Hello there! Is this thing on??
We’re back. And with a fancy new cookbook. Ange’s birthday was mid-April during our cooking and blogging extravaganza. Her lovely sisters Chrissy and Kerri gifted her with Rachel Ray’s Look + Cook, a shiny new cookbook full of delicious looking recipes with lots of step-by-step pictures. One thing we’ve learned is that the more pictures a recipe book has the better. At least you can tell if what you are cooking looks remotely like the author of the book intended!
As it turns out, our dish this evening looked exactly as it was intended. Check it out:
Chinese Orange-Barbecue Cashew Chicken (page 102)
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces
salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
1 onion, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1 inch of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated or finely chopped
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp hot sauce
2 Tbsp tamari (aged soy sauce)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup honey-roasted cashews (we could not find honey-roasted so we used just roasted)
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
First 2 Tbsp of the oil was heated over high heat until the oil was very hot. In went the chicken which was seasoned with salt and pepper. The chicken was then stir fried until golden brown.
The recipe said this would take 4-5 minutes but it actually took 7-8. The golden chicken was removed from the skillet and set aside.
Next up the remaining Tbsp oil was poured into in the hot skillet and the bell pepper, onion, ginger and garlic until the veggies were stir fried until “crisp-tender”. That’s a bit confusing, Rachel. We let them stir fry for about 4 minutes.
While this was stir frying the following ingredients were mixed together in a bowl: hoisin sauce, orange marmalade, hot sauce, tamari and stock. We were going to take a photograph of the sauce but to be honest it just looked like muddy water. Not so attractive.
Once the sauce was mixed the chicken was returned to the pan and the sauce poured over everything. The cashews were thrown in as well. All was tossed until coated with sauce.
This was all left to cook for about one minute. At this point we were hoping for some orange aroma. Sadly there wasn’t really any orange smell. Just garlic and ginger.
The finished dish was sprinkled with some of the thinly sliced scallions and it was ready to go!
And then we chowed down:
What we thought: Tasty, for sure. The orange flavour was pretty subtle so we would have like a bit more orange-ness. Maybe more marmalade? The heat from the hot sauce was perfect, the chicken was tender and the sauce was very yummy.
Would we make it again: Yeah, for sure. It was a fairly quick and stress free dinner. And it really was satisfying to see our dish looking so much like the photos in the cookbook.
Stay tuned! There’s sure to be more Rachel Ray in the future.