Every once in awhile I crave this dish because it reminds me of simpler times, when cooking for me just meant hanging out in the kitchen at my dormitory at LSU with my favorite guy, a pan and a few ingredients. Jalapeno Maggi Chicken was simple out of necessity. The parents sent me off to college with a tiny rice cooker and a few bottles of sauce that I could not live (or cook) without! Maggi was one of those sauces. Whenever Jude came to visit, he always preferred for us to whip something up instead of going out. And so, I obliged 🙂
A quick run to the store for some chicken thighs or legs (dark meat is a better choice for stir-frying-stays juicy and tender, just my opinion), one or two jalapeno peppers, an onion and garlic. Nowadays, I fancy this recipe up with ginger, cornstarch and fresh basil, but back in the day, you only needed the essentials when money was tight and grocery shopping was like an episode of grocery games when Guy only gave you $10 to spend!
This dish somehow always came out perfectly . . . spicy, savory and delicious . . . it still tickles me now to remember Jude’s grin when he’d catch the first whiff of the chicken simmering in the Maggi sauce.
Here’s my recipe, hope you enjoy it!
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 2-4 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) * sometimes I get the skin on, depending who I'm cooking for!
- 3-4 tablespoons of Maggi
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 medium-large yellow onion, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1-2 fresh jalapenos
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- white pepper (freshly ground black pepper is fine)
- steam jasmine rice in rice cooker or pot
- rinse and dry chicken meat, cut thighs in half, leave legs whole but make small slits in meat
- marinade meat in 2 tbsp maggi (you can leave in fridge for 30 mins if you have time, not necessary)
- mince garlic and ginger and set aside
- slice jalapenos and onion and set aside
- mix cornstarch and remaining Maggi to make a slurry
- In pan, heat oil on high, add garlic and ginger, do not let it burn
- Add chicken and let it get a crust on high heat
- Turn the heat to med and cover to cook for 5 mins, check and turn meat. *Chicken legs will require double the cooking time
- Uncover, add jalapenos, onions and add maggi cornstarch slurry
- Continue moving contents around in pan, it's ready once the slurry thickens and the veggies are cooked to your liking (I prefer my onions and jalapenos al dente)
- Tear some fresh basil and sprinkle with pepper and serve with jasmine rice
- Sometimes, I like to kick it up even more and add red chili pepper flakes to the pan! I also make a dipping sauce to accompany the dish (maggi, fresh thai peppers and a squeeze of lime)