Nutty good stir-fry.

26 Apr

I have yet to encounter a Chinese dish that I don’t love. Seriously. And I never grow tired of trying to reproduce my favs in my own kitchen. I inherited the cookbook Wok & Stir-fry (2001), fabulous fast food with Asian flavors by Linda Doeser when my father passed away. He, too, loved to putter in the kitchen and he is the one that opened my eyes to Chinese dishes that were not the conventional chow mein and fried rice. This recipe for stir-fried chicken and cashews caught my eye, because I actually had everything on hand to make it. Delicious, simple and tastes every bit as good as you’d get in a Chinese restaurant!

 Chicken and Cashew Stir-fry

½ cup cashews

1 red bell pepper

1-pound boneless chicken breasts

3 tablespoons peanut oil

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

5-6 scallions, green part only, cut into 1-inch lengths

Heat a wok (or large skillet) until hot, add the cashews and dry fry over low to medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Cut the red bell pepper in half and remove the seeds. Slice into thin strips. Cut the chicken breast into thin strips or chunks (I do the latter, no bigger than 1-inch square). Heat the wok (or frying pan) again until hot. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic and let it sizzle in the oil for a few seconds. Add the bell pepper and chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the rice wine or sherry and hoisin sauce. Continue to stir-fry until the chicken is tender (and cooked through) and all the ingredients are evenly glazed – 5 to 10 minutes. * Stir in the sesame oil, toasted cashews and scallions and serve immediately.

* Turn off the heat on the pan and let sit a couple of minutes for residual cooking that will ensure the chicken is cooked through!

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