Searching for a tasty chicken breast dish, I found this simply-named Chicken with Peppers and Pecans on page 170 of A Taste of Aloha in the Poultry section, and thought I’d give the easy stir-fry recipe a try. Turns out, I made a good choice (as my two-year-old son would say).
Although I own a wok, I only occasionally use it to make fried rice, and sometimes to deep-fry when I have a lot of frying to do (read: Southern Fried Chicken for my Confederate husband). Otherwise, it sits lonely in my pantry, wishing I’d remember how evenly it cooks my food and how easy it is to clean.
This recipe reminded me just how simple a stir-fry can be, and why I ought to use my wok more often. After slicing up the peppers, green onions, and chicken breasts, the dish came together quickly, and smelled amazing. The cooking oil took on the bright green flavors of the veggies and then became infused with warm pecan flavor, giving the chicken a fresh nutty flavor. The rich scent of pecan filled the kitchen (and brought the neighbors knocking, actually). Once the sauce was glazed over the dish, I was quite proud of it – it looked as good as any Chinese restaurant dish, and tasted delicious too. As the book said, it was a surprising taste treat – and I’m excited to do it again soon.
A surprising taste treat.
Chicken with Peppers and Pecans
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sherry or mirin
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium green peppers, cut into 3/4-inch strips
- 4 green onions, diagonally sliced in 1-inch lengths
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 1/2 pounds whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cubed
In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce. Add sherry, ginger, sugar and salt. Heat oil in wok and stir-fry green peppers and onions for 2 minutes. Remove from wok. Stir-fry pecans for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove. Add more oil if necessary. Stir-fry half the chicken until done and remove. Repeat with remaining chicken. Return all chicken to wok. Add soy sauce mixture and stir until thickened. Add vegetables and nuts. Cover wok and cook for 1 minute. Variation: For color, drained Mandarin oranges may be added with vegetables and nuts.
Buy the cookbook at www.juniorleagueofhonolulu.org (click the eStore tab). All proceeds go to support our charitable work in Honolulu, Hawai’i.