Thursday, February 26, 2009

Park City Cashew Chicken

This is another Rachael Ray 365 meal. It is a favorite around here. It is spicy and a little sweet, plus the cashews add a wonderful crunch. I have said before how much we love stir fries and this resembles a stir fry but with less Asian flavors. It may seem like the chipotles and maple syrup should not go together, but they do.

I have made this recipe many times because everyone here loves it. One change I have made is Rachael's recipe calls for more chipotles than I use. The first time I made it, I cut back a bit on the chipotles and it was too hot for us and we love spicy food. Once we cut it back, it was much better.

The recipes I have found online for this is different than the one in the 365 book. Most of the online recipes include water chestnuts and garden peas. I think those added ingredients makes it more Asian. I choose to leave them out and follow the recipe in the book.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cups jasmine rice
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
2 pounds chicken meat (tenders; skinless, boneless breasts; skinless, boneless thighs), cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning blend by McCormick
2 to 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, such as tamari (eyeball it)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped (available in the international foods aisle), or 1 1/2 tablespoons ground chipotle powder **if you don't want super spicy food, cut this back to 1 tablespoon. You can always add more if you need more heat**
1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)
2 to 3 tablespoons honey (2 healthy drizzles)
1/4 to 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (eyeball it)
2 to 3 tablespoons cilantro (a handful), chopped
1 cup raw cashews

1. Start the jasmine rice. Follow the directions on the bag.

2. While the rice cooks, make the chicken. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Season the chicken with the grill seasoning. Add the vegetable oil (2 turns of the pan) and then the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with the soy sauce, then move the chicken to 1 side of the pan. Add the sliced onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then mix the vegetables and chicken together. Add the chipotle chiles and cumin. Toss to coat. Glaze the chicken mixture with the honey and maple syrup and turn off the heat. Add the chopped cilantro and the cashews.

3. Spoon the rice into bowls, top with the cashew chicken and serve.

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