Chicken Fricassee Stir-Fry with Asparagus


This quick-cooking recipe from cookbook author Grace Young showcases the technique for a "simple" stir-fry, where ingredients are continually added to the wok, layering flavor as each cooks perfectly. "Once you understand the basics of stir-frying, you don't have to limit yourself," Young says. Here, tender asparagus joins carrots and chicken in a speedy stir-fry seasoned with white wine instead of rice wine, and cream enriches the sauce.

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) dry white wine, divided

  • 5 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon grapeseed or safflower oil, divided

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 1 (12-ounce) bunch asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 3 medium scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Combine chicken, garlic, 1 tablespoon wine, 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Add 1 teaspoon oil, and toss until chicken is lightly coated; set aside. Whisk together broth, cream, remaining 2 tablespoons wine, and remaining 4 teaspoons cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch is completely dissolved; set aside.

  2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high until a drop of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon oil. Add chicken; spread in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, 1 minute, until chicken begins to sear. Continue cooking, making quick scooping motions with a metal spatula, constantly tossing and tumbling (stir-frying) the chicken until it is no longer pink but not cooked through, about 1 minute.

  3. Swirl remaining 1 tablespoon oil into wok. Add asparagus, carrots, thyme sprigs, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stir-frying constantly, until asparagus turns bright green, 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds. Whisk broth mixture, and pour into wok; cook, stir-frying constantly, until well combined, about 30 seconds. Cover wok with a baking sheet, and cook until sauce comes to a full boil and starts to thicken, about 1 minute. Uncover; add scallions and parsley. Cook, stir-frying constantly, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Discard thyme sprigs. Season with salt to taste.

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