Thursday, January 27, 2011

chicken cashew stirfry

I had a bunch of chicken thighs I needed to use up tonight, and I needed something quick as it was laundry night. I decided a stir-fry was in order. I was poking around Epicurious and found this recipe, which sounded pretty good, so I gave it a try!


Chicken Cashew Stir-Fry
4 servings

1 bunch scallions
1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews

Chop scallions, separating white and green parts. Pat chicken dry, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces and toss with salt and pepper. Heat a wok or 12-inch heavy skillet (not non-stick) over moderately high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately. Add oil, swirling to coat, then stir-fry chicken until golden in places and just cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and scallion whites to pan and stir-fry until peppers are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar, then stir into vegetables in pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cashews, scallion greens and chicken along with any accumulated juices.

*****

I omitted the salt to season the chicken with at the beginning, omitted the hot red pepper flakes, and I substituted yellow bell pepper for half of the red bell pepper called for. The finished product tasted awesome, but I have to admit I was skeptical all during cooking because the chicken really stuck to the bottom of the pan and then the garlic and ginger did, too. I think probably I didn't use enough oil (one of these days I'll learn to measure). Happily, nothing that stuck to the pan actually burnt, and when I added the liquid and gave it a good stir it all came up and added a lot of flavor to the sauce.

I'll definitely make this one again. Next time I'll make rice to catch all the lovely sauce as well.