Friday, September 14, 2007

Cashew Chicken

One of our favorite easy meals! If you've eaten at our house, we've probably served this to you. It barely serves four though, so if you have a bigger family, want leftovers, or are entertaining more people, you might want to double the recipe.

1 1/3 lbs chicken breasts
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 rice wine (sake, mirin)*
5 green onions
1 piece ginger (3/4 inch)*
2/3 cup cashews (or walnuts, if you prefer [I don't])
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce

Cut chicken into 3/4 inch cubes. Stir cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of the rice wine and mix well with chicken cubes (we throw it all in a freezer ziplock and let it sit while we chop everything else).

Remove root ends and any dark green or wilted parts from the green onions and rinse. Cut into 3/4 inch lengths. Peel ginger, slice thinly, and then slice into matchsticks. Break cashews into small pieces or chop coarsely.

Heat oil in a wok or pan, add cashews, and stir fry for a minute or 2 until they start to turn brown. Remove and set aside. Add chicken to the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add onions and ginger and stir-fry for another minute. Combine remaining rice wine, soy sauce, and about 1/3 cup water and add to chicken along with cashews. Stir-fry for another minute, make sure chicken is cooked through and serve. Great with sticky rice.

*Kayla's Notes:

-You can find rice wine and good sticky rice (Aaron is a total rice snob, so only the real good stuff will do at our house) at Lee Lee's. If you don't feel like making the effort, regular white wine or cooking wine works just fine and I can't really tell the difference in taste.

-When I gave my sister this recipe the concept of ginger in plant form as opposed to powdered form was totally alien. So, just in case you read that and went "...3/4 inch?" You can find ginger root everywhere (including Fry's and WalMart) in the vegetable section. It's quite cheap and you really don't need much at all for this recipe.

-I use my onion chopper to quickly chop the cashews. Also, they burn real quick, so keep an eye on them while stir-frying! A slotted spoon works well for putting them aside while stir-frying everything else.

-I like to let the whole thing simmer for a bit at the end. I usually mix a little more cornstarch in some water and add it right at the end to thicken it up, otherwise it tends to be a bit watery.

Thanks to Bethany S for the invite! This is such a great idea and I'm really excited about trying some of these recipes and sharing my good ones!