I was in a Park City, Utah Albertson's grocery store and picked up a sack of nuts: chipotle coated raw cashews. They were gone before I made it to the check-out. 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, chipotle flavor makes for a North-Western American 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.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, 1/4 onion 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 (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning blend by McCormick)
2 to 3 tablespoons tamari dark soy sauce, eyeball it
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
10 to 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 palm full
2 to 3 tablespoons honey, 2 healthy drizzles 1/4 to 1/3 cup real maple syrup, eyeball it
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves, your preference
1 cup raw cashews
In a medium pot over medium heat combine 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts into oil, add in the chopped onion, cook 2 minutes, then add rice and cook 3 minutes more. Add stock and cover the pot. Raise heat to bring stock to a rapid boil. Once the stock boils, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 17-18 minutes.
While rice cooks, make the chicken. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan, then the chicken. Season the chicken with grill seasoning. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with soy sauce then move off to one side of the pan. Add the remaining onions, garlic and peppers. Cook 2 to 3 minutes then add water chest nuts and green peas and mix vegetables and meat together. Add the chipotles 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 rice with cashew chicken and serve.
Easy Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings