Day 108: Almost perfect, for a chicken recipe

April 18, 2007

This evening I made a delicious stir fry for Baby A, with the intention that she could have some for dinner tonight, and some for lunch tomorrow. Between us, we ate it all. So after putting her to bed, I made another delicious stir fry for Baby A to take for lunch tomorrow, and then set about making Park City Cashew Chicken. This is a really easy, really good recipe that Rachael Ray invented after eating some chipotle cashew nuts from a grocery store in Utah (true story). The basic ingredients are onion, garlic, red pepper, cashew nuts and chicken, with the seasoning and flavour provided by grill seasoning, cumin, chipotle powder (or chipotle in adobo), honey and maple syrup. It tastes great; rich and warm and spicy and sweet, and it should be incredibly fast to make.

The only slight drawback to this recipe, was the rice assembly. The dish calls for brown rice, and I did consider using the pretty much instant stuff that I had on hand (see stir fry, earlier). In the interests of authenticity, I followed the directions and fried some onions, then the rice, in some butter and oil. The chicken stock went in the pot, and I set the kitchen timer for 18 minutes, as directed. When the time was up, the rice was still waterlogged, and pretty much raw. I checked the package on our brown rice, and it said to cook for 35-40 minutes. It pretty much took that long for the rice to be edible, which was a shame because the main part of the meal only took about 10 minutes to cook including preparation time.

Other than the rice timing issue, this is a great meal. We debated giving it five stars, but feel it falls just short of utterly exceptional. I would never have thought of flavouring this dish with the chipotle and the maple syrup, but it is certainly successful. I could see the glaze being great on pork and probably good on the grill. Tomorrow we remake the cashew chicken element in a more usual fashion for Asian-Style Cashew Chicken. It’s made with duck sauce and tamari, both of which I distinctly remember buying, but can not for the life of me find in the kitchen. And there’s only so many places I could have put them, so maybe I just dreamt I bought them. How sad.

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