Cashew Chicken

Why is it suddenly so frigid again?!  We got so spoiled with the few days that it was above 30 degrees that I was hoping for some spring weather.  Alas, we’re back to wind chills in the negatives, which is definitely the worst part about living in Buffalo.  It’s definitely a day for curling up in a huge fluffy blanket!

This cashew chicken is a quick and easy recipe that is perfect for crazy weeknights or nights you’d just rather have more time for cozying up under a big fluffy blanket than standing in the kitchen cooking.  This dish definitely holds its own against takeout, and it’s a whole lot healthier.

The sauce on the chicken is so, so tasty.  It definitely reminds me of what I’d order from the local Chinese place.  I served this up with a stir fry mix of veggies from Trader Joe’s, some extra broccoli, and quinoa.  Much better than takeout! :)

I made this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, as they tend not to dry out quite as much as chicken breasts often do, and Alex was pretty upset about it.  I handed him a plate without telling him what it was, and he asked what the weird stuff on top was.  Um, chicken!  He didn’t like that thighs don’t have perfect square-like cuts like breasts do.  Little does he know, I’ve been using chicken thighs in a lot of things lately – soups, casseroles, etc – and he’s had no complaints until now! 😉  If you think chicken thighs are weird, too, you can easily use chicken breasts.

What is your favorite takeout meal to make at home?


Cashew Chicken

serves 4

Cashew Chicken

    For the chicken:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • To serve:
  • about 2-4 cups cooked quinoa (1/2-1 cup uncooked quinoa) or rice
  • steamed veggies
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large bowl, toss the chicken pieces with one tablespoon of cornstarch, until evenly coated.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and cook the chicken until no longer pink (you can do half of the chicken at a time, dividing the oil in half, if you don't have a large enough skillet). Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.

Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and cashews, sautéing until the cashews are golden and the onion is translucent.

Whisk the chicken broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and half tablespoon of cornstarch together in a measuring cup. Pour the sauce into the cashew mixture in the skillet, and heat, while stirring, until the sauce thickens.

Add the chicken back into the skillet, and stir until the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve over cooked quinoa or rice with steamed vegetables and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes on top, if using.

adapted from Cooking Classy