Updated Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
Total Time: 55
Yield: 6 servings
This hearty stir-fry is inspired by the robust flavors of Thai cuisine. If you get all of your ingredients prepped and organized before proceeding, this Thai chicken is a breeze. Serve with steamed rice or--as a twist--with lettuce leaves for wrapping.
Wrap chicken-breast slices in plastic and use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound them very thin. (Don't worry if some pieces tear.) In a medium-size bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, and water; add chicken, toss to combine, and chill 15 minutes. In another medium-size bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and sesame oil; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, broth, lime juice, sugar, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch; set aside.
Drain chicken, pat dry, and toss with cornstarch-sesame oil mixture until thoroughly coated. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large (14-inch) nonstick frying pan (or a wok) over high heat until just smoking. Add chicken, using tongs to separate and spread pieces out, and cook, stirring, until both sides are well browned and interior is almost cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
In now-empty pan, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil until smoking and cook butternut squash, stirring occasionally, until just tender and browned on the edges, about 6 minutes; transfer to bowl with chicken. Add onion wedges to pan and cook, without moving, until nicely charred on one side, about 1 minute; continue cooking for an additional minute, stirring frequently. Push onions to the outside edge of the pan; in the center, add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Move onions back to center of pan, add reserved chicken and squash, and stir in fish-sauce mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with herbs and crushed peanuts (if using), and serve immediately.
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