Sesame Chicken With Cashews and Dates

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Ingredients

4

tablespoons toasted (Asian) sesame oil

1

2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into about 12 “coins”

6 to 8

garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1

bunch scallions (white and green parts), cut into 2-inch lengths

3 to 4

dried red chiles, or 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

2

pounds boneless chicken thighs (preferably skin on, but skinless is O.K.), cut into 2-inch chunks

½

cup toasted cashews

cup rice wine or dry sherry

3

tablespoons dark soy sauce or tamari

4

pitted dates, thinly sliced

3

cups fresh basil or cilantro leaves, or a combination

Rice vinegar or lime juice, to taste

Cooked rice, for serving

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Preparation
Season the chicken with salt and pepper while you heat a 12-inch skillet or wok over high heat until it’s very hot, at least 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil and swirl the pan; the oil should thin on contact. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, scallions and chile. Stir-fry until the garlic is golden at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the 2 remaining tablespoon oil, chicken and cashews, and stir fry until it starts to brown, 4 to 5 minutes (turn down the heat if the cashews are browning too quickly). Add the rice wine, soy sauce and dates; simmer until the sauce reduces to a syrupy consistency and the chicken cooks through, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in the herbs, sprinkle with rice vinegar or lime juice, and serve over rice.

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