Mar 17 2011

Cashew Chicken

Published by at 6:00 am under Autumn,Budget Meal,Main Course,Quick Meal,Spring,Winter

Cashew Chicken

This may possibly be my new favorite quick dinner. It’s definitely faster than takeout Chinese, and in this case, I happen to like this version of cashew chicken better – there’s no giant chunks of celery, and there are LOTS of cashews!

I can also attest that the leftovers were great – sure the cashews softened a bit, but the meal tasted just as good. And, unlike leftover Chinese food, it didn’t upset my stomach.

Of course, because dinner was so easy, I had to figure out another way to pull off a klutzy moment.

Now that we have daylight later in the day, I was able to snap a picture of my dinner by a window. It was still darker than I would have liked, so taking a picture without the tripod was a little tricky – most of my attempts turned out blurry.

I had my camera around my neck and decided to try to get more of a close-up from above. I held the camera against my torso, then reached forward to move something slightly…and in the process let go of the camera.

Into my dinner my macro lens went!

Thank God I had a lens filter on. I’d much rather deal with trying to clean that than messing up a not-so-cheap lens. The moral of the story? Don’t try to rush through pictures when you’re super-super-hungry, and dinner smells really, really good.

Cashew Chicken
from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces (whites and greens separated)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3/4 cup toasted cashews*
Cooked rice for serving

In medium bowl, toss the chicken with the cornstarch to coat. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Transfer to a clean bowl. Add remaining oil and chicken, white parts of onions, and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is browned. Return first batch of chicken to the pan and cook, until the chicken is cooked through.

Add rice vinegar to pan and cook until evaporated. Add hoisin and 1/4 cup water to pan, cook until thickened slightly. Remove pan from heat. Add green onions and cashews, stir to combine.

Serve over rice.

*To toast cashews, spread over a baking sheet and toast in 350* oven for 10 minutes. You can also use roasted (unsalted) cashews.

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