Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Park City Cashew Chicken

I am always one for trying something new when it comes to cooking. I like fusion restaurants, combining Latin ingredients with a dash of Asian flair, and other combinations that might not sound like a good idea in the beginning, but turn out beautifully. This recipe, from my Rachel Ray's 365 No Repeats cookbook, takes some of the basic ingredients for a cashew chicken stir fry but mixes in sweet flavors. I find that I've been using a lot of maple syrup in recipes lately (oh so much more than a pancake topping!), however this is one example where I think the original, your standard asian-style cashew chicken, is superior. You be the judge. 

For the record, the recipe says this serves 4, but I think it's more like 6. Or I've gotten really good at portion control in recent months.

Park City Cashew Chicken (serves 4-6)


  • 3 TB vegetable oil
  • TB unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, 1/4 finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 lb chicken meat (tenders; skinless, boneless breasts; skinless, boneless thighs), cut into 2-inch pieces       
  • TB grill seasoning blend, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning blend by McCormick
  • 2 - 3 TB soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 10 - 12 water chestnuts, sliced or chopped
  • TB canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, or 1 1/2 TB ground chipotle powder
  • TB ground cumin
  • 2 - 3 TB honey
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 - 3 TB cilantro or parsley leaves (a handful), chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil (1 turn of the pan) and the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add the rice and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the chicken stock and cover the pot. Raise the heat and bring the stock to a rapid boil. Once the stock boils, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes.

While the rice cooks, make the chicken. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Season the chicken with the grill seasoning. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of 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 add the water chestnuts and green peas, and 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 or parsley (whichever you prefer) and the cashews.

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

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