Probably one of the earliest dish that I have ever made since I got married is this Chicken and Cashew Nuts Stir-fry. It's been a household staple since then. When we have guests over, I usually prepare an Asian meal and unless, a Nut allergy has been made known to us beforehand, this is usually a part of the meal.
It complements Pansit (Filipino Noodles) - they are like sisters! I always have them together and no one has ever complained so I have never changed the pairing!
The only thing difficult (if you can even justifiably call it "difficult" - it may be a stretch....) is the preparation - the actual cutting up of the ingredients. Thankfully, the ingredients are not that challenging to cut or chop. Ok, it's never fun to peel garlic but just be happy there's no onions to add to your agony.
The actual cooking itself takes about 5-7 minutes, depending on how fast your reflexes are - or if you have properly prepared the ingredients in advance. That is a must!
The result is an amazingly flavorful dish considering that it doesn't cook that long; well, it is a stir-fry after all. Anyway, before you make it and you should - your guests would surely be wowed! - just make sure that all the ingredients are ready, ok? That's it! Enjoy!
3 Tablespoons Peanut oil (Vegetable oil is fine, if you can't have Peanut Oil)
4-6 whole garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (or minced, if you prefer)
1 lb skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into finger-size strips
1-2 Red Bell Peppers (2 if they're not too big), cut into strips
3 Tablespoons Rice wine or dry Sherry
5 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce (or to taste)*
1/2 cup Roasted Cashew Nuts (you can also dry roast them quickly on the stove-top)
5-6 scallions (Green Onions), cut into 1-inch lengths
A few drops of Sesame oil, to taste
*Use a gluten-free Hoisin sauce if you wish to make this fully gluten-free.
Heat up the oil using medium-high heat in a wok or a large frying pan. Saute the garlic quickly. Just let it sizzle for a few seconds but without letting it burn. Add the chicken strips and cook just until they change their color about 2 minutes more or less. Add the bell peppers and continue to stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the rice wine or dry sherry and the Hoisin sauce. Coat the chicken and peppers with the sauce as you stir-fry and cook until the chicken is tender.
Stir in the cashew nuts, scallions and the sesame oil. Serve immediately. Perfect with rice.
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