It's a Keeper: Park City Cashew Chicken (AKA Chipotle Cashew Chicken with Brown Rice)

I was craving Chinese food but I also felt like cooking dinner, so this was the compromise. It is a Utah spin on cashew chicken with chipotle peppers, onions and garlic. On 30 Minute Meals, she calls this recipe Chipotle Cashew Chicken with Brown Rice.

While I do admit that I generally like anything with onions, peppers and garlic, this one stands out in the crowd. I think it would have looked prettier with red bell peppers, but my store was out of them so I had to use yellow. I also stir-fried some long beans with garlic and red pepper flakes, then let them simmer in chicken stock for a few minutes to make them tender. I was trying to recreate the long beans at PF Changs and I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm trying!

This recipe is in Rachael Ray's 365 cookbook too, but the one below from the magazine turned out better. I split the whole recipe in half and it turned out great. Here is the recipe with my comments in brackets:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, 1/4 finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced
2 cups brown rice [I used minute rice and followed the instructions below, except after adding the stock, I followed the instructions on the rice box}
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
2 pounds chicken meat (tenders; skinless, boneless breasts; skinless, boneless thighs), cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning blend by McCormick
2 to 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, such as tamari (eyeball it)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
10 to 12 water chestnuts, sliced or chopped
1 cup frozen green peas
3 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped (available in the international foods aisle), or 1 1/2 tablespoons ground chipotle powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)
2 to 3 tablespoons honey (2 healthy drizzles)
1/4 to 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (eyeball it)
2 to 3 tablespoons cilantro or parsley leaves (a handful), chopped, your preference
1 cup raw cashews

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil (1 turn of the pan) and the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add the rice and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the chicken stock and cover the pot. Raise the heat and bring the stock to a rapid boil. Once the stock boils, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes.
2. While the rice cooks, make the chicken. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Season the chicken with the grill seasoning. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (2 turns of the pan) and then the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with the soy sauce, then move the chicken to 1 side of the pan. Add the sliced onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the water chestnuts and green peas, and mix the vegetables and chicken together. Add the chipotle chiles and cumin. Toss to coat. Glaze the chicken mixture with the honey and maple syrup and turn off the heat. Add the chopped cilantro or parsley (whichever you prefer) and the cashews.
3. Spoon the rice into bowls, top with the cashew chicken and serve. [I am a weirdo and like to keep my rice and chicken separate on a plate!]


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