Ginger-sesame chicken with sugar snap peas and red rice

Ginger-sesame chicken with sugar snap peas and red rice

½ cup Bhutanese red rice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
10 ounces boneless skinless chicken thigh pieces
1 red bell pepper
Peeled fresh garlic
Fresh ginger
Fresh cilantro
6 ounces sugar snap peas
Stir-fry seasoning (rice vinegar – tamari – sesame oil)
1½ teaspoons sambal oelek (optional)

Cook the rice
In a small sauce pot, combine the red rice and 1 cup lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the rice cooks, prepare the sesame seeds, chicken, and vegetables.

Toast the sesame seeds
In a dry large wok or frying pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Brown the chicken

Cut a small corner from the chicken packaging and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; pat dry with a paper towel. Season generously with salt and pepper.

In the same pan used for the sesame seeds, warm 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned but not yet cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not clean the pan.

Prep the remaining stir-fry ingredients

Remove the stem, ribs, and seeds from the red bell pepper. Cut the pepper into 1-inch pieces.
Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
Grate or peel and finely chop the ginger.
Coarsely chop the cilantro.

Cook the vegetables; finish the stir-fry
In the same pan used for the chicken, if dry, add 1 to 2 teaspoons oil and warm over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Stir in the bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and cook until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the snap peas, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the chicken and any accumulated juices, the stir-fry seasoning, and as much sambal oelek as you like. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the sesame seeds and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the rice to individual bowls. Top with the stir-fry, garnish with the cilantro, and serve.

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