Cashews, in the pantry, leftover from my trail mix. Chicken, in the freezer, leftover from making chicken satay the other day (which was delish, by the by). Edamame, in the fridge, because it's an awesome snack food. Ginger and garlic, also leftover from chicken satay making.
So. What to do... Cashews. Chicken. Aha!
Cashew Chicken de ma cuisine
(Makes 4 servings)
2 tsp dark sesame oil (I always have this in my kitchen. It's a great base oil for stir-fry)
1/4 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.6 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into cubes
1 cup raw cashews
~1.5 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock (can use vegetable stock if you want)
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup edamame (I buy the already shelled ones from Trader Joe's. They're yummy, but have a short shelf life.)
Put 1 tsp of dark sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet. Set the stove to medium low. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the onion to brown - just cook until soft and translucent - should take 6-8 minutes. Remove the onions into a bowl and set them to the side.
Add the second tsp of dark sesame oil and tilt it around the pan, then add the minced garlic and cook that for about 4 minutes until the garlic has softened somewhat. Don't let the garlic brown either. No browning - this is not one of my crispy dishes!
Turn up the stove to medium heat and add the chicken breast, cashews, and ginger to the skillet. Cook all together, stirring frequently to avoid browning and burning, until the outside of the chicken is all cooked.
Now, stir in the chicken broth, soy sauce, and maple syrup. [Note: the chicken broth totally softens up the chicken. You have no danger of tough chicken with that in the mix.] Next, add the onions back into the skillet and cook for another five minutes. Keep stirring, mixing up all those yummy things and making sure all the chicken gets nice and juicy.
Finally, you add in the edamame and cook it with all the rest for another 4-8 minutes. I did 4.5 minutes, but I figure different stoves cook differently, etc. The main thing is you'll want to check and make sure all the chicken is cooked through.
I served this over leftover brown rice (from chicken satay night) and then sprinkled it with a few roasted sesame seeds. It had a nice combination of sweet and savory, soft and crunchy - yum. :) And best of all, it only took about 20 minutes (not including the time it took to defrost my frozen chicken breasts). I bet it would be really good served over cooked green beans or asparagus, too.