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!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry with Thai Coconut Sauce

I never tire of stir-fry—making it or eating it. There aren’t many other dishes as flavorful, light, and nutritious that come together so quickly. And remember the stir-fry motto: Have all the ingredients prepared and ready to go before you turn on the heat.

The sauce in this recipe is Thai-style but without the fire of some of this cuisine’s noted dishes. Here, I wanted a bit of sweetness to balance the heat of the chiles, and nothing says sweet in Thai cooking like coconut milk. Rich and creamy, it tones down the heat while upping the flavor combination of the entire sauce. 

I made easy Coconut and Scallion Rice to complement the flavors and serve as the base of the stir-fry. Simple steamed white rice or rice noodles will work too. (See the rice recipe for info on using canned coconut milk.)

Serves 4

For the Sauce
  • 1-1/2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Thai chiles, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
For the Chicken
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin 2-inch strips
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil, divided
  • 8-9 oz broccoli florets (about 3 generous cups)

  • 3/4 cup thin, diagonally sliced peeled carrot
  • 2 cups cooked Coconut and Scallion Rice (or cooked white rice)
  • coarsely chopped cilantro and unsalted peanuts, for garnish 
Prepared Chicken 
Diagonally Sliced Carrots
For the Sauce
  1. Whisk water and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Set aside and re-whisk just before using.
  2. Combine the coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice in a small bowl.
  3. Heat a wok over medium heat and add the sesame oil. Add the chiles, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry 1 minute.
  4. Add the coconut milk mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook 3 minutes.
  5. Re-whisk the cornstarch slurry and stir into the wok. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the wok.
Stir-Fried Chile Mixture 
Sauce Beginning to Cook
Thai Coconut Sauce
For the Chicken
  1. Place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss to combine.
  2. Re-heat the wok over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until tender and just cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and discard any remaining liquid from the wok.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok. Add the broccoli and carrot and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the wok. Re-whisk the sauce and stir into the chicken mixture. Stir until hot throughout, 1-2 minutes.
Chicken Beginning to Cook
Stir-Fried Chicken 
Broccoli and Carrot Beginning to Cook
Stir-Fried Broccoli and Carrot
Chicken and Sauce Stirred In

Divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls. Divide the stir-fry and sauce on top and garnish with cilantro and peanuts. Serve right away.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry with Thai Coconut Sauce

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