This is a simple, crispy chicken stir fry bursting with color and flavor alike. We’re using verdant green beans and a decadent garlic sauce to make this at-home meal a fast favorite. Perhaps best of all is that you’ll have it ready in a little over half an hour, prep time included!
Quick and Easy Crispy Chicken Stir Fry
Stir fry isn’t just for takeout any more. This recipe is absolutely perfect for a weeknight dinner when you might be short on time and hungry for something bright, fresh, and satisfying. Using chicken as the protein and some crisp, crunchy green veggies, it’s already ticking our favorite weeknight dinner boxes.
Stir fries became very popular in the 20th century because they can easily incorporate a variety of ingredients. Unlike a lot of cuisines, with strict rules and guidelines, a stir fry is pretty easy to cook up with whatever ingredients you like. Basically, stir fry means any dish cooked quickly over high heat with consequently high mobility. We stir the ingredients in the pan (or wok) because stationary stir fries will burn rather than sear. There are plenty of flavor combos that are great for stir fry, so feel free to experiment with this recipe once you’re feeling confident with it. For today, we’re doing a simple, satisfying chicken stir fry.
- Green Beans
- Green chili
- Sesame seeds
How To Make Crispy Chicken Stir Fry
This is less of a rule and more of a firm recommendation, but we strongly advise that you cook your chicken separately from your veggies. This allows you to cook the chicken to perfection without compromising on the vegetables and vice versa. In only a few easy steps, you’ll have yourself the ultimate weeknight stir fry dinner. Let’s take a look.
- First of all, start your pan on medium heat. This is to cook your neatly, evenly cubed chicken bits. Using high heat on chicken to start with is a great way to dry it out, and we want to enjoy some juicy, tender chicken.
- You need to heat the pan before adding anything else. Once the pan is warmed up, add your oil, and allow it to continue heating up until it starts to glisten.
- We strongly recommend that you work in batches. If you crowd the pan, your chicken will expel its liquid quickly, and you won’t get those lovely crispy brown edges for your stir fry. We recommend adding chicken to the hot oil in small enough batches that there’s half an inch to an inch of room between each piece. Stir it constantly, as this ensures even browning of your meat. Once your chicken has a visibly crispy sear, you can remove the chicken, and continue with your next batch. Do this until all your chicken is cooked to a similar degree.
Alternatively, you can air fry chicken in batches. Simply air fry for 9 minutes at 400°F ( 200°C).
- Once the chicken is cooked and set aside, it’s time to turn up the heat. Stir fries are all about high heat and high mobility, so you want this pan almost smoking. Using a high smoke-point oil is great for stir fry as your oil will stay good even under intense heat. Add a little more oil to the pan, let it heat up, and throw in your green beans. Don’t be surprised if they let off a loud sizzle immediately as they hit the pan. Move the beans around the pan for a few minutes, keeping a close eye on them. The green beans will go bright green, and start to blister. You want them blistered, not burnt.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and allow the skillet/ wok to cool down slightly before adding the garlic, ginger and green chili. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the soy sauce into the skillet.
- At that point, throw the chicken and green beans back in, toss it all together, and you’re done. The whole process should take you about 35-40 minutes depending on the size of your batches.
What’s in This Easy Chicken Stir Fry?
Stir fries are always composed of protein, vegetables, and sauce.
Our protein in this case is, as you may have guessed, the perfectly cubed chicken breast. We recommend breast as its lower fat content is healthier, and it will cook evenly under high heat. Be sure to cube each piece to about the same dimensions to ensure even cooking across the board. If you want a substitute, beef and tofu are classics. Both will do very well in this recipe.
Our choice of vegetable here is blistered green beans. They come out crispy, crunchy, and bring a naturally verdant sweetness to the flavor palate. You can also try bell peppers, cabbage, or asparagus in this recipe. You could even use a combination of these to really bulk out the veggie content of this meal.
Our sauce is a simple mix of garlic, ginger, soy sauce and green chili. Some sauces are more complex, with additional seasonings and ingredients. Others are just a matter of mixing soy sauce and sesame oil! Sauces are all about blending aromas, acids, and that all-important umami flavor.
What To Serve With Chicken Stir Fry
Because this dish contains protein and vegetables, you can serve it as is. You don’t really need anything to accompany it at all! We encourage you to enjoy this chicken stir fry on its own, but if you want to add some carbs and bulk it out, rice is a classic in any Asian kitchen. Either jasmine rice or brown rice is perfect for this dish as they will soak up any extra sauce and won’t add any strong flavors or textures to the meal.
What Do I Need To Cook Stir Fry?
You’ll need a few key tools to make this stir fry, but we’ll bet that you probably have some - if not all - of them already.
- First of all, a sharp knife is non-negotiable. We’re dealing with chicken and tough vegetables, and every cook needs a nice, reliable, sharp knife.
- Next, you’ll want to use a decent-sized mixing bowl. It’s important that this has enough space.
- To cook your stir fry, a large skillet, or even better, a wok, is perfect. If you have the space (and your stove has the firepower), a larger wok will save you plenty of time by removing the need to work in batches.
- Finally, a trusty wooden spoon for stirring so you don’t scratch up your beautiful skillet.
More Easy Stir-Fry Dinners
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