It's a busy weeknight. You're in a hurry, as usual, and you suddenly realize: it's dinner time. Huh? Where in the world did the day go?
Here's another fast, delicious Go To dish to the busy mom's and busy dad's rescue.
I personally love this dish. It has loads of protein, lots of crunch thanks to the peppers and the cashews, and just a little bit of kick. Feel free to add some spices to kick it up if you like spicy dishes; I am a spice wimp and do not like anything other than Super Ultra Mild.
My husband and I have made this dish over and over for several years, and I can't get enough. It's perfect for those nights when you really want Chinese take-out but you really don't want to fork over $50 for the family dinner and, more importantly, you really don't want to change out of your workout clothes or get in your car and drive to get dinner. Okay, maybe that's just me... Just nod and smile and try this recipe.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound of skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces
dash of salt & pepper
1 chopped red pepper
1 bunch of scallions chopped and separate the whites from the green parts, and then divide the green parts in half
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
¾ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup whole cashews
1. Heat wok at medium high. Once you can place a drop of oil onto the wok and it sizzles (oh you gotta love the sizzle!), then add your vegetable oil and chicken pieces. Salt and pepper the chicken.
2. Stirring constantly, cook the chicken through, until the outside has some slightly golden spots (about 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces). Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and place onto a plate. Set aside. Don't nibble on too much chicken while you're completing the rest of the steps.
3. Add peppers, white parts of the scallions, ginger and garlic to the wok. Stirring constantly, cook until the peppers are slightly soft or to the texture that you prefer (about 5 minutes or so ought to do it).
4. While the veggies are cooking, mix the chicken broth, soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk until completely blended.
5. After the peppers are cooked through, add the liquid mixture to the wok. Continue mixing the veggies with the liquid mixture for another 3-5 minutes until the liquid starts to thicken.
6. Add the chicken back to the wok, along with the cashews and green scallion parts. Stir and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve with brown or white rice.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
VEGGIE OPTION: You can make this a vegetarian meal by simply substituting more veggies in place of chicken. I would add more peppers, carrots, broccoli. I tried using mushrooms once (which I normally love) and wouldn't recommend it -- the texture and flavor just don't mix with this particular dish.
FLAVOR BOOST: If you think this recipe could use more OOMPH, try tasting it as you go, and adding more fresh garlic and ginger throughout until you get the taste you like. I've even added some ground ginger at the end before when I didn't have enough fresh ginger and it tasted great.
NOTE: I am not a chef but I cook & bake a lot and I l-o-v-e it. I don't believe in exact measuring because I believe every dish can be made to enjoy if you listen to your heart and your personal tastebuds while you cook. Think of these recipes not as formulas but as guidelines. Most of all: have FUN when you cook. The best dishes are made from love.