This tasty Asian sauce is quite adaptable to any stir-fry. Go ahead and double it if desired so that you have enough for an additional stir-fry in the future. The choice of vegetables is also a personal preference, but try to keep the total amounts about the same.
Prep all ingredients before you start the stir-fry. We substituted hatch chile peppers for the green bell because it was a new item that we had never tried before. They look very similar to long hots, which are quite spicy. The package indicated they had a medium heat level—we thought they were milder than that. They also take a bit longer than the red bell pepper to soften in the wok.
6-8 scallions, trimmed with whites cut into 1″ lengths, greens sliced thin for garnish
4 garlic scape stems cut into 1/2″lengths; or 3 garlic cloves sliced thin
1 each red and green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1″ pieces
I lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ chunks
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup white rice, cooked according to package directions
Heat a large wok on high. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil. When smoking, add scallions and garlic stirring constantly for 2 minutes, then place into a large bowl.
Add 1 more tablespoon to wok and toss in bell pepper pieces, stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften. Put in bowl with scallions.
Put final tablespoon peanut oil into wok and then add chicken. Let chicken sit in hot wok for one full minute before you start to flip; then stir until the pink disappears. Add chicken to bowl with vegetables.
Pour reserved black bean sauce into wok, when hot dump all of the bowl ingredients into wok and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Serve steamed rice on each dinner plate topped with stir-fry. Garnish with chopped basil and scallion greens.
This Coconut Milk Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Bell Peppers recipe is a wonderful fusion of Thai flavors. It’s the perfect bowl of warming comfort food brimming with color and flavor. Made with chicken thighs, spices, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and creamy coconut milk, it’s cozy, creamy, perfectly spiced and filled with vegetables. Finish each bowl off with steamed rice, herbs, and plenty of lime.
The spice mix on the chicken is key to the flavor. It’s a mix of turmeric, ginger, cumin and black pepper. After tossing the chicken with the spices, if you have the opportunity, let the chicken get happy overnight to take on even more flavor. You don’t have to do this, but even a few hours in the fridge adds more depth to the dish.
When everything is in, just simmer the chicken in the pot and let it slowly cook in the coconut milk. It doesn’t take too long, about 30 minutes or so for thighs (shorter if you’re using breasts.) The coconut milk is obviously creamy and flavorful, but it also prevents the poultry from drying out and creates super tender pieces of chicken.
Coconut Milk Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Bell Peppers
2 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp. sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
2 medium shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili flakes, or more
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 cans 14 oz. full-fat coconut milk, whisked until creamy
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Steamed rice, for serving
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
2 limes, quartered, for serving
Toss the chicken with the turmeric, ginger, cumin, pepper, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon oil. Let sit 5 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 the chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 minutes. Pull the chicken out of the pan, and repeat with remaining half of chicken.
To the pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the peppers, shallots, garlic, and chili flakes, cook 3 minutes, then toss in the sweet potatoes. Reduce the heat to med-low. Pour in the coconut milk and fish sauce. Slide the chicken and any juices on the plate into the milk.
Simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through ad potatoes are tender. If the sauce becomes too thick, cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt.
Meanwhile, make the steamed rice according to package directions.
Divide rice between bowls, then spoon the chicken and sauce over the rice. Top with basil, peanuts, and serve with lime wedges.
Stuffed Peppers with garlicky mashed potatoes is another one of those comfort meals; especially when the weather is on the cool side. And for the better part of Spring 2020, it’s unfortunately been cooler than normal here in the Northeast U.S. (until the last couple of days that is…)
Yes, there are as many ways to make these gems as there are meatball recipes. Here, I concentrated on using green bell peppers and bread crumbs instead of rice. (We’d been having a lot of rice lately.) Plus, no need to precook the rice, thus saving time and having to clean another pot.
Blanching the peppers helps the vegetables retain a nice bright color but it doesn’t really cook the vegetable. If you prefer, you can absolutely blanch your bell peppers before stuffing them. In this case, I skipped that step and saved a little time and dirtying yet another kitchen item. Two points!
A full 28-ounce can of tomato sauce may seem like a lot. But we love to top our mashed potatoes with it as well as the peppers. In fact, we had two stuffed peppers remaining, but no more sauce, so for the leftovers, we’ll open up another can.
Our herb garden was at picking stage already, so I was able to harvest four, very large basil leaves and enough fresh parsley for the stuffing. If you cannot access your fresh herbs, go ahead and used dried, although the end result won’t be quite as profound.