Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cashew Chicken

My cousin, Kaycee, sent me this recipe a while ago (she said it originally came from Southern Living).  It took me FOREVER, it seemed, to get around to making it and then it's taken me almost as long to post about it.  Mainly because our trip got in the way.  This is super easy and super delicious and will now be in our rotation of go-to meals.  The only draw back is that the chicken has to be marinated beforehand (which means my chicken also needs to be defrosted!!).  I am not sure I can expect myself to ever remember something like that.  But special circumstances arise and challenge us to change who we are.  To become better.  Maybe I can change myself for this dish.  I am counting on it.

I thought Tyler would especially love this because he loves cashews.  I, myself, am not a huge cashew fan so I thought I would be picking them out.  It was the opposite result.  Tyler picked them out because he was being a weirdo about the crunch and since I loved the crunch, I was gobbling them up!

Cashew Chicken
For the marinade:
1- 1&1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (I used frozen and thawed tenderloins)
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 T minced ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
To cook:
2 T canola or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions (I kept mine longer and the green parts smaller for garnish)
For the sauce:
2 T soy sauce
1 T+1 tsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
2 tsp brown sugar
1&1/2 tsp chicken bullion powder
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cashews
2-3 cups cooked rice to serve.

For the Marinade:  Cut chicken into strips or cubes and place in a zip-close bag or a storage container.  In a large measuring cup, combine soy sauce and sugar and microwave 30 seconds at a time until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in remaining marinade ingredients and pour over chicken, toss to coat evenly.  Marinate for 6-24 hours.  When ready to cook, add 1 T oil to wok or pan and cook celery and onions over med high heat for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Drain marinade from chicken and discard.  Pour 1 T oil into wok or pan and add chicken, cook 3-5 minutes (depending on the size) or until done.  For sauce, stir cornstarch into cold water, add the soy sauce, and stir.  Add remaining water sugar and bullion and stir well. When chicken is cooked, return vegetables to the pan and add both sauce mixtures.  Cook until sauce is thickened, add cashews and serve over rice, garnish with green onion if desired.  Serves 4-6

*Teriyaki sauce can be substituted for the soy sauce and sugar in the marinade
*1 1/4 cups chicken broth can be substituted for the bullion and water.  Cornstarch is more easily dissolved into cold liquids, so just have 1/4 cup be cold to dissolve the cornstarch.

Adapted slightly.


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