Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cashew Chicken with Green Beans

Sorry that it's been a while, but for those who don't know - we've moved into our very first house and it's a lot of work. I find myself doing stuff around the house versus working on blogging the night's dinners and for that, I apologize. I will try to get back on the wagon.

That being said, I give you Cashew Chicken with Green Beans!

This recipe, being that it has cashews in it, should obviously only be enjoyed by kids who can handle them, so you've been warned. (You can omit the cashews of course)

I started by marinating the chicken. You can do this a few hours in advance or even as little as 15 minutes, though I wouldn't do a 24 hour marinade. The chicken may break down too much (though I haven't tested this).

I used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trimmed and diced into bite sized chunks)

Chicken Marinade:
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch of ginger, chopped fine
1/4 cup of sherry (cooking wine, whatever you have)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
dash of salt/pepper

Shake to combine and let sit.

Meanwhile, get the green beans together.

I used a pound and trimmed the ends, and cut them into bite sized chunks. This dish would probably look much better with larger beans, but my daughter can't deal with the huge green beans. Sacrifices. I know.

This was a bit of an experiment, but I marinate the green beans along with my chicken because I had the time. If you don't, skipping this step would be fine.

Green Bean Marinade:
1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 tsp chinese 5 spice
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Toss into a bag and let sit until ready for service.

Toast 3/4 cup of cashews in a hot, dry pan until fragrant. Toss or stir constantly and don't allow them to burn. Coarsely chop them and set aside.

Get your sauce together:

1 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 Tbs cornstarch (ensure there are no lumps)

Stir everything to combine and set aside.

Like all stir-fry dishes, it's pretty boring until service, then it all goes by really fast.

Time to cook!

Put 2 Tbs of oil into your pan and turn to high heat. If you marinated your beans, drain them in a colander and toss them in the hot pan.

Cook until the ends start to brown. I used fresh beans so this actually took a lot longer than I thought it would. Total of about 15 minutes cooking on a high flame.

Remove from the pan and set aside.

Allow the pan to come back up to temperature and add another dose of oil. Drain the chicken in a colander to get the excess marinade off and toss it in.

Cook on high heat until no longer pink. This should only take a few minutes, tops.

Add the sauce mixture and cashews and allow it to come to a boil. It should thicken up pretty nicely.

Add the green beans back in and toss to combine.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes to heat the beans through and combine everything nicely.

Serve with rice and in our opinion, a healthy dose of Sriracha. The sauce in this dish is really sweet and the heat of the Sriracha took it to the next level. It ended up being pretty awesome.


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