It’s not a good idea to browse food websites just before bedtime. We know that very well. Instead of inviting relaxation, excitement sneaks in and it’s hard to shake off. I was looking for inspiration when I chanced upon Melissa Clark’s Black Pepper Chicken Thighs With Mango, Rum and Cashews. As I got ready for bed, I still couldn’t get rid of the mental image of a fruity savory dish. Watching one episode of Narcos wasn’t enough to erase it. Before I fell asleep, in my mind, I had already cooked a dish of spicy stir fried chicken and fresh mangoes. In my sleep, bright yellow mangoes colored my incoherent dreams.
The next day, although still feeling half full from the delicious breakfast we had (Alex baked herbed bread the previous night), I started prepping my chicken and mango dish. Alex is not a fan of nuts so I ditched the cashews. It’s much too hot and humid for anything alcoholic so I took rum off the ingredients list as well. The thought of adding balsamic vinegar did not occur to me until the chicken was already in the wok. I tasted the pan juices, found the flavor a little wanting so I drizzled in about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to give it a boost.
The heat of chilies is lovely but too much can numb your taste buds. Well, unless you grew up in a culture where spicy food is the norm. I like chilies but if the heat is the exclusive sensation in my mouth, I don’t find it particularly appetizing. So I temper the heat with something sweet. In this case, the heat from the chilies was tempered by the sweetness of ripe juice mangoes. The sweetness was, in turn, balanced by the bold tanginess of balsamic vinegar.
Lovely, lovely dish of spicy stir fried chicken and fresh mangoes.
- Pat the chicken fillets dry with paper towels. Cut each thigh into six to eight strips. Place in a bowl.
- Add the minced garlic, sliced chilies, salt, pepper and sugar to the chicken. Mix well. Set aside.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the chicken and stir fry for five to seven minutes, depending on the size of the strips into which you have cut the fillets (see stir frying basics).
- Pour in the balsamic vinegar. Stir fry for half a minute.
- Add the sliced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir fry for one minute.
- Add the sliced mangoes to the chicken and vegetables. Stir fry just until the mango slices are heated through.
- Serve the spicy stir fried chicken and fresh mangoes immediately.
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