Burmese Chile Chicken Print Email

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1"–thick strips
3 TBS canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 onion, cut into 3?4" pieces
2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
one 1" piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 bell peppers (1 green, 1 red), cored and cut into 1" pieces
2 TBS fish sauce
1 large Anaheim or poblano

Combine chicken, 1 TBS oil, 1 tsp. cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl; let marinate for 15 minutes.

Heat a 14" wok over high heat. Add 1 TBS oil. Add onions; cook until softened, 1–2 minutes. Push onions to side; add remaining oil with chicken, arranging it in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, for 1 minute. Continue cooking, tossing vigorously, until chicken is opaque, about 30 seconds. Add paprika, cumin, garlic, and ginger; cook, tossing constantly, for 30 seconds. Add peppers; cook, stirring constantly, until they begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Stir in fish sauce and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add chiles and zucchini; cook for 30 seconds. Stir together remaining cornstarch and 1/3 cup cold water in a bowl; pour around edge of wok. Cook until chicken is cooked and sauce has thickened, 1–2 minutes. Stir in chili powder; season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice.

This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #129