Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cashew Chicken

After the Bike Tour on Sunday, my dad, KK and I strolled through Hoboken's Arts & Music Festival.  Although the vendors are usually the same year after year, it was still nice to meander through the streets and enjoy the sunny weather.  Most importantly, I indulged in a mozzarepa - a fantastic street fair find which sandwiches mozzarella cheese between corn-based patties.  Delicious! We also walked along the Hoboken waterfront and soaked in the great views of NYC.  Instead of making the ~250 mile drive back to VA, my dad stayed with us on Sunday night. I enjoyed the extra time we got to spend together on Sunday night, plus the quick cup of coffee we shared together on Monday morning before he left!  Since we'd had Italian the night before, KK decided we needed an Asian dish for dinner.

I added extra cashews because the original recipe called for 1/2 c, but that just didn't look like enough.  I thought roasting the cashews was overkill, but I was wrong! I don't really know how to describe it, but toasting made the cashews more earthy and nuttier, if that's possible!  I was initially concerned the dish wouldn't be saucy enough, but the water and hoisin sauce, combined with the residual juices from the cooked chicken and vinegar, made just enough sauce.  To feed my dad, KK, and I - we used 1 cup Basmati rice with 2 cups water, and somehow managed to have leftovers.  To top things off (literally), I added a few dashes of Sriracha sauce.

Cashew Chicken

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


Basmati rice, for serving
1 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/4 c water


1. Prepare rice according to package directions.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread cashews on a baking sheet, and cook about 10 minutes, until golden and fragrant.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until chicken is coated; season with salt and pepper.

4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing often, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

5. Add remaining oil and chicken to skillet and cook for 1 minute.  Add garlic to chicken, and cook until chicken is browned, another 2-3 minutes.  Return first batch of chicken to pan.  Add vinegar and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.

6. Add hoisin sauce and water; heat until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.  Stir in rice and cashews.

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