by Susan Hanna

This stir-fry from Winner Winner Chicken Dinner cooks in less than 15 minutes, once you have assembled your ingredients. Brown the chicken and set aside and then cook the vegetables. Quickly stir fry the garlic and pepper flakes, return the chicken to the pan, add the sauce and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the ingredients. Add fresh basil and serve. Cook’s note: You could also make this with beef, pork or even shrimp. Adjust the cooking time accordingly. You can also use whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce. I use Marukan rice vinegar. Make sure the hot pepper flakes do not contain colour. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. (75 ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. (60 ml) unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp. (60 ml) neutral oil, plus more as needed, divided
  • 1 1/2 lb. (680 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, cut into 2-in. (5-cm) pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) salt, divided
  • 12 oz. (340 g) green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into 1/2-in. (1.27-cm) thick strips (I used a red and a yellow pepper)
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.25 ml) red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups (500 ml) fresh basil
  • Cooked rice, for serving, optional

Preparation:

  1. To make the sauce: Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, stock and cornstarch in a small bowl or medium measuring cup; set aside, keeping the whisk close by.
  2. To make the stir-fry: Place a large skillet or wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil and heat until shimmering, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt. Cook, tossing frequently, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil to the pan and as soon as the oil is shimmering — which may be immediately — add the green beans and bell peppers. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt and cook, tossing frequently, until just tender and charred in spots, about 4 minutes.
  4. If at any point the oil cooks off or the mixture begins to burn, reduce heat to medium-high (but not lower). You can also add a small additional glug of oil.
  5. Push the vegetables to the edges of the pan and add the garlic and pepper flakes to the open space in the middle. Cook, keeping them contained in the centre space, but moving them around to prevent burning for about 20 seconds.
  6. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet or wok and toss everything together once. Give the sauce you made a whisk (the cornstarch settles to the bottom otherwise) and add it to the pan. Cook, tossing constantly, until the sauce thickens and coats all the ingredients, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the heat, add the basil, and serve immediately over rice, if desired.

From Winner Winner Chicken Dinner by Stacie Billis