3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
2 Tbls. soy sauce
1 Tbls. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbls. corn starch
1 Tbls. sesame oil
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 # boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
1/4 canola or peanut oil
1-2 tsp. hot red chile flakes(or more if you prefer)
2 Tbls. fresh ginger, minced
6 scallions, sliced thin (separate white from green parts)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup, salted roasted peanuts, rough chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup white rice, rinsed and cooked
Combine together the following ingredients: the chicken stock, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and 1 Tbls. of corn starch. Whisk together. Put the chicken pieces in a separate large bowl, season with salt and pepper and then add the remaining 1/4 cup of corn starch. Toss.
Heat about half of the oil in a large skillet(12") over medium-high heat. It's best not to use a non stick pan. Saute the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side. It will likely stick to the pan and that's okay...even preferable. After 4-5 minutes, remove chicken from pan to a dish and set aside. It won't be fully cooked yet.
Add another Tbls. of oil along with the chile flakes, the whites of the scallions and the ginger. Stir and let cook for about one minute. Add the red pepper and the celery and continue stiring and cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and let it almost completely cook down so there is very little liquid remaining. This will help loosen some of the chicken that is stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back to the pan along with the chicken broth mixture(stir first). The sauce should thicken right away. Continue stiring until chicken is fully cooked in a few minutes. Cut into a large piece just to be sure. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over rice. Top with green scallions and peanuts.
I have been pre-cooking my celery as I find it too crunchy if stir fried for just a few minutes. It is a matter of preference though. I just boil it for about 4 minutes prior to cooking. It does add another step but I like it better this way. Also, if you have any fresh basil leaves in the fridge, add them at the end. They add a lovely flavor to the dish. Here are some good Chinese Recipes.