Servings: Makes 6 servings
- 2 dried red chiles , seeds removed, or 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 4 stalks lemongrass , ends trimmed, tough outer stalks removed, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 1/2 pounds green beans , cut in half on the diagonal
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 medium red onions , thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 medium red bell peppers , thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
To make seasoning: With the machine running, drop the chiles, followed by lemongrass and then garlic, into a blender and process. Pulse several times, until the mixture forms a paste and becomes smooth; set aside.
To make coconut sauce: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; set aside.
To prepare chicken: Place chicken breasts on a cutting board. With the blade of a sharp knife parallel to the board, thinly slice breasts; set aside.
In a 3-quart casserole or a large skillet with a lid, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain. Refresh under cold water; drain again.
Heat 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil in the same pan over high heat until very hot. Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; drain excess fat.
In the same pan over medium-low heat, warm remaining 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil. Add seasoning and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Increase heat to medium. Add onions and stir-fry 1 minute, then add bell peppers and rice wine; stir-fry 1 minute. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beans and coconut sauce; bring to a boil. Add chicken, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in basil and taste for seasoning; add more salt if necessary. Scoop chicken and vegetables into a bowl and serve with steamed rice if desired.