Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chicken and basil stir-fry

It's August, and I'm sad to say my basil plant has gone by the wayside. It's hot...really hot...and I just couldn't coax it to go on living.

Whether you get your basil from the back porch or the grocery store, here's a great, kid-friendly weeknight meal, courtesy of my friend Emily:

Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices
1 T. cornstarch
coarse salt and ground pepper
6 t. vegetable oil
1 small onion, halved and cut into ¼-inch-thick wedges
2 bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. rice vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
1 ½ c. basil leaves, larger leaves torn in half
cooked white rice, for serving (optional)

  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch, generously season with salt and pepper
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 t. oil over medium high. Cook half the chicken, turning once, until browned, but not completely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.  Repeat with another 2 t. oil and remaining chicken. Transfer chicken to a plate.  Set aside.
  3. To skillet, add remaining 2 t. oil, onion and bell peppers, cook over medium high heat, tossing often, until beginning to brown, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add 1/3 c. water, vinegar, soy sauce and chicken to pan; cook, tossing until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove from heat.  Stir in basil leaves.  Serve immediately, over white rice, if desired.

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