Thursday, September 19, 2013

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

I would love to say that this recipe is my own, but I am not creative enough to think this up. Besides Sesame Chicken and Chicken Lo Mein, Cashew Chicken is my next go-to item when I order take out Chinese food. I have had it with a white sauce before and then with a more soy based sauce and prefer that version.

So when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. And seeing as my boyfriend will eat just about anything, I have a great test subject for recipes now :)

I found it interesting that the sauce called for ketchup and in the future, I might omit this item. I think more soy and a little more teriyaki flavor would help the meal.
 You need to flour coat and saute all the chicken pieces first and then add them to the crockpot or slow cooker. It was in this stage that I realized a few pieces were probably larger than ideal, but we would make it work.
 I added some green onions for additional flavor.
 And some cilantro and celery pieces. I figured this couldn't hurt and I like seeing a little green in all my dishes.
 Then you coat everything with sauce and let the crockpot do the rest of the work.
 I stirred things up after a hour and a half on low and realized that the 3-4 hours was going to be closer to 4.5. So we bumped it up to high to speed up the process :) Tim added some chopped mushrooms at this point too.
 And Voila - add the cashews at the end, stir and you have cashew chicken. Tim made some white rice on the side and we opened a can of pineapple for a sweet touch.
Finished product was delicious but the ketchup I think left a tang I didn't feel was very Chinese-influenced! The chicken fell right apart, so even though some pieces were too large, they cut with a fork just fine. The celery, even after cooking for 3 hours, still had nice crunch. The mushrooms were lost in the flavor, so I would add them right at the end or leave them in larger pieces.
I definitely recommend this recipe and I would make it again, with some modifications to the sauce. But for a nice easy slow cooker meal, this is on my go-to list now.

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