Cashew Chicken

For some reason I was really craving Chinese food. So I found this recipe, printed it out and hung it up on my fridge. I went to Trader Joe’s and I bought a bag of cashews. I found kosher hoisin sauce. I defrosted some chicken cutlets that had been hanging out in my freezer. And now dinner for the next night was planned and prepared, so I went out for dinner with some friends. When I came home, I discovered that David cooked the chicken for dinner tomorrow! And we didn’t have any more cutlets, but we had plenty of chicken! So I didn’t want to shop for more chicken. So I gave up, the rest of the ingredients all sat unused and unloved in the kitchen and the recipe stuck to my fridge. Until one day I decided to buy chicken cutlets again and make cashew chicken for dinner!

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. Make this chicken! It comes together really quickly, it’s healthy (add more veggies when cooking to make it even healthier!) and the leftovers make a great lunch.

Next time I have a craving for something new, I think I’ll try sweet and sour chicken.

Cashew Chicken slightly adapted from Thyme for Wine


  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ancho peppers, cut into 1” pieces
  • 5 leeks, cut into 1” pieces (I only had leeks, so I used those instead of scallions, which would make more sense)
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup toasted cashews (4 oz)
  1. Toss the chicken in the cornstarch in a medium bowl until coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing for about 3 minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add remaining oil and chicken to the skillet, along with the garlic, green pepper, and leeks. Cook, tossing for another 3 minutes until chicken browns.
  4. Return first batch of chicken to the pan. Add vinegar; cook for about 3o seconds until evaporated. Add hoisin sauce water; cook another minute tossing until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove from heat and stir cashews.
  6. Serve immediately over rice.