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Posts tagged ‘peanut sauce’

We Welcome Rutherford Into The Family And Eat Cashew Chicken

Last night got awesome when I mixed painkillers with a glass of pinot grigio and started buying things on the internet.

My ideal present was not available: For reasons discussed in my last post, I wanted to give Scott a framed photo of David Stark apologizing for selling crocheted hammers and wooden “chocolates.”

But Mr. Stark was busy making bank yesterday and I wasn’t able to reach him.

It’s probably for the best.  I suspect our interaction would have gone something like this:

So I poked around on google and before I knew what was happening I got an email confirming my purchase of a Madagascar hissing cockroach at the Bronx Zoo. 

Attached to the email was a certificate, and at the top of the certificate was a picture of two cockroaches making out.  It’s an image Scott and I will have to live with for the rest of our lives, but you won’t because I deleted it for you.

Scott says its the creepiest Valentine he’s ever gotten.

You know what I say?

Which brings me to my next point: Here’s what you should make for someone who isn’t speaking to you because you have “unforgivably terrible taste in gifts.”

Rich, savory cashew chicken.

This chicken is CRAZY GOOD.  It’s garlicky and nutty and juicy.  If you want, you can make it spicy too.  Jalapenos can be involved.  Cilantro is optional.

It’s like a peanut sauce, but punchier.  And it doesn’t take long to prepare: you blend all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor and you smother that all over the chicken.  You can cook it right then or let it marinate a few hours.  We threw the chicken on a skillet and sautéed it right up, but you could grill it too.

Cashew Chicken {Download & Print Recipe}

Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cook Book, Amanda Hesser, ed.

Ingredients: (for 4 people)

1 c. roasted and salted cashews

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro + more for garnish (can substitute parsley if you have to)

1/8 c. + 2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. brown sugar

juice of 1 lime + more wedges for garnish

2 tbsp. water

1/2 to 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced (seeds and ribs discarded or not, to taste)

2 lbs. skinless chicken breasts, tenders or thighs

salt & pepper


Combine the nuts, cilantro (or parsley), oil, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, water and jalapeno* in a blender or food processor.

[*Jalapeno Note: If you don’t like spicy food, you should be totally fine with 1/2 jalapeno with the ribs and seeds removed.   The ribs and seeds are the spiciest part.  We don’t think 1/2 jalapeno makes it spicy at all, and one of us is really sensitive.]

Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Clean the chicken.  Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.

Set aside 1/3 of the cashew mixture to be served as a dipping sauce.  Smear enough of the remaining mixture to thoroughly coat the chicken.  Let marinate at room temperature while you heat a grill or a skillet on the stove top, or refrigerate for up to 12 hours before cooking.)

If sautéing, heat 1 tbsp. of the remaining oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, begin working in batches: place some of the chicken in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd it.

Cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is golden brown on the outside and done on the inside (i.e. no longer pink) about 10-17 minutes (Cut into a piece to check doneness.).

Carefully (as pan will be hot) wipe crumbs out of the pan and repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining chicken.

If grilling, turn chicken frequently until it is crisp and golden on the outside and done on the inside (i.e. no longer pink), about 20-30 minutes. (Cut into a piece to check doneness.)

To serve: Sprinkle with cilantro leaves (if desired) and place lime wedges on the side.  Serve remaining cashew mixture as a dipping sauce.


If this isn’t one of the tastiest chicken dinners you’ve had in a while, Thunder has volunteered to eat an old shoe she found.

If there’s anything left of it.

Which is looking unlikely at this point.

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