Cashew Chicken

Last week I shared my top 5 food goals for 2011, one of which is to eat and cook more adventurously. When eating out, I’d like to try different types of food, as well as ethnic cuisines that I have not had before. And while cooking at home, I want to try foods that I enjoy eating while out but have yet to master at home. Enter cashew chicken. I really love Chinese take out, but aside from Sweet and Sour Chicken (which is absolutely, hands-down, amazing), I haven’t done much (read: any) Chinese cooking at home. This recipe is my first step in embracing more Asian recipes in my own kitchen. I love Japanese and Thai just as much as Chinese, and am looking forward to experimenting!

This was a pretty simple recipe to throw together and it tastes amazing. None of the flavors are overpowering, so the ginger, soy, green onions, rice vinegar and cashews all balance each other nicely and pump up the brightness of the dish. You could serve this with noodles or rice; I personally love brown rice so that’s what I went with. Soba noodles would also be a great option.

Do you have a favorite make-at-home Chinese dish? Share with me!

One year ago: Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

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Cashew Chicken

Ingredients:

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons dry sherry (or cooking wine, or omit)

2 teaspoons minced, peeled fresh ginger

3½ teaspoons cornstarch, divided

Coarse salt

½ cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2/3 cup unsalted cashews

2 green onions, white and green parts divided and thinly sliced


Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the sherry, ginger, and 1½ teaspoons cornstarch; season with coarse salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.


2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Set aside.


3. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and cook the remaining chicken (reduce the heat if the chicken is over-browning). Transfer to the covered plate.


4. In the same skillet, add the remaining teaspoon of vegetable oil. Add the cashews, garlic, and green onion whites. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Whisk the sauce again to combine and add to the skillet along with the chicken. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Serve over rice or noodles and top with the green onion greens.


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(Recipe adapted from The Bitten Word, originally from Everyday Food)


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