Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cashew Chicken

I recently pinned a cashew chicken recipe.  We are always on the lookout for healthy stirfry options. The recipe looked great and we had all the necessary ingredients on our shopping list. But our trip was thwarted a bit by an impending winter storm.

We went to Trader Joe's and you would not believe the lines - 20 deep at each register, and our store isn't that big. We really didn't want to go anywhere else to get oyster sauce and hoisin, so I improvised and we were happily surprised with the result. The Js declared that it was a make-again meal, which means it was a success.

That Girl's Cashew Chicken with Brown Rice

Serves 3

1 cup brown rice cooked according to directions on package

3 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbs cornstarch
salt and pepper

1 Tbs canola or other light high-heat oil

1-2 Tbs grated fresh ginger (more or less to suite your taste)
4 Tbs soy sauce (I actually prefer Japanese soy sauce, more umami!)
1/3-1/2 cup honey (again, to taste, some might like a little sweeter)

1 large green pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
3/4 cup cashews (chopped or whole, whatever is convenient)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, toast the cashews for about 10 minutes until just beginning to brown.

Place chicken cubes in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss with cornstarch and set aside.

After chopping vegetables, place them each in separate bowls so they will be ready. In a medium bowl mix ginger, soy sauce and honey and whisk until blended.

Heat oil in a medium pan over moderately high heat. When hot, brown chicken evenly on all sides (about 4 minutes). Move cooked chicken to clean bowl. Add chopped peppers and white parts of green onions to pan and sauté quickly until peppers turn bright green. Add peppers and onions to the bowl with cooked chicken.

Return pan to heat and pour in the sauce.  It will bubble and sputter. Stir briskly as it thickens, about 45 seconds. Return the chicken, peppers and onions to the pan and mix with the sauce until hot.

Put into starving dish and sprinkle toasted cashews and green onion slices on top. Serve with brown rice.

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