This has by far become my favorite stir fry dish. It is a mix of my girl friends favorite chicken stir fry, my favorite technique and sauce for stir fry; and this is the final result. Basically, a 4 ingredient dish with a simple sauce, stir fried and served over rice with a crunch. Yes, chopped water chestnuts make this rice a great compliment. Now, for dinner, I serve some Napa cabbage, rough chopped and tossed with shredded carrots and shallots, topped with an Asian, or toasted sesame seed dressing for a perfect side. Now you can make your own dressing, but there are so many store bought dressings available these days which are pretty good. It is such a quick easy dish for a week night dinner. And ... If you're in the mood, a few spring rolls, egg rolls or an miso or egg drop soup would make a nice starter course. A couple of notes. Don't skip of any of the steps, it is what makes the dish work so well. Also ... add the water chestnuts to the rice, it really makes the dish. And the sesame oil gives it the stir fry flavor. Don't skip these ingredients.
Chicken and Marinade
- 1 extra large egg (egg white only)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1⁄4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1⁄4 lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut in 1-inch bite size pieces (I use a mix of thighs and breasts)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (to saute the chicken)
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil, to saute the chicken (vegetable or canola oil will work fine, do NOT use olive oil)
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted whole cashews
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil (vegetable or canola oil will work fine, do NOT use olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1⁄2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine (do not use cooking sherry or cream sherry, just use a cook dry sherry)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 small red pepper, very very thin sliced in 1-2-inch pieces
- 1⁄2 cup diced scallion, white and green parts
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cups rice (use your favorite, I serve about 1 cup per person, you can make more if you like)
- 1 (3 1/2 ounce) can water chestnuts, cut in thin strips
- Now, it looks like a lot, but it is very easy. Just start each step and honestly it doesn't take any time.
- Chicken Marinade -- In a small bowl, add the egg white, corn starch and soy sauce and whisk well. Add the chicken and toss well to combine. Just set off to the side on the counter. The chicken will come to room temp as it marinates. I like to let it set 30-45 minutes. This gives you time to prepare everything else.
- Cashews -- This only takes a few minutes. In the same large pan you are going to cook the chicken in (I prefer non stick), add the oil and bring to medium heat. Add the cashews and cook 2-3 minutes until golden brown (stirring often). Once they are done, remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. They don't need chopping, so they are ready to go. Wipe out the pan as you will be using this to make the chicken.
- Sauce -- In a small bowl or even a measuring cup, add the chicken broth, soy sauce, sherry wine, sugar, red pepper flakes and set to the side. Don't add the scallions yet.
- Rice -- Start the rice as the chicken only takes a few minutes to cook. I use a quick cooking rice, but feel free to use your favorite. Right at the end of cooking, add in the water chestnuts. I make this ahead and just cover and set off to the side.
- Chicken -- Time to stir fry! This is quick so make sure you have the sauce nearby, the cashews and the rice is done. Heat that large pan up one more time. Now a wok is great if you have one, but not necessary. Add 1 tablespoon each peanut (or whatever you have) and sesame oil (don't leave out the sesame oil (it gives this dish great flavor) and bring to medium/high heat - high heat. Scoop the chicken out of the marinade, but use a slotted spoon, you don't want to get extra marinade in the pan. You can also strain it in a colander if you want. A slotted spoon works great and much easier. Add it to the hot oil and stir fry on each side until golden brown. It won't take more than 4-5 min tops. They cook very quick and you don't want to over cook them.
- Right before they are done, add in the scallions, red pepper strips and cashews. Stir to combine and then add in the sauce. Cook just a minute or two until the sauce is bubbly and thick. The pepper will still be a bit crunchy but tender and the chicken will be tender and done.
- NOTE: If you like the sauce a bit thicker, mix 1 teaspoon cold water with 1 teaspoon corn starch and add to the dish. And cook just a minute -- this will thicken it up quickly.
- Serve -- Just top this wonderful chicken and sauce over the water chestnut rice. As I mentioned, I love a Napa cabbage salad with carrots and a sesame dressing for a side, but add your favorites. This really may look like a lot, but they are all simple steps. Just follow the steps for a quick nice dinner. ENJOY!
- Note: Time to make includes marinating.