Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cashew Chicken

Well, I made it to the grocery store today.  Two of them.  With children in tow.  They succeeded in reminding me why I always do my big shopping trip in the evenings when The Dad is home.  My kids are good kids.  For the most part, they are a pleasure to leave the house with.  Taking them to the grocery store for a shopping trip that will be longer than 1/2 hour is not pleasurable and is just asking for it.  Of course they insist on sitting in the stupid car shopping cart.  I hate those things.  They're IMPOSSIBLE to maneuver.  And they're forced to sit pressed up against one another in it.  Again, asking for it.  They fought the entire time.  Well, that's not true.  They were really sweet to each other - and me - when we were coming up on the "cookie lady".  They saw the bakery and all of a sudden they were angels.  Please Mommy, we love you.  We're being good.  I'm not gonna lie.  They got a cookie.  It bought me the extra ten minutes I needed to get the heck out of there.  Oh, I almost forgot the best part.  The Girl had to go potty halfway through the store.  Of course.  Again, my reminder of why I grocery shop alone.

Anyway, two stores and $150 later, I got what I needed for ten dinners (not including any leftover nights), five fun breakfasts and random odds and ends.  Mission accomplished. 

The first meal crossed off the menu, as the post title suggests, was Cashew Chicken.  It was another one ripped from a magazine.  I can't remember which one and I have no idea if I got it a week ago or five years ago.  It was in the accordion file.  The Dad thought it was delicious.  I thought it was really good.  The Kids ate it. 

Here's the recipe with my notes:

1 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp dry sherry (I subbed white wine)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used more)
2 cloves garlic, sliced (I just realized it says sliced - I minced three of them)
4 1/2 tsp cornstarch (divided - or you'll screw up like me and put it all in the chicken mix)
3/4 C chicken broth
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp canola oil (I used veggie oil)
1/2 C unsalted toasted cashews (I used regular roasted, salted ones)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (omitted for The Dad's sake - would have been prettier with them)
1/4 tsp red-pepper flakes (omitted for the kids sake - had them on the table with sriracha)

1.  In a bowl, combine chicken, sherry, ginger, garlic and two tsp cornstarch.  Chill 30 minutes.  In another bowl combine broth, soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, sugar and 2 1/2 tsp cornstarch; set aside.

2.  Saute 1 tsp oil and half the chicken in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat until cooked through, about 5 mins; remove.  Repeat with remaining chicken and oil.

3.  Return chicken to skillet.  Stir in broth mixture and bring to a simmer; cook until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.  Add cashews and garnish with scallions and red-pepper flakes. 

This made enough for the four of us and The Dad's lunch tomorrow.

Here it is on my plate:

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