I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I am not a huge fan of Chinese food, and I love this dish. It is a very simple recipe to prepare, with not very many ingredients, and yet the taste is over the top. When I was making it, I thought, there is no way this is going to be as good as the picture in the cookbook makes it look, because it just doesn’t have very much in it to season all of the chicken and vegetables. But I was so wrong. It must be a magical combination of ingredients, because the sauce is amazing and clings to the vegetables so well that every bite is very fresh and flavorful.
This dish was so good, I think it could be on the menu at any Chinese food restaurant. My family likes Chinese food from Pei Wei, and this reminds me of the type of food you can order there. The recipe makes enough for 2 or 3 people. It would not be hard to double all the ingredients to make more. The original recipe calls for green bell pepper, but I used orange and red just because I like the colors. Either would be great. Just be careful not to overcook them so they don’t get mushy. It contains walnuts as well, which I haven’t often found combined with chicken and vegetables, but they add a wonderful depth to the dish and pair very nicely with the other ingredients.
I found this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book that we received as a wedding present in 1985. I wish I could remember who gave it to us so I could thank them again as I have used this cookbook over and over for the last 27 years. They definitely got their money’s worth, and I am so grateful that I was given this when I was first learning how to cook. It has a lot of basic recipes in it that every cook needs, but even though they are basic, the flavor has not been neglected. When my kids get married, I want to give them one of these cookbooks, in the hopes that it will help them as much as it did me. But, they will probably be getting their recipes off of Pinterest or their phone, or by Googling it or some other type of technology I don’t even know about. I love that young people are starting to cook because of Pinterest. Maybe if they look on Pinterest, they will find one of my recipes. Another good reason to keep blogging!
CHICKEN WITH WALNUTS
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. dry sherry
- 1 tsp. peeled and grated, fresh gingerroot (I chop it in my mini-food processor)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (even with this amount, it is not very spicy)
- 2-4 Tbsp. canola oil
- 2 bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 6 green onions, bias-sliced into 1-inch lengths
- 1 c walnut halves
- hot cooked rice
- In a small bowl, stir soy sauce into cornstarch.
- Stir in sherry, gingerroot, sugar, salt, and red pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat a wok or large skillet over medium heat; add 2 Tbsp. cooking oil.
- Stir-fry bell peppers and green onions in hot oil for 2 minutes or till crisp-tender. Remove from wok or skillet.
- Add walnuts to wok or skillet; stir-fry 2 minutes, stirring after one minute so they don’t burn. Remove from wok or skillet.
- Add more oil, if necessary to pan. Add the chicken pieces to the hot wok or skillet; stir-fry until chicken is browned and cooked through.
- Stir soy mixture; stir into chicken. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Watch it carefully at this point. It won’t take very long at all, and as soon as it starts to bubble, turn off the heat.
- Stir in vegetables and walnuts; cover and cook 1 minute more on very low heat. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.
- Serve chicken and vegetables at once with hot cooked rice. Makes 2-3 servings.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1985), page 299.