Friday, August 26, 2005

Chili Chicken with Cashews over Scallion Rice

Chile Chicken with Cashews
From Nina Simond's A Spoonful of Ginger

I usually replace the water chestnuts with snow peas because I love to add a little color to the dish.

Prep time: 10 minutes (as in most stir fry recipes, it’s critical to have everything cut up and measured before you start the cooking which takes no time at all)
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
Serves 6
( in my house make that 4)

1 ½ lb/ ½ kg boneless, skinless chicken
Canola oil for sautéing
1 ½ cups thinly sliced water chestnuts (or in my house snow peas – although last night I had neither and it was still delicious)
1 cup cry roasted cashews

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp rice wine or sake
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp cornstarch

1 ½ tbsp scallions, white parts only & minced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp hot chile paste

¾ cup chicken broth ( the recipe calls for her special broth, unfortunately I used all mine up for the Black Mushroom soup yesterday, so I had to use what I had on hand. It was still good, but hers would have made it even better.)
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 ½ tbsp rice wine or sake
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce (I’ve tried it both ways, both delicious so don’t go out of your way looking for the one that’s not easy to find)
1 ¼ tbsp cornstarch

1. Trim chicken and cut into ½” cubes. Place in a bowl and add to premixed marinade. Toss and let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Heat wok (or large skillet), add oil and heat until very hot before adding chicken. Cook over high heat until the chicken is cooked (she says 3-4 minutes, but I did mine for at least 5). Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Wipe out pan.

3. Reheat the pan adding more oil and seasonings. Stir fry for 15 seconds or so (okay, I did mine for maybe 30 seconds - the idea is – just long enough to get the fragrance). Add the water chestnuts (or snow peas, asparagus tips, baby spinach) and toss for 1 minute or so. (The snow peas and asparagus tips will turn a brilliant green and the spinach will just start to wilt but not be slimy).

4. Add the premixed sauce and return the chicken. Add the cashews. Toss to coat everything with that wonderful sauce and heat through.

5. (Nina suggests serving this with a vegetable and steamed rice, but I love it over the scallion ginger fried rice).

Scallion Ginger Rice
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves 6

2 tbsp canola oil
2 ½ cups whole scallions (green parts included), minced ( I just chopped them fine)
3 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/3 cup rice wine or sake
2 ½ cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained (I left these out since our Health Agency has said something about “tainted”, “lead to severe sickness”…you get the picture)
5 cups cooked rice (this is something that needs to be done well beforehand – so it’s really cold. Hot rice will just get mushy)

3 tbsp chicken broth (hers would be amazing, regular will be fine too)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1½ tsp toasted sesame oil
Salt & pepper (I didn’t bother)

1. Heat a well seasoned wok or large non stick skillet over high heat. Add oil and heat until very hot. Add scallions and ginger and stir for 20 seconds or so until very fragrant. (I love this part!!!) Add rice wine (this is when you add the bean sprouts if you’re going to). Toss lightly for a minute.

2. Add the rice and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Add the premixed sauce, toss to coat the rice and serve.

Short post, but delicious and that’s your ginger fix for today.

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