That recent brush the greek government had with Cosco made me crave for some good-old chinese food. Alright, I’ll be honest, it doesn’t take much to make me crave chinese food: show me some chicken, some colored peppers, a bottle of soy sauce, or, you know… a plate, and I’ll be on my knees begging for noodles. But today I have an excuse, and I intend to use it!
It’s about a thousand degrees (Celsius…) in Greece, so I didn’t even need to defrost my chicken from the night before. I asked Mr. S whether he had any sort of preference, and he said “can we get some cashews in the food?”.
I love this man, he can read my mind (which proves to be a problem whenever we’re in Italy – Italians are hot…!). My cashews cravings have been rampant for a while, but due to their high fat content, I couldn’t dig up an excuse to buy them. But, since Mr. S has remained the sole money provider in this family and all I can do is help him enjoy his meals, I am bound by ethical law to give him cashews! See how it all works out?
Chicken and cashews always make me turn to one of my favorite books from my collection (I have quite the cookbook collection): Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy. Now, since she actually has about a ton recipes on her webpage, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I posted one of them on mine. Ching always makes my day, she has a unique style and, as promised by the title of her book, she actually does make chinese food easy! Even for me. Like I’ve already said, I am not a chef, I am not a cook, I haven’t even been cooking for that long, so it is truly important to me when the recipe doesn’t require elaborate techniques and strange ingredients!
The recipe requires:
For the chicken
500 gr. Chicken (duh!) (i used 2 breasts)
1 egg white
1 Tb corn flour
300 ml groundnut oil (heck no, sorry Ching, I used a lot less!)
For the rest of the dish:
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
2-3 Tb soy sauce
3 Tb chicken broth (I had no broth, so I used water – it changes it a little bit, but at the end of the day it was still awesome)
2 spring onions
2 Tb cashews
I swallowed in shame right at the start, because I have no wok. I used to have one, but I sold it for shoes (THAT was a joke, I used to have one, but I have no idea what happened to it – it’s probably stuck in some box down at the garage, gathering dust, wondering when I will find it and restore it to its old glory).
I have a big pan, though, so I sent a telepathic request for forgiveness to Ching and grabbed it.
To start, mix the egg white, the corn flour and the salt, and, with it, coat the chicken. Yes, it will be enough. No, you will not believe it when you see it, but yes, it will be. Mix it all up in a plate, and leave it aside.
Put the oil in the pan (wok, if you have one) on high heat, and throw the chicken in.
Make no mistake, it will try to kill you. There was so much splattering, I had to hide behind the corner. Now, I may be exaggerating a little bit, because I don’t like frying my food (even though I hardly consider this frying). But my stove did get a new groundnut oil layer we struggled to clean. Silver lining: the house smelled amazing.
The cat appreciated it!
While the chicken is cooking, cut up the onion and the peppers – those last ones in strips. I can’t emphasize enough how much I love the smell of cut-up red peppers. Almost as much as I like their taste – oh wait, they are related!
When the chicken is done – you will know by the beautiful golden color – take it out of the pan and place it on absorbent paper. Discard of the oil (don’t throw it down the sink, find out how you can discard of frying oil either on the Internet, or ask your local authorities – in Kalamaria there is a place you can take it and they do something with it, we just give it to this nice guy who uses it to make dog food or something like that), save a Tb, put it back on high heat and throw in the onions. Cook them for a few seconds, until they are transparent, and add the peppers. Give them about a minute and add the chicken.
Stir fry that for a while and then add the soy sauce, the broth (or water), some salt and some pepper. Then add the cashews and the spring onions, give it a twirl and, ta-da!
Serve it along with some jasmine rice. Now, as you can see, I couldn’t style a plate if my life depended on it. But, I give you my word, Ching is a genius, this food is mouthwatering.
Try it and let me know what you think!
PS All my tags begin with a C. This is in no way important, but still, how cool! (–> another C)