Stir-Fried Chicken and Green Pepper with Cumin and Cilantro

The Flavor Matrixauthor James Briscione encourages cooks to look beyond traditional food and wine pairings. He goes back to very basics: the aromatic compounds that link ingredients (often in unexpected ways). Here he pairs the floral, grassy flavors of this stir-fry with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, also prized for its “greenness.” The wine’s long finish is also well suited to the chile heat in the dish.    Slideshow: More Chicken Thigh Recipes 

Stir-Fried Chicken and Green Pepper with Cumin and Cilantro
Photo: Justin Walker
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips

  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry, divided

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil, divided

  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into matchsticks

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. Combine chicken, 1 tablespoon wine, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Toss to coat, and let stand 10 minutes.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large, heavy skillet over high. Add bell peppers, onion, serrano, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until peppers and onion are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Place vegetables on a plate, and return wok to heat.

  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in wok, and add cumin and coriander; cook 10 seconds. Add chicken, and cook, stirring, until chicken is just cooked through. Return vegetables to wok, and sprinkle with sugar and salt. Add remaining 2 tablespoons wine to pan, and cook, scraping and folding mixture, until steaming and coated in a light sauce. Remove from heat, and fold in cilantro and black pepper. Serve stir-fry with rice.

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