Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cashew Chicken...Williams Sonoma Style

I used to surf the recipe section of Williams Sonoma's web site ALL the time drooling over the pictures of the FABULOUS dishes and adding them to my online recipe box.  I have a TON of recipes in this online box that I have never made because I didn't have the time before...until now!  Being a stay-at-home mom has some SERIOUS perks!

When going to a Chinese restaurant, Cashew Chicken isn't my very first choice of what to order...but I LOVE cashews and we happened to have 1 cup that needed to be used up. 

Cashew Chicken
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
3 Tbs. corn or peanut oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup salted roasted cashews
Steamed rice for serving

In a large bowl, stir together 2 Tbs. of the soy sauce, the wine and ginger. Stir in the chicken to coat evenly and set aside for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbs. water, the remaining 1 Tbs. soy sauce, the Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, sugar and cornstarch, and stir to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.

Stir-fry the chicken

Heat a wok or large fry pan over high heat until very hot and add 2 Tbs. of the corn oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, draining it well, and discard the marinade. Add the chicken to the wok and stir-fry until opaque, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl.

Return the wok to medium heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. corn oil. Add the green onions and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Return the chicken to the wok and add the cashews. Give the sauce a quick stir, add to the pan and stir until the sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately with the steamed rice. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Oxmoor House, 2007).

I didn't notice until I started cooking this meal that it lacked the veggie element of most Cashew Chicken dishes...that was really too bad. I like meals with different textures in them and this just didn't have it.  When I marinated the chicken I did it for an hour rather than the 15 minutes the recipe called for.  I've always thought that if a little of something is good, then a LOT has to be even better...that isn't always the case.  The chicken SOAKED up the soy sauce and over powered the dish.

Overall this wasn't too bad.  I'd totally make it again and add my own improve this dish.  I'd also stick to the marinating instructions rather than improvising. :)