Crispy Chicken Stir Fry

Story by Natalie
Crispy Chicken Stir Fry with Blistered Green Beans
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Crispy Chicken Stir-Fry with Blistered Green Beans and Garlicky Sauce

Quick, easy and delicious, this crispy chicken stir-fry is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is crisped up in simmering oil, then joined by blistered green beans and a garlicky sauce. The end result is a dish that’s better (and faster) than takeout!

A protein and at least one vegetable—the formulaic requirements of every weeknight dinner. So, we’re obsessed with any kind of stir-fry because they so easily encompass both requirements. 

The phrase “stir-fry” is really just an umbrella term hovering over any dish that is cooked at a very high heat (the “fry") and thus requires a lot of stirring (to prevent burning). A stir-fry is whatever you make it. Your options for add-ins are endless! We’ll explore that more later, but first let’s start with this particular, easy-to-love combo of crispy chicken and blistered green beans.  

Crispy Chicken Stir Fry with Blistered Green Beans
Crispy Chicken Stir Fry with Blistered Green Beans

How Do You Make a Chicken Stir-Fry?

Stir-fries are forgiving, but there is one hard and fast rule: cook the chicken separately from the vegetables. This allows your meat to be cooked perfectly, without overcooking the veggies. An easy chicken stir-fry is just a few quick steps away. Let’s get started:

  1. Start with medium heat: because we are working with cubed chicken, you’ll need to start on medium heat instead of high to be sure you don’t end up with dry chicken.
  2. Heat the pan before you add anything else: once your pan is warm add in sesame oil, and let it warm up until the oil is glistening.
  3. Work in small batches! It’s really important not to crowd the pan or the chicken will give off too much liquid too fast and you won’t get your good brown edges! Add some of the chicken to the hot oil, and stir constantly to ensure an even browning. Once it is crispy and cooked through, remove the chicken and continue with the next batch until all of the chicken is crispy and cooked.
  4. Crank the heat! Once chicken is done, turn the heat up super high! You want the pan almost smoking. Obviously, this is not the moment to have little ones near by—super-hot oil is serious business, so work carefully. Add a little more oil to the pan, and once it’s hot, carefully add the green beans. Move them around the high heat for a couple of minutes just until they start to blister—watch the pan closely to ensure that the green beans blister, not burn.
  5. Toss it all together! Once the green beans are done, toss the chicken back into the pan along with the simple, homemade stir-fry sauce, quickly toss everything together and dinner is done!
Crispy Chicken Stir Fry with Blistered Green Beans

How Do You Cook Crispy Chicken?

Cornstarch and high heat mean super-crispy chicken every time. Before cooking, toss the chicken in cornstarch until completely coated. When the cornstarch hits the hot oil, something magic happens and your chicken with gorgeously golden, crispy edges.

What Goes into a Stir-Fry?

Any great stir-fry is composed of three elements:

  1. Protein: We use chicken (specifically chicken breast) for this recipe, but you can use virtually any protein you want. Steak and tofu both are great options!
  2. Vegetables: Blistered green beans are pretty high on our favorites list, but cabbage, asparagus or red bell pepper make great alternatives.
  3. Sauce: as simple as a pour of soy sauce and sesame oil, or as complex as a ten-ingredient swirl of aromatics, oils and acids. Sweet and sticky, or rich and tangy. The sky’s the limit! Here, we opted for a simple, classic mix of garlic, ginger, soy sauce (or tamari) and chili paste. It’s tangy, vibrant, and we’re in love.
Crispy Chicken Stir Fry with Blistered Green Beans

What Can I Serve With This Stir-Fry?

The beauty of this stir-fry is that it is a stand-alone dish. A little prep, a quick sauté and you’re done. Enjoy this chicken and green bean stir-fry on its own, or serve it over a bowl of steamed brown or white rice.

Crispy Chicken Stir Fry with Blistered Green Beans

Love Takeout? Try These DIY Alternatives!

Crispy Chicken Stir Fry

Serves 4

Ingredients

3/4 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 3" pieces
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 2" cubes
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp ground fresh chili paste (or 1 tsp red pepper flakes)
1/4 tsp salt
sesame seeds for finishing
cilantro for finishing

Method

  1. In a medium sized bowl toss chicken breast in cornstarch.
  2. In a large skillet (or wok) heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil over medium heat until glistening. Working in small batches, add in chicken and allow to crisp up. Turn often until all sides are golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Repeat steps until all chicken is cooked, adding more oil only if necessary.
  3. Once chicken is cooked add 2 tbsp of sesame oil to the pan and bring to high heat. The oil should be glistening and almost smoking. Add in green beans stirring constantly until green beans are blistered (little dark spots) and green beans are just barely tender. Remove green beans from pan and set aside.
  4. Allow skillet to cool down slightly. Over medium/low heat stir in garlic cloves, ginger, soy sauce and chili paste and salt. Stir until all ingredients are combine and garlic is fragrant. Add chicken and green beans back to the pan stirring until coated in marinade. Top with sesame seeds and cilantro and serve immediately.