Walnut Chicken with Sherry and Rice Pilaf with Chives
- 1 package rice pilaf, such as Near East brand
- 2 leeks
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
- 1 1/2-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, light meat or light and dark meat combined
- 2 inches ginger root, peeled and grated
- 3 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts (8 ounces), drained
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup dry sherry (eyeball it)
- 1/4-1/3 cup Tamari (dark soy sauce)
- 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped or snipped fresh chives
Prepare the rice pilaf according to package directions – it’ll take about 20 minutes to cook.
Trim the leeks of rough tops and root ends. Cut the leeks lengthwise, then slice into 1/2-inch thick half moons. Soak the leeks in a large bowl of ice water and separate them to release the grit or run water over them in a colander while vigorously tossing them to release the grit. Dry the leeks in a kitchen towel.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and caramelize the meat, browning on all sides, 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, leeks and peppers and sauté 3-4 minutes more, tossing and turning frequently. Add the water chestnuts, black pepper and sherry. Reduce the sherry a minute or so, then add about 1/4 cup Tamari and the walnuts. Adjust the Tamari and black pepper, to your taste.
Fluff rice with a fork and add the chives to it.
Serve the chicken in shallow bowls with a little rice on top. Mix the rice in as you eat the dish so the rice doesn’t bloat and drain away the sauce.