Rachael Ray cookbooks. But with so many to choose from, I sometimes end up abandoning a few of them. Among those that never get forgotten is the old school 30-Minute Meals, Rachael's first widely available cookbook. While this doesn't have my favorite format (I love how 30 Minute Meals 2 lays out the recipes as menus), it does have some of my all time favorite recipes. This is one of the, despite the silly name of Cashew! God Bless You Chicken.
I am pretty sure I've tried all of Rachael's cashew chicken recipes, including the Park City Cashew Chicken and Orange Cashew Chicken with Broccoli. Hands down, this is my favorite. My husband is also always asking for "the first one" and I have to remember he means this one! Even my one year old liked it, so give it a try when you are in the mood for Chinese food and you are too cheap or lazy to go get it.
1 box jasmine rice
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
2 TB sesame oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced and mashed
2 TB rice wine, rice vinegar, dry sherry, or sake
A couple shakes of crushed red pepper
Black pepper, to taste
1 large carrot, peeled and diced into small cu bes
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 can (about 7 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
3 TB Hoisin sauce
2 handfuls cashews [I use a half ton of cashews because we love them. I NEED a cashew in every bite.]
3 green onions, thinly sliced on an angle
Marinade chicken with 1 TB of the oil, the garlic, rice wine, red pepper, and black pepper. Meanwhile, following directions on box, start the rice. Heat the rest of the oil (1 TB) in a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat until it smokes.
Add carrot and stir-fry for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the coated chicken and cook another 3 or 4 minutes. Toss in the bell pepper and chestnuts. Heat through for 1 minute. Add the hoisin and toss to coat evenly.
Dump chicken out over a bed of jasmine rice and top with cashews and green onions.