Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cashew Chicken Asian Stir Fry

This sounds complicated.


Ruthy doesn't have time for complications, and she sure as shootin' isn't about to waste valuable writing/editing/schmoozing time cooking, but this...

Oh.... THIS....

Is worth the twenty minutes it takes, and most of that doesn't have to be hardly, barely monitored.

Start with this:

I get the ginormous bag at Sam's Club and that has two packets of sauce inside....

Saute a large, cut-up chicken breast or small steak in a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and ginger (if desired) to taste. I just sprinkle all liberally. It's about the only liberal thing this conservative Yank does.

Add packet of sauce that comes with veggie mix. The sauce is thick so I add some water and soy sauce, thinning it until it's a little more like thin gravy consistency. Then I toss in some sesame seeds

I like to add an extra can of sliced water chestnuts because we love the little buggers.

I make rice on the side while the chicken or steak is braising. I use Basmati rice (we've talked about that before) because it doesn't get mushy or sticky, each grain maintains its integrity and I admire integrity, even in rice.
Maybe especially in rice.

4 cups boiling water
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

Bring the water, oil and salt to boil together, stir in 2 cups of Basmati rice. Bring to boil again, reduce heat and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

I like my cast aluminum Dutch Oven for rice, but that's because I'm a little over-the top. Kind of. Slightly. Any good saucepan will do.

I steam the veggies in the microwave until heated and just cooked. Soggy veggies don't make good stir-fry. Just pour out the amount of veggies you need from the handy-dandy freezer bag... into a bowl... and microwave them until warmed through.

I fold the veggies into the saucy-chicken-sesame seed mix. And this is what it looks like when done.
And delish. No kidding.

I like cashew chicken so I keep a big can of Planters broken cashews on hand for munching and cooking.

The crunch makes me happy. I'm so much nicer when I'm happy.  ;)

Truly, this is great done with steak or chicken. It would probably be wonderful with shrimp, too, but I haven't tried it. 

Serve over the rice, totally a "fork" meal. And one pan...

One rice pan.

And a bowl.

Now that's my kind of cookin'!


  1. Looks delicious, Ruthy.

    My chicken cashew dish isn't nearly as complicated taste-wise. Separately sautee some chicken, broccoli and scallions. Mix in some chicken gravy base with water and soy sauce then lop on top of the rice (doesn't that sound elegant?) and sprinkle with cashews. I have the huge COSTCO jar of cashews so I sprinkle liberally with them.

    Question for my cafe buddies. I think I'm asking Santa for a Keurig. We have the mini one at school and I am so NOT a fan of the watery coffee it produces. I'm told the bigger ones are much better. I know Ruthy and Missy rave about their Keurigs. Can you tell me what kind/style you have?

    Anyone else use them?

    I'm so sick of my burnt tasting coffee from my Mr. Coffee (that replaced my wonderful Braun).

  2. Mary.

    Keurig... You've come to the right place.

    Mine is the three-select-size machine, usually retailing around 119 - 140 dollars. Sam's has it with a selection of coffee for $127, I think. And at first, we had to get used to what kind of coffee we liked, and what setting. But once I experimented (Dave likes the extra bold coffees, I like the medium roasts on small or mid-size settings) then you have perfect coffee every time. The gal who gave us ours also gave us 4 boxes of coffee to try, so that was a good way of sorting through things.

    Hey, I like your fun, easy idea for cashew chicken. Thanks for sharing that! Stir-fry type cooking is fast and fun, and that just makes me smile, Mary! Awesome!

  3. Mary, I'm glad you have Ruthy and Missy to help you out with the Keurig question. Coffee and I have an understanding. I drink tea, and the coffee leaves me alone.

    (taking time out for a big sip of Blackberry Pomegranate Green Tea)

    This stir fry sounds as easy and delicious. I need to go to Sam's soon, so I'll have to look for the veggies. I usually do something similar to Mary's method - but I love having a frozen veggie mix all ready and waiting.

  4. Sounds yummy, Ruthy!! And I'm so glad I finally made it here. My internet was out this morning. I figured it was God's way of pushing me to get the words written before I got online. :)

    Mary, I have the older model mini. I found it for $69 at an outlet store and snatched it up. I didn't like the watery coffee I had at first (with the first box of K-cups I bought). So I went online and ordered the boldest, darkest roasts I could find. I'm finally happy. So I think maybe the problem isn't with the machine as much as which coffees to choose.

    I do have to say I'm so excited to be able to get Starbucks beans soon in K-cups. I think that could have been my problem all along. Theirs are about the only beans I've ever liked (even in my Mr. Coffee).

  5. By the way! I found Tina's frozen chicken and used some today. I bought the Fajita flavored grilled chicken. Made a small amount to make a burrito for lunch. Yummy!