After our cooking lessons a couple weeks ago, we were planning on making another dinner with pork loin, but we both decided we wanted something a little different. We had a bunch of ingredients for Asian food and a Sam's Club sized jar of cashews, so Cashew Chicken it was. Patrick is usually in charge of Asian cuisine in our house and he took control of this as well, hence the complete transformation of the original recipe. He is very good at improvising while cooking, while I at least like to stick to the recipe the first time and then make slight variations the next time I make it. It's funny to see our personalities shine through in our cooking styles.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 scallions, white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 green pepper diced
1/2 onion diced
1 jalapeno diced
1 cup matchstick carrots
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup szechuan sauce, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
3/4 cup raw cashews (4 ounces), toasted
Chopped fresh cilantro
White rice or Asian noodles, for serving (optional)
Lime wedges for serving
Boil water for rice or noodles.
In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until chicken is coated; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing often, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add rice or noodles to boiling water.
Add remaining oil and chicken to skillet along with the garlic and white parts of scallions. Add onions, carrots and peppers. Cook, tossing often, until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Return first batch of chicken to pan. Add vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Then add the szechuan sauce.
Cook, tossing, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in scallion greens, cilantro and cashews. Add soy sauce to noodles to prevent them from sticking. Serve immediately over white rice or noodles, if desired.
Adapted From: Everyday Food