My Cooking Light magazine showed up in the mail and they had a feature on Stir Fry. Have I told you how much I love stir frys? What a fantastic cooking technique! It is fast, easy, delicious, nutritious, and most importantly it lends itself to a great balance of textures and flavors. Did I already say fast? I mean c'mon, whats not to like?
Fall is here in Seattle. You can tell, because the temperature drastically falls when evening sets in. The curried chicken recipe just jumped out at me. The warmth of the curry heat.....fabulous! Of course, I have this disease where I can never just follow a recipe without making my tweaks. So I did that here too, and IMHO I like the changes I made. For one thing, I like a bit more liquid in my curried chicken. I love the way the brothy stuff soaks up into the rice.
I served the curried chicken over brown rice, but white rice would be great too. Unfortunately, I omitted the dried red chilis, which is too bad because I think they would have been fantastic. I need to work on the spice tolerance for the kiddos and then they would be absolutely perfect little kids :-) If you can tolerate some spice, please add in a few dried red chilis. Add them to the oil at the point I add the red chili flakes. For extra oomph you can add the whole chilis and the chili flakes. Now that's my kind of stir fry.
Another added bonus of this dish is that it makes the kitchen smell divine. J walked in the door and had a huge grin on his face. A said his favorite part of the dish was the chicken and the cashews. He prefers his bell pepper raw. R, the carbo lover, liked the rice the best. No surprises there. Oh! the carrots too. I had to pick the onions out of his plate which was quite a pain given how many there were, but not too shabby. At least I am not cooking separate meals for them anymore. Baby steps.....
Did I mention the cilantro is fresh? Here is R harvesting cilantro from the farm. He was really getting into it.
Curried Cashew Chicken
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine, Sep 2008
2/3 cup chicken broth (canned is fine)
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx 1 lb)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
3 scallions, green parts only, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced on the bias
1 green bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup roasted salted cashews
1/2 tsp salt (more/less to taste)
1. Cut chicken across the grain into 1/4 inch slices; flatten and slice again into 1/4 inch strips. Cut strips in half, so each is approx. 2 inches long.
2. Sprinkle chicken pieces with cornstarch and soy sauce. Mix well and set aside.
3. To prepare sauce, combine the first five ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
4. Heat a large wok over high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, swirling to coat the wok. Add half the chicken, stir fry for 2 minutes till chicken develops a nice golden crust. Spoon cooked chicken into a bowl. Repeat the procedure using one more tbsp oil and the other half of the chicken.
5. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the wok, swirling to coat. Add the red chili flakes. Then add the onions, scallions, ginger, and garlic; stir fry 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add the carrots and bell pepper. Stir fry 3 minutes, till vegetables cook through just a bit. Add curry powder. Stir fry 30 seconds till fragrant. Add sauce and chicken to the wok. Stir fry another miniute or so till the sauce coats everything evenly and slightly thickens. Add in the cashews and cilantro. Serve immediately over rice.