Sichuan Chicken With Peanuts

Sichuan Chicken With Peanuts

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons black rice vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more to taste
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, or thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon  rice wine, or dry sherry
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 1/2-inch-thick slices ginger, smashed
2 cups sugar snap peas, 8 ounces
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 scallion, minced

To prepare Sichuan sauce: Whisk broth, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl.

To prepare chicken: Combine chicken, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce, cornstarch and garlic in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl oil into the pan, add ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Carefully add the chicken mixture, spreading it out. Cook until the chicken begins to brown, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, stir-fry for 30 seconds. Spread the chicken out again and cook for 30 seconds. Continue stir-frying until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Add snap peas and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir the Sichuan Sauce, swirl it into the pan and stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened and glossy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a platter (discard the ginger) and sprinkle with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately.

Tonight, I am skipping the rice or noodles and serving this by itself with a garden salad and fresh fruit compote.

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