Sunday, March 3, 2013

RECIPE: Ginger Orange Cashew Chicken

Ginger Orange Cashew Chicken

I used to receive boxes of fruits and vegetables from Full Circle Farm. They are the West Coast's leading organic produce delivery service. I put my membership on hold a few years ago, because at the time I wasn't able to consume everything I received, and I hated to waste any of the great produce. I even gave some away to friends. Now Full Circle offers more delivery sizes, so I think I will try it again with a smaller size. Plus over the past year I have been eating way more fruits and vegetables in my diet, so I think now I won't waste any of the delivery.

Full Circle Farm would include a newsletter with each delivery that contained information about the farm and recipes that incorporated some of the produce that was included in the delivery. I saved all of the newsletter, hoping to one day make some of the delicious recipes they included. I finally got around to making my first recipe from Full Circle Farm. It is for Ginger Orange Cashew Chicken. The original recipe called for Scallions, but I used Shallots. Next time I will try it with Scallions. The recipe also called for 1/2 cup of Soy Sauce, which at first sounded like a lot, and believe me it was a lot. Next time I will use only 1/4 cup of Soy Sauce and I'll make sure it's low-sodium. The 1/2 cup was just too much. I'm also going to add another orange to this recipe when I make it next. The one orange just didn't give it enough flavor, at least for me. Otherwise, this is a great recipe and I look forward to making it again with my minor adjustments.

Ginger Orange Cashew Chicken

All-purpose flour for dredging
1/2 cup roasted cashews
2 - 6oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite-size pieces
1 orange for juicing (I recommend 2 oranges if you like more orange flavor)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock, or more as needed
4 scallions (white and green parts), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. finely minced ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce (I recommend only 1/4 cup of low-sodium soy sauce)
Steamed white rice for serving

Put the flour onto a plate or small bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over high heat until hot, but not yet smoking. Place the chicken pieces evenly distributed around the pan being careful to not splatter the hot oil. Let the chicken cook, without stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. When brown, flip and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, toss in ginger, scallions and cashews, agitating the pan quickly for 30 seconds until the ginger becomes acutely aromatic. Add the soy sauce and squeeze in the juice of the orange. Toss the pieces to cover all with the sauce. Pour in the chicken stock and add more if necessary to almost cover the chicken. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Pour the chicken and sauce over rice and serve.

(Original recipe by Kenny Shopsin, from 'Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin')

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