My family adores Asian food, and homemade Teriyaki Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry is better than take-out! Not only quick and easy to make, but so colorful, vibrant and rich in flavor. Tender chicken combined with fresh and colorful sweet red peppers, sliced carrots, broccoli, snow peas, green beans, mushrooms and water chestnuts, lightly glazed with my Easy Teriyaki Sauce and tossed with cashews is one of the easiest dinners you can make.
SIMPLE INGREDIENTS - SIMPLY FAST!
WHICH IS BETTER - CHICKEN BREASTS OR CHICKEN THIGHS?
Use whichever you have, and whichever you prefer. Some folks like dark meat, so thighs are their preference, but breast meat is juicy and flavorful and makes for nice big chunks or slices of chicken. For a really fast dinner, you could also substitute rotisserie chicken - simply add it to the pan after you have cut the chicken meat into nice pieces. Plus, you have a nice combination of dark and white meat for your stir fry, so everyone is happy!
WHAT ARE THE BEST VEGETABLES FOR CHICKEN STIR FRY?
Yellow or sweet onions and fresh red bell peppers are so good in this that they should be mandatory. Beyond that, add your favorite stir fry vegetables - broccoli, sliced carrots, sugar snap peas, fresh green beans, mushrooms, baby corn, edamame beans, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts are all perfectly wonderful! You can also make this a vegetarian meal by skipping the chicken and just loading it up with vegetables.
FRESH OR FROZEN VEGETABLES?
When I'm making double batches of this for a large crowd, I love using fresh vegies and prepping them myself. Many grocery stores carry fresh stir-fry vegetables ready-to-go in the produce department, and you can always find frozen stir fry vegetables with lots of different varieties. The secret is to use your favorites, and make this dish your own.
I will share with you that microwaving or steaming the stir fry vegetables will help keep them very colorful - especially green vegetables. Although it tastes wonderful either way, broccoli will turn a very sad shade of green when you stir-fry it with onions, peppers and mushrooms.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SERVE THIS?
Hot and warm! All kidding aside, you can prepare Teriyaki Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry and serve it on fluffy white rice or brown rice. Also perfectly wonderful with udon noodles, rice noodles, chow mein noodles, or egg noodles. Scooped and folded into Boston lettuce leaf cups makes a fresh and pretty dinner or appetizer too!
For those of you that are interested in meal planning, this dinner is fast and easy to prepare. Scoop prepared white rice or lettuce into storage containers, and divide the Teriyaki Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry to prepare four lunches ahead of time. Your co-workers will be jealous, and your lunches will be divine!
2 fresh chicken breasts or thighs (boneless, skinless & cut into slices or pieces)
3 tablespoons sesame or olive oil
½ medium yellow onion (chunked)
1 red bell pepper (seeded and sliced)
½ cup fresh mushrooms (cleaned & sliced)
3 cups stir-fry vegetables* (broccoli, sliced carrots, snow peas, green beans, & water chestnuts)
1 cup whole cashews (unsalted)
1 green onion (chopped)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or Asian Sriracha Seasoning
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Asian Seasoning (or red pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. PREPARE TERIYAKI SAUCE: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Drizzle into sauce mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in sesame seeds; set aside.
2. PREPARE STIR-FRY: Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and when hot, stir-fry the chicken pieces until no longer pink and starting to turn a golden brown. Remove cooked chicken and place in a bowl.
3. Wipe out pan, and heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper strips and cook until vegetables are crispy tender (about 3 minutes). Move to outside of pan and add stir fry vegetables (unless you are steaming them in the microwave). Continue sautéing until onions are translucent and stir fry vegies are tender (about 5-6 minutes).
4. If you prefer to steam your stir fry vegies in the microwave, prepare them according to package directions and add them to the sautéed onions and red peppers as soon as they are ready.
5. Add cooked chicken back to the pan with the vegies and drizzle with Teriyaki Sauce. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes or Sriracha Asian Seasoning if you want a little kick! Cook, stirring often until everything is evenly coated and the sauce starts to thicken (this only takes a few minutes). Sprinkle with cashews and stir to coat.
6. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds and serve warm over fluffy white rice. Enjoy!
· You can also use either fresh or frozen stir-fry vegetables for this recipe. Many grocery stores carry pre-packaged stir fry vegetables in the produce section, or you can find your favorite stir-fry blend in the freezer section.
· Steaming the stir fry vegetables will keep very colorful (especially the green vegies - the broccoli keeps its dark green color better when steamed vs. sauteed.
YIELD: 2 servings
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