Chipotle Cashew Chicken with Brown Rice
"I was in a Park City, Utah grocery store and picked up a sack of nuts: chipotle coated raw cashews. They were gone before I made it to the checkout line. I paid for the empty bag and immediately wrote this recipe based on the ingredients of those nuts. This may look like Chinese take-out but the maple and chipotle flavor makes for a surprise! Leave the nuts raw – they taste buttery and extra sweet. Toasting will develop a deeper flavor, but the sweet butter nuts have a unique texture when eaten raw." –RR
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, 1/4 finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced
- 2 cups quick-cooking brown rice
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds chicken meat: tenders, boneless, skinless breasts or boneless, skinless thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 2-3 tablespoons Tamari (dark soy sauce)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 10-12 water chestnuts, whole
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 3 tablespoons chipotle in adobo (2 peppers and their sauce), available in cans on the international foods aisle; or substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons ground chipotle powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)
- 2-3 tablespoons honey (2 healthy drizzles)
- 1/4-1/3 cup real maple syrup (eyeball it)
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves (your preference)
- 1 cup raw cashews
In a medium pot over medium heat combine one tablespoon EVOO, about one turn of the pan, and one tablespoon butter. When the butter melts into EVOO, add in the chopped onion, cook for two minutes, then add the rice and cook for three minutes more. Add the stock and cover the pot. Raise the heat to 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, 17-18 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, make the chicken: heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetable oil, about two turns of the pan, then the chicken. Season the chicken with the grill seasoning. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with the Tamari, then move the chicken off to one side of the pan.
Add the remaining thinly sliced onions, garlic and peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the water chestnuts and green peas and mix the vegetables and meat together. Add the chipotle peppers and cumin. Toss to coat. Glaze the mixture with honey and maple syrup and turn off the heat. Add in the chopped cilantro or parsley and the cashew nuts.
Top the rice with the cashew chicken and serve. Enjoy!