The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It

Cashew Chicken and the Kitchen Time Warp

I do believe there is some sort of time warp in my kitchen.  Every time I set out to make a recipe, and that recipe has a time suggestion on it for how long it will take to make a dish, it always takes me much, much longer than it says it should. 

Thirty minute meals? My foot.

And, yes, I know Rachael Ray has help on her set and all of her ingredients are prepared ahead of time.  But I am telling you, if I had the same setup with the same help and the same pre-prepared ingredients, it would still take me forever to make whatever she does in thirty minutes. 

Seriously.  Time warp. 

I got this recipe from a magazine which declared that it should-should being the key word here-take thirty minutes of work time and one hour total. 

I never should have even started.

It took for stinking ever the first time I made this, but it was delish and different.  It was worth it even is the recipe list is a mile long. 

Tonight I made it for the second time.  I was a little faster, but I wasn’t terribly hungry so I was fine with that.  On a hungry girl night? No way.  Someone would get hurt if I had to wait so long. 

Plan ahead, my friends. 

Cashew Chicken

2 good size chicken breasts, thinly sliced
3 T dry sherry, although I was out, so I used red wine.
2 tsp. ginger-I used dried.  I am not a fan of ginger. Nothing personal, Ginger.
2 cloves of garlic, peeled then smashed with the blade of your knife. 
4 ½ tsp. cornstarch
¾ c.  chicken stock
2 T soy sauce
3 T Hoisin sauce
1 T white wine vinegar
2 tsp.  brown sugar
Vegetable oil
½ c. cashews-I used two handfuls which is probably more that this calls for.  I want a crunch in every bite.
Red pepper flakes for garnish
Cooked rice

In a bowl, combine the sherry, ginger, garlic, and 2 t. of the cornstarch.  Add the chicken and toss.  Set aside for thirty minutes to marinade.

In another bowl, combine the stock, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and the rest of the cornstarch.  Wisk well and set aside. 
 Using two tablespoons of the vegetable oil, sauté the chicken in small batches until the chicken is slightly brown, about five minutes.  Remove each finished batch to a small platter then return it all to the pan when all the chicken is done.

Stir in the soy sauce mixture and allow to simmer for about four minutes.  It should thicken right up to the consistency of thin gravy.  When it is thick, add your cashews. 

To serve, plate your rice, add the cashew chicken on top in a pretty formation, and top with the red pepper flakes to taste. 

Eat away.

Cashew Chicken


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