February 5, 2014

Better Than Take-out: Cashew Chicken

 
Ok, listen.  This cashew chicken recipe will change your weeknight dinner life. When I made this a few weeks ago, my family loved it so much, they requested it again the next night.  We had it two nights in a row!  The flavors are amazing and I promise you, this is so much better than ordering take-out. You are controlling what goes into the dish and can get creative and add in whatever you think will be good. I think I have finally mastered an authentic tasting Chinese meal that can be whipped up in my own kitchen.  I am so excited!  So many times, I have tasted and tried copycat recipes that just don't quite hit the mark, but this one here tastes better than any cashew chicken I have ever had when eating out or ordering in.
 
Enough chatter...on to the recipe!
 
Ingredients:
 
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 8 Ounce Can of Roasted Whole Cashews
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
Half of a 7 Ounce Jar of Hoisin Sauce
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
Half of a 15 Ounce Can of Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons {or 2 cloves} of Garlic, Crushed
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
1 Small Red Onion, Diced
1/2 Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper, Diced
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
Hot Pepper Flakes, to taste
Green Onions, for garnish
Jasmine Rice, to serve it with - a key component, in my opinion
 

{Start by cutting your boneless, skinless chicken thighs in really small bite-size pieces.  You could use chicken breast here, but trust me – the thighs are so much more flavorful.}
 
{Next, start dicing your flavor-starters – red pepper, green pepper and red onion.}

{In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and begin sautéing your onions, peppers, garlic and ginger.}
 

{Let this sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, or until tender and delicious. Once tender and caramelized, remove from the pan.}

{To that same pan, add in another 2 tablespoons of oil.}

{Add in your diced chicken thighs.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.}

{Add in your cornstarch and mix this really well to coat each piece of chicken.  This will help thicken the sauce.}

{Continue to cook until the chicken begins to brown.}

{Once the chicken is golden brown, add your onion/peppers/garlic/ginger.  Mix well.}

{Add in about 1/2 can of chicken broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan.}



{Now it's time to bring the sauce together.  Add in your hoisin sauce, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, rice vinegar and soy sauce.  Stir this well, combining everything.}

{Next, add in your brown sugar.}

{And your red pepper flakes {and plenty of them, if you like things spicy, like we do.}  Let the sauce continue to bubble and thicken.}

{Add in the entire can of beautiful whole cashews. My favorite nut of them all. :)}

{Lower the heat and let this simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken a bit more.  Taste it for seasoning and feel free to add anything you think is missing.  I may have added some more soy sauce.}

{GLORIOUS. I served it over sticky jasmine rice (A MUST!) and topped it with some diced green onions. I cannot begin to tell you how good it was. Spicy, savory and sweet. What more could you ask for? Ha!}

{As previously noted, we had it two nights in a row and there were NO leftovers. Both nights.}

{I hope you will give this one a try if you enjoy Chinese food. This is a good one!}
 
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥
 
 

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