Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cashew Chicken

Using a recipe from Quick & Easy Thai Cuisine, we whipped up some Cashew Chicken tonight.

The cookbook has great pictures, but lacks a bit in the way of step by step instructions, and sometimes has odd measurements, grammer, and punctuation.

This recipe, for instance, had only two steps. Both were illustrated, but details like cooking times aren't included. As a result, I think I overcooked the chicken a bit, which resulted in the meat tightening up, expelling it's juices, and watering down the glaze into an inadequate sauce. I knew there was a problem when Dan asked me to grab the soy sauce. I did, but also strained off the juices in the pan, and poured that over our plates, which helped a bit (without adding a blast of salty soy).

Cashew Chicken
1/4 T oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb sliced chicken
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts
1 green onion, chopped
1/8 cup sliced red bell pepper

1 Tbspn fish sauce
2 Tbspn oyster sauce
1 1/2 Tbspn sugar
1 tspn sesame seed oil
1/8 tspn white pepper

1. Heat pan, add oil, garlic, chicken, and all sauce ingredients.
2. Turn heat to high and reduce sauce until a glaze forms. Mix in roasted cashews, garnish with green onions and bell peppers.

When I make this recipe again, I'll cook the chicken until almost done at medium heat, and cook down the peppers (and any other veggies, like the baby bok choy from Stoney Plains we threw in this time) along with them, so the high heat period to cook down the glaze can be quick and not actually do much to the chicken.

Despite the sometimes puzzling lack of guidance, and measures like 1 1/2 Tablespoons, I do love this cookbook for how quick the recipes are to make. We've used it for Phad Thai and numerous curries, and even when we have to make guesses they always seem to turn out.

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