Spicy Chicken with Peanuts

This dish packs as much heat as you want it to.

This is a multitextured dish for spice-lovers: It packs as much heat as you want it to, courtesy of dried Chinese red chiles.

Serves | 4 to 6 |

  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic-chile sauce
  • 1 tsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch
  • 12 to 14 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 oz Chinese shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 stalks celery, ends trimmed, sliced in ½-inch dice
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil, divided
  • 8 dried Chinese chiles, cut in half, seeds scooped out
  • 2 Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, in ½-inch lengths
  • 2⁄3 cup room temperature Basic Stir-Fry Sauce
  • ¾ cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • cooked white or brown rice (to serve)

| Preparation | In a medium bowl, whisk together light soy sauce, garlic-chile sauce, rice wine and tapioca starch until combined. Toss with chicken pieces, cover and set aside to marinate, 30 to 45 minutes. Prepare an ice bath and fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat; add mushrooms and celery and blanch for 1 minute. Transfer to ice bath to stop cooking, drain and pat dry. Set aside.

Heat wok over high heat; add 3 tablespoons oil and swirl around bottom and sides. Add chicken pieces, working in batches to keep wok temperature steady, stirring constantly until cooked through. Remove with spider strainer to a bowl and set aside. Swirl remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in wok; add chiles and toast until they begin to darken, being careful to avoid burning. Add ginger, garlic and scallions, stirring constantly until fragrant, 20 seconds. Add blanched celery and mushrooms and stir constantly, 1 minute. Stir in chicken and its juices and add Basic Stir-Fry Sauce; toss to coat. Add peanuts and continue to toss until everything is heated through.

| To Serve | Divide rice onto plates and top with spicy chicken with peanuts; serve immediately.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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