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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.