Green Bean Chicken Stir Fry

Green Bean Chicken Stir Fry

While growing up in the rural Midwest I overheard a number of conversations between grown men boasting about the number of quarts of green beans they had harvested and canned from their garden, as if they were talking about the number of women they had bedded at the local bar.

Snapping and canning green beans were just a normal part of summer when you're raised in Churubusco, Indiana.

I like green beans, but I want them dressed up. Plain, steamed beans really don't do much for me because I don't think they have much flavor. In my experience they are best as a canvas to paint flavors on. Green bean casserole is one of my favorite dishes — what makes it, is the creamy mushroom gravy and french onions — the beans are just filler.

With piles of green beans currently at my finger tips, I decided it was time to do something fun and have them co-star in a stir fry. I precooked the beans in a microwave steam bag first because I wanted to get them 90 percent cooked and could finish  them as they heated through with all the other ingredients.

My stir fry flavors start with ginger, garlic and onion and have a yummy sauce made of hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and teriyaki. These ingredients could make any garden vegetable delicious, and are my go to ingredients for stir fry. For protein I choose chicken.

All of this is served over a bed of rice.

To my surprise it really went a long way, with just a pound and a half of chicken and a pound of green beans I was able to make enough to easily feed four people.

Green beans aren't the sexiest vegetables to feature in stir fry, but this is a tasty way to enjoy them — weather you buy them on-sale at the store — or you're shoveling buckets of them from the garden. This is a great way to eat green beans.

Eat well, cook often ...

Serves 4, 45 minutes
1 lb green beans, trimmed and snapped
1.5 lbs chicken thighs, boneless chunks
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1/2 C onion, sliced
1/4 C hoisin sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs teriyaki sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 C uncooked rice

Place green beans in a microwave steam bag, season with salt and 1 tablespoon of water. Seal and microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes. Let rest 1 minute more. Open and set aside until ready to add to stir fry.

In a large pan or wok over medium-high heat, brown chicken in a little oil until cooked through 6 to 8 minutes, stir occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove chicken and add onion, cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes, season to taste. Add ginger and garlic cook 1 minute more or until fragrant. Add beans and chicken to pan. Stir in hoisin, vinegar, sesame oil and teriyaki. Cook until heated through 5 to 6 minutes more, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.

Over high heat in a pot toss rice in a little oil. Add two cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off heat, keep lid on tight and let rice steam 10 minutes more. Remove lid and fluff with a fork, then serve.

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