Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thai Cashew Chicken for those lazy days

The family gathered over at Mom's a couple of weeks ago for the annual fall birthday bash, and my brother was harping at me for not taking any photos of all my favorite dishes. Um, sorry, but I take my birthday off!

Alas, birthday week is now over, culminating with a fun-filled weekend in Vancouver, B.C., where we ate delicious Franco-German fare at La Brasserie and drooled over our Pannekoek and DeBakon at De Dutch. I will be back, Vancouver!

And then I had to come home with what I'd like to think is the swine flu but considering that all I have is a stuffy nose, not only am I probably not immune to H1N1, but also I am hardly ill enough to excuse myself from cooking.

However, that doesn't mean I have to torture myself over the stove. No, this week, I stuck with easy yet pleasing dishes such as this recipe adapted from SKOALZ on

Thai Cashew Chicken
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. fish sauce*
1-1/2 T. garlic-chili sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. grated ginger root**
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 T. sesame oil
3 T. brown sugar
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3/4 c. water
3 T. creamy peanut butter
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (available at Trader Joe's)

Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic-chili sauce, garlic, ginger and chicken in a resealable plastic bag and marinate for at least two hours or as long as overnight.

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add brown sugar and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Reserving the marinade, add chicken to skillet and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the marinade and water and let simmer for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat another skillet and toast cashews until brown and fragrant.

When chicken is cooked through, stir in the peanut butter and serve over jasmine rice topped with the toasted cashews.

*The first time I made this dish, I asked Mom what kind of fish sauce to get. Her only advice, don't buy the cheap stuff. Go too cheap, and your whole house will smell like rotten fish. Remember that.

**I just got Microplane graters for my birthday from my mother-in-law (Thanks, Connie!), and I swear, nothing compares when it comes to grating ginger root. Greg Atkinson knows what he's talking about!

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