Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cashew Chicken

I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe. It seemed like it would be nothing special, ya know? Normal ingredients, no secret-super-special techniques or anything but it was definitely yummy, filled an Asian food craving and in a pretty darn healthy way and was SUPER quick. It only took me maybe 20 minutes, including prep, and everything. I scaled this down to two servings since it was just me (I do this a lot, I make 2 servings and eat one and put one the fridge for later). 

Here it is for 2 servings folks:
adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff
1 chicken breast
salt, pepper, & olive oil, as needed
1/4 c. soy sauce  
2 tbls. rice vinegar
2 tbls. katsup
1 tbls. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 c. mixed nuts
1 green onion, chopped (optional)

Chop up chicken into bite-sized pieces. Dust with salt & pepper. Heat up a swirl of oil in a saucepan. Toss in your chicken and fry until mostly cooked. Mix up all your sauce ingredients (other than nuts) in a bowl. Once chicken is mostly done add in the sauce. Once chicken is cooked coarsely shred chicken. Toss in nuts, and green onions if desired. Serve over rice.

The original recipe called for flour before browning the chicken also but I eat gluten-free so I left it out and shredded up the chicken. I used the original amount of sauce which was for 2 lbs of chicken, I don't think there would be at all enough sauce. I think the amount was perfect so the chicken was nice and moist, and there was a bit left for rice. The original recipe also cooked it for 4 hours on low in a crockpot... to me there was zero need for that and I don't think there would be enough sauce at all for it not to burn up. Completely cooking the chicken took 2 or 3 minutes more than just browning it, and I was hungry! I also would definitely use just cashews next time, but I had a mix of cashews, almonds, and peanuts on hand so that's what I used. I think an awesome mix-up would also be to use chili sauce or Sriracha in place of the katsup. 

Here's a recipe using roughly 1 lb. of chicken / 8 servings-ish (hey, I know some of ya don't like math):
4 chicken breasts
salt, pepper, and oil as needed
1 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1/2 c. katsup
1/4 c. brown sugar
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 c. cashews
3 green onions, chopped (optional)

Cut up chicken. Season with salt and pepper.  Heat up a nice swirl of oil. Fry chicken until mostly cooked. Stir together sauce except for nuts. Now if I'm shredding a lot of chicken I like use a kitchenaid mixer because it shreds it in like uhh .2 seconds. But if you're old school you can for sure just use 2 forks and go at it. If i was going to shred it in the kitchenaid I would cook it all the way shred it, while the sauce is heating up and then toss the shredded chicken back into the sauce. Then you toss in the nuts and green onion if desired. Serve over rice.


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