It has been a crazy day, or actually a crazy week around here as my computer keeps going up and down. My laptop kept crashing several times a day until we finally decided to do something about it and ended up replacing it with a new desktop instead. In the meantime I kind of put everything else on hold so I haven’t been able to do much as far as work, blogging, or just about anything else as we tried to get everything set up. Along the way, I haven’t had much time to do any cooking either. I did manage to do a couple of meals so I do have a few new recipes to share, and I did a couple of recipes without an any pictures being involved, so I do have some things to post. One that we tried recently was for a takeout favorite of cashew chicken. Just like any other stir fry recipe, it is pretty easy to put together and doesn’t take a lot of effort on your part so you can make this just about any night of the week when you feel like having something a little bit different. Most of the ingredients are things you may have around most of the time anyway, other than perhaps the water chestnuts where the cashews themselves.
For the Chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
1 cup cashews, chopped or cashew pieces
2 scallions thinly sliced
1/2 can water chestnuts
1 green, yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
For the chicken, in a medium bowl, combine the chicken, dry sherry, ginger, garlic and 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch. Cover the bowl and chill the mixture for 30 minutes. In a separate small bowl, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes, if using, and 2 1/2 teaspoons of the cornstarch; whisk until the ingredients are well blended. Set the bowl aside.
Sauté 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil and half of the chicken mixture in a large skillet set over high heat for 2 minutes, then turn the chicken pieces over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and add the remaining chicken to the skillet. Cook the chicken pieces in the same manner, turning after 2 minutes and cooking until they are heated through. Add a little more vegetable oil to the pan if it is needed. Add the peppers to the pan, sautéing the peppers for about 2 minutes until they are tender. Return the 1st batch of cooked chicken to the skillet. Stir in the chicken broth mixture and add the water chestnuts then bring the mixture to a low boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add the cashews to the skillet and mix to incorporate them into the dish. Top with the scallions, if desired, and serve.
This is the ideal dish to serve with fried rice if you feel like making it for the dinner, though I just served mine with white rice. This tastes just like the cashew chicken you would get from any takeout Chinese restaurant and you have better control over the ingredients yourself. You could easily use boneless thighs if you prefer dark meat for your chicken and add any vegetables that you like to the dish if you want. The sauce is the real winner here as it is great with the combination of sticky sweet with a bit of heat from the red pepper flakes. it is a very easy dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!