Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cashew Chicken

Here we are with another Chinese favorite: Cashew Chicken. This heavenly recipe comes from my friend Brenda Emmet, and it is so stinking good! It’s not hard to make at all; I think the hardest thing was coating the pieces of chicken with the cornstarch mixture, and that was due to the nature of cornstarch. And the fact that I had never done it before and wasn’t aware of cornstarch’s somewhat ornery nature. ;) I had cornstarch *everywhere* in the kitchen that night! At any rate, this is an awesome recipe and I’m sure you will love it.

So, let’s get cooking!

Prepare your veggies by slicing the celery and dicing the carrots. Oh, by the way, carrots weren’t in the original recipe. I added them because, well, you know I throw extra veggies into everything! ;) They are great in this, and boost the nutrition.

Peel and mince the garlic and gingerroot. I just *love* working with fresh ginger; it’s so juicy and fragrant, and makes foods so delicious.

In a smallish bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, minced garlic and ginger, and red pepper flakes. This sounds like a strange combination of ingredients, but trust me, it works out to be a most delicious sauce for your Cashew Chicken.

Now for the chicken. Remove any extra fat and cut into small cubes, about ½ to ¾ inch in size.

In a gallon size freezer bag, mix together the cornstarch and pepper. Use the bag to coat the chicken pieces as if you were making Shake ‘n Bake. “It’s Shake ‘n Bake, and I helped!” Remember that old commercial from the 1970s? No? Okay, um, never mind. ;)

In a large skillet or saucepan, heat 1 Tbl of the oil. Sauté the chicken about 2 minutes on each side, until just done. You may have to do this in 2 or 3 batches, adding more oil as needed. Set aside in a bowl.

Heat the last tablespoon of oil in the same skillet or saucepan, and sauté the diced carrots for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the celery and cook for another minute, stirring every few seconds.

Add the cooked chicken and the sauce mixture. Simmer for 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken while cooking due to the cornstarch coating on the chicken.

While that is cooking for the half hour, make the rice, if you want it for this dish. Plenty of people eat Cashew Chicken without rice.

When both are done, add the cashews to the chicken and sauce and stir thoroughly. Serve over a portion of rice. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Cashew Chicken

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 c cornstarch
1 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbl olive oil
1/2 c soy sauce
¼ c rice vinegar
¼ c ketchup
¼ c brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp gingerroot
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3-4 stalks celery
2-3 carrots
1/2 c cashews (more if you'd like)

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