Thai chicken and string beans

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INGREDIENTS:

3 cups uncooked string beans, washed and well-drained, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 spray of cooking spray

2 tsp. jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and minced

or 1 medium Thai chile, seeded and minced*

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

1 cup light coconut milk, divided

2 Tbsp. green curry paste**

1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp. fish sauce, (nam pla)**

1 Tbsp. minced lemon grass**

1 lb. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

2 Tbsp. fresh minced basil

2 cups cooked brown rice or cooked jasmine rice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Steam green beans in a steamer basket on stove or in a microwave, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well; set aside.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add jalapeno or chile and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce and lemon grass; bring to a simmer.

Add chicken and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add string beans and basil (mixture may separate). Add remaining 1/4 cup of coconut milk (sauce will be smooth again). Simmer until hot, about 1 minute more; remove garlic clove and serve over rice.

Yields about 1 cup of chicken-string bean mixture and 1/2 cup of rice per serving.

Notes

*Do not touch seeds with bare hands.

**Green curry paste and nam pla (fish sauce) are available in the ethnic sections of many supermarkets. Fresh lemon grass may not be available, but chopped lemon grass in jars should also be in ethnic sections.

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