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With school back in session here in North Carolina, and farmer’s markets making room for kale, pumpkins, and scuppernong grapes, the produce party we enjoy all summer long is winding down. We’re feasting on the last fantastic vine-ripened tomatoes, on tomato sandwiches, in salads with the last of the lettuce or in Bill Smith’s famous tomato and watermelon salad; some folks are canning them for winter meals, in the old-school newly-revived way. Sweet peppers (which around here come in pre-holiday reds and greens) abound, issuing an invitation to grab some eggplant and make ratatouille, or roast them in the oven to keep on hand for pizzas, sandwiches, and omelets. Here’s one more way to savor them: stir-fried in a deep skillet or wok with chunks of chicken and seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, jalapenos, and soy sauce.

Nancie’s Stir-Fried Chicken with Sweet and Hot Peppers

This recipe comes from my cookbook, 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes, published by Robert Rose, Inc., 2007.  We serve this over rice, couscous, or quinoa. You can also tuck it into a pita pocket or tortilla;  or toss it with noodles. If you don’t have sherry or Shaoxing rice wine handy, simple add an extra splash of chicken stock or water. You can use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast.

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine

12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 tablespoons chicken stock or water

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped or sliced fresh hot green peppers (jalapeno or serrano)

1 tablesppon chopped fresh ginger

1 1/4 cups thin strips of red, green, and yellow bell peppers

In a medium bowl, combine the cornstarch, water, and sherry, and stir well. Add chicken and mix gently to coat evenly with marinade. Set aside for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, salt, and sugar, and stir well.

Heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add garlic, jalapeno or serrano peppers, and fresh ginger, and toss well, until garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 15 seconds.

Add chicken mixture, quickly spreading into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed,  until edges turn white, about 1 minute. Toss well and cook for 1 minute more. Add bell pepper and toss well. Reduce heat to medium.

Stir chicken stock mixture well, and add it to the pan. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside, and peppers are tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a serving platter, and serve hot or warm.

Serves 4 with rice, grains, or noodles

Copyright Nancie McDermott, all rights reserved.

About the Author
Nancie McDermott is a food writer and cooking teacher, and the author of ten cookbooks. Her passion is researching and celebrating traditional food in its cultural context, and her beloved subjects are two seemingly different places with much in common: the cuisines of Asia and of the American South. Nancie gained her Southern kitchen wisdom as a Piedmont North Carolina native,and her Asian culinary research commenced soon after college, when she was sent to northeastern Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer.
  1. itsybitsybrianna Reply

    This recipe sounds so perfect!
    I LOVE any type of stir fry.
    Please stop by and say hi…

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      Thanks, Brianna. Hope you have some rainbow stir-fries in your near future, and that your weekend is grand in all ways.

  2. Pingback: Total Health and Fitness information and articles - Healthy Tamarind chicken with tomato & mint salad

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