Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cashew Chicken

So, I'm pretty sure aliens invaded my body for a short time, because I didn't run from this recipe that calls for using chicken thighs. And I'm glad I didn't. What can I say...I'm growing up. Anywho, this was like my favorite Chinese take-out dish but at home and without all that pesky MSG. I served ours with a side salad, but the dish is really enough on its own. Enjoy!
 
 
Cashew Chicken
{The Pioneer Woman}
 
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
6 whole boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes
Kosher salt to taste
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 whole green bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup sherry or chicken broth
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup drained canned water chestnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted cashews
2 whole green onions, thinly sliced
Cooked rice or noodles for serving
 
In a bowl mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Set aside.
 
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat and add the chicken in a single layer. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt, then leave it alone for at least a couple of minutes to give the chicken a chance to brown. When the chicken has turned golden, stir it around so that it can brown on all sides. Throw in the garlic and ginger and stir to combine. Stir in the bell pepper and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
 
While the pan is still hot, pour in the sherry. Stir it around, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all the flavorful bits. Turn the heat to medium-low and pour in the sauce mixture, then mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water to make a slurry and pour it in. Stir the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken, then add the water chestnuts and cashews and stir to coat everything with the sauce, adding a splash of water if the sauce is too thick.
 
Finally, sprinkle on the green onions. Serve over rice or noodles.
 
**I served ours over basmati rice, and it was fabulous. I did think it needed water at the end, and I added approximately 1/4 cup to the sauce. I was worried the cashews would be soggy the next night (it made enough for 2 meals for us), but they were still crunchy.**