Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thai Chicken and Peppers

This dish is as much about color as it is about taste. Peppers and hot chiles provide one of the widest ranges of both bright and dark hues of any vegetable family—and their flavor is unmistakably earthy, whether mild or spicy.

Colorful foods are not only pretty to look at, but they’re high in nutrition as well. Even if you don’t like color on your walls, you can enjoy it on your plate.

Stir-Fry Ingredients
I used chicken thighs in this recipe to get that little extra dark-meat juiciness, but you can use chicken breast as well—just reduce stir-frying time by about 3 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces.

The Thai-style sauce—with fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar—brings the dish together with savory, bold flavors and gives the chicken and vegetables a glossy finish with a little cornstarch-water slurry.

Remember: Small pieces are key in stir-fry, and having everything prepared before turning on the heat is a must. Here, I cut both the chicken and peppers into short strips, and thinly sliced the ginger and garlic instead of chopping them.

Slice the peppers very thinly
Thinly slice the Thai chiles 
Slice garlic in half lengthwise, thinly slice crosswise 
Same for the ginger
Cut larger scallion bulbs in half lengthwise
Have ingredients ready to stir-fry

Serves 4


For the Sauce
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp chile garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tsp water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
For the Chicken and Peppers
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into thin 1-inch strips
  • 4 tbsp peanut oil, divided
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, cut into very thin 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into very thin 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 medium orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into very thin 1-inch strips
  • 4 Thai chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 scallions, white parts cut into 1-inch pieces, green parts thinly sliced and set aside
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1-1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, then very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 oz Thai rice noodles, cooked
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (with thin stems)
Chicken Ready for Cornstarch 
Scallions, Garlic, and Ginger

For the Sauce
  1. Whisk the first 6 ingredients (through sesame oil) in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves. Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  2. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the fish sauce mixture and set aside. (Re-whisk before using.)
Sauce Mixture 
Sauce with Cornstarch Slurry
For the Chicken and Peppers
  1. Place the cornstarch in a heavy, sealable plastic bag. Dry the chicken of any excess moisture and add to the bag with the cornstarch. Shake well to coat.
  2. Heat a wok (or large, deep skillet) over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until just cooked through, 8-9 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the wok.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok and add all peppers and chiles. Stir-fry 3 minutes.
  4. Add the white parts of the scallions, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  5. Return the chicken to the wok and add the cooked rice noodles. Re-whisk the sauce and add to the wok, stirring well to incorporate. Cook until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
Chicken Beginning to Cook
Stir-Fried Chicken
Peppers and Chiles Beginning to Cook 
Chicken, Noodles, and Sauce Added
Divide among 4 plates or shallow bowls and garnish with the green parts of the scallions.

Thai Chicken and Peppers

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