Quick & Easy: Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

Quick & Easy: Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

Stir fry dishes are always popular – both because they are tasty and are very quick to make. This quick and easy spicy chicken stir fry is a great weekday meal option. It’s also quite healthy, especially when incorporating lots of fresh veggies. And another great thing about stir fry dishes is that you have the ultimate freedom to play with a basic recipe…change the vegetables, change the protein, change the sauce components. The recipe below is a great basic one, but variations could  be to use pork instead of chicken; substitute some of the veggies for other ones (or just add greater variety) with things like zucchini or other squash, carrots, mini corn, bamboo shoots, or even eggplant; change the sauce to be more or less spicy; add a stronger vinegar (such as distilled white) to make the sauce more tart; and finally think about adding crunch with fried wonton strips, fried ramen noodles, or fried rice noodles. So many options!

I encourage you to take liberties with this recipe, and share your results. Serve this with steamed rice, either jasmine or brown.

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry (serves 3-4 as a main course or 4-6 as one course of several)

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp (or to taste) chile-garlic paste
1 heaping Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil, divided
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1/4″ thick strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1  medium yellow onion, cut in half and sliced 1/4″ thick
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4″ strips
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/4″ strips
2 fresno (or other red chile pepper), julienned into thin strips
1 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 cup small snap peas, threads removed
1 cup small broccoli florets, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water, then rinsed in cold water to halt cooking
1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 scallions, sliced 1/4″ thick on the diagonal (both white and green parts)
1/2 cup peanuts

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside. If you haven’t already blanched the broccoli florets, do that next and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil. Add the chicken strips and cook until almost fully cooked through and lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Remove to a bowl. In the same pan, add the additional 1 Tbsp oil and add the garlic, ginger and onion slices. Cook 2 minutes until onions just start to turn translucent. Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper and fresno chiles, and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add the shitake mushrooms, snap peas and the reserved sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes, until sauce is thickened and vegetables are now tender. Return the chicken to the pan, and add the broccoli, water chestnuts, scallions and peanuts. Stir to mix, remove from heat, and serve over jasmine rice.

Bon appétit!

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