon each of ginger and garlic.


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of a neutral oil in a skillet or wok. Fry the chicken quickly, tossing it in the pan. Remove to a strainer set over a small bowl.
  2. Return the oil drained from the chicken to the pan. Add the ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for a minute or so. Add the other vegetables and keep stirring things around. Add a little chicken broth if the mixture seems too dry. Season with a splash of soy sauce. Add a bit of chili paste if you want some heat, or a dash of Thai sweet chili if you want a touch of heat and sweetness. Total free form as to seasoning.
  3. Once the vegetables are crisp tender, return the chicken to the pan and heat through. Serve over a half cup (3 points) of rice per person.

About Mary Jane

I am a retired English teacher. My husband, Frank, and I have lived on Cape Cod since 2000. I am a lifelong bread baker and writer and have been posting a blog on Falmouth Patch for the last few years. Savory Seasons has been largely devoted to recipes and food in general. I am hoping to expand my focus in this new blog.
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