Whisk the broth, apricot preserves, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, and sugar in a medium bowl, stirring well to break down the preserves
Whisk the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until the cornstarch is completely dissolved
Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry 20 seconds. Add the broth mixture and simmer 2 minutes. (Reduce the heat if the mixture comes to a hard boil.)
Re-whisk the cornstarch mixture and add to the wok. Stir well until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 45 seconds. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Do not wipe out the wok
Place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper and stir or toss to coat the chicken
Re-heat the wok over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until just cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add the white parts of the scallions, chiles, and bell pepper and stir-fry 2 minutes
Add the spinach and stir-fry until wilted, about 30 seconds
Return the chicken to the wok and stir in the dried apricots, dates, and reserved sauce. Simmer 2 minutes
To serve, divide the noodles or rice among 4 shallow bowls. Divide the chicken mixture on top and sprinkle the green parts of the scallions over all
Stir-fries are a quick and easy way to put a flavor-loaded dinner on the table—one that’s also good for you and your family. Fresh vegetables and lean meats, herbs, fruits, nuts, grains—the possibilities are endless, and they all make stir-fries a tasty, healthy, and very versatile dish.
Make the sauce first and have all your ingredients ready to go before you start heating the pan. Once you start cooking, stir-fries go fast.
In this recipe, tender chicken thighs, fresh spinach, and dried fruits pair up with a sweet and sour sauce that’s a little spicy too.
Chicken thighs are a bit juicier than chicken breast, but lean pieces of breast meat would work well too. Reduce cooking time by 2-3 minutes.
If you're not familiar with rice noodle sticks, give them a try. Rice is much more tender than wheat pasta — no boiling required. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil, turn off the heat, add the noodles, cover, and let the noodles soften for 10 minutes. Drain them and serve.