Moscato d’Asti

The gentle fizziness and floral sweetness of Moscato d’Asti is a great partner to the subtle spice in this dish. While not overwhelmingly hot, the chili oil and dried peppers can add a bit of kick that the sugar in the wine will temper.

Working late during winter undoubtedly leads to destructive eating habits, to wit, delivery food. With a little planning, however, you can enjoy the comfort of a spicy Sichuan dish without the accompanying health consequences. This recipe is particularly suitable for winter because Chinese bamboo is in season. Track it down at your local Asian market, although it’s okay to substitute canned shoots. Once the ingredients are assembled, cooking is fast and easy.


½ pound chicken thighs, skinned, deboned and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon oil, sesame or peanut
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon rice wine (or dry fino sherry)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth (or water)

Cooking Ingredients
2 tablespoons oil, sesame or peanut
8-12 dried red chilies, to taste
4-6 cloves minced garlic, to taste
3 teaspoon minced ginger
1 cup fresh porcini mushrooms, thinly sliced (or rehydrated dry mushrooms)
1/2 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small winter bamboo shoot, peeled and thinly sliced (or canned shoots)
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons chili oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch, prepared as a slurry with water
1 scallion, chopped


1. In a small bowl, whisk oil, cornstarch, and salt together. Place sliced chicken thighs in a shallow container, cover in sauce, and set aside to marinate.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients. Set aside.

3. Using a wok or sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add the chilies, garlic, and ginger and cook for 60 seconds. Turn heat up to high and add chicken, cooking and stirring until the exterior of the meat turns white.

4. Next, add the mushrooms, bell pepper and bamboo. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the sauce, and mix everything together. Bring to a boil then add salt to taste, chili oil, and the cornstarch slurry. Stir-fry for another 30-40 seconds, allowing sauce to thicken. Give ingredients one more toss, then remove from heat. Divide rice into bowls and serve chicken over top. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.