Thanks to my DH, he managed to make a nice chicken dinner the other night. Albeit, we only had one chicken thigh and some frozen asparagus each, but it worked. The freezer-burned asparagus was over the hill – but the chicken was scrumptious. We have leftovers, which is a good thing, and I would definitely make this again. The recipe came from Elise, over at Simply Recipes. I’ve made several of her recipes in the last 6 months, and have enjoyed them all. This one is a stand-out, for sure. The marinade and sauce (one in the same) is just delicious. You could eat it right out of the bowl it’s so tasty. Her recipe was adapted from an article in the New York Times, she said. The recipe is very simple – you make a cashew-based marinade in the food processor, with cilantro, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and some fresh chiles. Some of this is reserved to scoop on top at serving time, but you marinate the chicken in this stuff for at least an hour, then grill or broil or bake and serve. Even my DH, who doesn’t cook, found this fairly easy to make. That’s saying a lot from him!
This marinade kind of resembles pesto, except rather than basil and pine nuts, this is cilantro and cashews. My recipe will include a few changes: (1) next time I’ll use boneless, skinless thighs (because I don’t like to eat the fatty chicken skin and most of the thick marinade sticks to the skin); (2) we used one small jalapeno and a part of a poblano chile, and I’d definitely do that again; and maybe if baking these (3) I’ll pat a bit of Panko crumbs on top of the chicken (I like the crunch of Panko); (4) I’ll make more of the sauce since it’s just so unbelievably yummy (I’d like to try it on other things – like a grilled pork chop – or as a spread on a sandwich, maybe even as a salad dressing – we both just l-o-v-e-d the sauce; and (5) I substituted brown sugar Splenda for the brown sugar just because we try to limit sugar in our diets. Although the recipe says to marinate just an hour or two, most likely it would be fine up to 24 hours. No more, though, or the chicken will begin to “cook” with the lime juice in it.
Spicy Garlic Cashew Chicken Recipe
Recipe: From Simply Recipes food blog and she got it from the New York Times
1 cup cashews — salted
6 Tbsp cilantro — chopped with stems
1/4 cup olive oil — or grapeseed oil
4 whole garlic cloves — roughly chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar — or Splenda brown sugar
1 whole jalapeño peppers — seeded, chopped
1/2 poblano chile, seeded, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds chicken thighs — boneless, skinless
1. In a blender or food processor, blend together the cashews, cilantro, oil, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, chiles, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reserve a third of the marinade for serving with the chicken. Use the rest for coating the chicken.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the chicken pieces. Coat the chicken pieces with the marinade. Chill for an hour or two. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
3. Preheat broiler or grill. Broil or grill chicken, turning frequently, until golden and crisp and a meat thermometer reads 175°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (not touching a bone), or when the juices run clear (not pink) when cut into with a knife. About 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with lime wedges, reserved marinade, and cilantro.
Per Serving: 600 Calories; 47g Fat (70.0% calories from fat); 35g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 151mg Cholesterol; 487mg Sodium.