Sesame Chicken With Cashews and Dates
Dates add a touch of sweetness to this savory chicken and scallion stir-fry. If you don’t have a wok or a 12-inch skillet, you might want to cook this in two batches in a smaller pan. That will ensure a nice, browned crust on the meat. And if you want to substitute chicken breasts, stir-fry them for only 2 minutes in Step 2 before adding the rice wine.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4tablespoons toasted (Asian) sesame oil
- 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into about 12 “coins”
- 6to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1bunch scallions (white and green parts), cut into 2-inch lengths
- 3to 4 dried red chiles, or 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
- 2pounds boneless chicken thighs (preferably skin on, but skinless is O.K.), cut into 2-inch chunks
- ½cup toasted cashews
- ⅓cup rice wine or dry sherry
- 3tablespoons dark soy sauce or tamari
- 4pitted dates, thinly sliced
- 3cups fresh basil or cilantro leaves, or a combination
- Rice vinegar or lime juice, to taste
- Cooked rice, for serving
Step 1Season the chicken with salt and pepper while you heat a 12-inch skillet or wok over high heat until it’s very hot, at least 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil and swirl the pan; the oil should thin on contact. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, scallions and chile. Stir-fry until the garlic is golden at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 2Add the 2 remaining tablespoon oil, chicken and cashews, and stir fry until it starts to brown, 4 to 5 minutes (turn down the heat if the cashews are browning too quickly). Add the rice wine, soy sauce and dates; simmer until the sauce reduces to a syrupy consistency and the chicken cooks through, 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 3Stir in the herbs, sprinkle with rice vinegar or lime juice, and serve over rice.