The flavors are Greek; the cooking method is Chinese. The fusion results in a dish that is full of flavor. It’s a good way to use up late-season green beans, which can be a little tough.
It’s also one of those dishes that seems to improve as its sits and doesn’t need to be piping hot. It’s good even at room temperature, so get it ready and then relax for a few minutes until it’s time for dinner. If it gets cold, reheat just until warmed through.
Serve over rice, noodles or lightly toasted slices of Italian bread.
Greek Chicken, Tomato and Green Bean Sauté
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons mild olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed and cut into strips 1/4 -inch thick and 1 to 1 1/2 inches long
1 medium (4 or 5 ounces) onion, diced (1 cup)
3/4 pound plum (Roma) tomatoes, peeled and seeded, then cut into 1/2 -inch dice (1 cup; see note)
Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons (at least 1 1/2 teaspoons zest, 3 tablespoons juice)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons chopped dill
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Have a large bowl of ice water and a clean, dry towel at hand.
Add the beans to the pot and cook for 6 minutes, then drain the beans and immediately transfer them to the ice water. Let the beans cool for 5 minutes, then drain them and transfer them to the towel to dry.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken to the hot oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes without stirring until the chicken browns. Use a spatula or tongs to turn the chicken pieces over; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken until all of it is cooked.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the sauté pan or skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste; mix well and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar and broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes, then add the green beans and par-cooked chicken and stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes.
Whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl, then stir it into the chicken mixture until it has thickened.
Remove from the heat; stir in the dill and feta. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Note: To peel tomatoes, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato and remove the stem. Working with one at a time, place the tomato in the boiling water for 15 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to quickly transfer it to the ice water. The skin should simply slip off. Makes 4 or 5 servings.