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Cashew Chicken and Asparagus

Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
5 mins
Servings:
6
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Chef notes

Cashews are an incredibly versatile nut — not only are they delicious both raw and roasted, but their slightly sweet and naturally buttery flavor makes them a fabulous addition to a variety of dishes. Here, they bring a welcome crunch to a Chinese-American, takeout-inspired chicken and asparagus dish with umami-rich soy sauce, tangy vinegar and zingy ginger. The whole prep process should take just five minutes, thanks to the fact that  minimal chopping, mincing or mixing is required. 

Kevin Curry swears by using high-protein chicken breasts in this recipe, despite their reputation for being dryer than other cuts of chicken such as thighs. According to him, that’s simply user error. To ensure that your chicken is juicy and tender, dice them small and cook them for only 5 to 9 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reaches 160 F (they’ll reach 165 F as they rest). 

His final secret is getting the sauce just right, so that it resembles the one you might find at a restaurant. The trick here is using arrowroot powder, which is a gluten-free starch that helps thicken the sauce so that it clings to the other ingredients in this irresistible stir-fry.

Swap Option: Use shrimp or tofu instead of chicken, swap asparagus for broccoli florets or double up the bell peppers for an equally delicious dish.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bundle thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 heaping cups)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 2/3 cup canned water chestnuts, drained (larger pieces cut in half)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • finely sliced green onions, for garnish
Fulfilled by

Preparation

1.

Mix together the sauce ingredients in a bowl, then set aside. If using previously frozen chicken breast, pat the chunks dry with a paper towel.

2.

In a large nonstick skillet set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.

3.

Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the chicken breast chunks to the skillet. Cook until the meat browns, 5 to 9 minutes.

4.

Add the bell pepper and asparagus and cook until the asparagus just begins to soften but is still crispy, about 3 minutes.

5.

Reduce the heat to medium, then add the sauce and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a light simmer.

6.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of water, then pour it into the skillet and stir immediately. Mix everything together and allow the sauce to thicken for about 1 minute, stirring continuously.

7.

Fold in the water chestnuts and cashews, ensuring that all the ingredients are coated with the sauce. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.