Cashew Chicken

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I know you are supposed to wake up on Monday mornings feeling rested, refreshed and ready to face the busy week ahead, but when I woke up yesterday morning, all I wanted to do was hide under the covers until Friday.   Mmmmm, that wasn’t going to work!  Not with three kids to drop at school, two more to get to separate doctor’s appointments by 10am, my Mum to pick up and take to run her errands, grocery shopping (we really wanted to eat dinner last night), school track pants and a new school bag to be bought and catalogues to be collected so my teenager could fold and deliver them today.  Did I forget anything?  Maybe it was my shower.

My point is, we all have busy days and by the end of it all we  feel totally exhausted.  And even though we probably don’t feel like cooking we’re better off re-fueling our bodies with loads of vegetables than pizza dough and mozzarella cheese (as tempting as it may be).  So last night when all I wanted to do was curl up on the lounge and eat pizza, I instead had a quick look through my recipes and decided to throw together a stir-fry.  Cashew Chicken in fact.  Sounds fancy and time-consuming, but it’s totally do-able in half an hour, give or take a few minutes.  Add whatever vegetables you have on-hand (I had carrots, capsicum and snow peas), boil some rice and you’re all set.  And the kids love it.  If you have little ones who aren’t or can’t eat nuts yet, just serve theirs up before you return your toasted cashews to the pan.  It’s a tasty, quick meal to enjoy any night of the week.

Cashew Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger  (I have used powdered ginger in a pinch)
  • 1 level tablespoon cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Other:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon green onion
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, as needed
  • 1 cup vegetables for stir-frying (your choice)

I ALSO ADDED SOME SLICES OF FRESH GINGER TO THE PAN WITH THE GARLIC

Preparation:

Add the salt, rice wine or sherry, ginger and cornstarch to the chicken cubes, using chopsticks to mix it in and adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.

Prepare the remaining ingredients while the chicken is marinating. In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside. Finely chop the garlic. Wash and chop the green onion on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.

Roast the cashews in a heavy skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan continuously so that the nuts do not burn. Roast for 5 minutes, or until the cashews are browned. Remove from the pan.

Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the chicken cubes. Stir-fry until they change colour and are 80 percent cooked through. Remove from the wok.

Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the stir-frying vegetables. Stir-fry as needed, then push up to the sides of the wok. Add the sauce and the chicken. Heat everything through. Serve the chicken and vegetables over rice with the roasted cashews and the green onion as garnish.

Recipe Source:  Unknown

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