Chicken dish lets you get back to TV viewing

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Is anyone else binge watching the Olympic Games? The beautiful, sweeping, birds-eye views being broadcast of Copacabana Beach, Christ the Redeemer statue, and Maracana Stadium make it hard to look away from the TV this week.

And let’s not forget the sports. Gymnastics, Track and Field, and Soccer are always our family’s favorites, but we love watching the Olympics because we get the chance to watch world class competitions of sports we normally don’t watch. I’m talking about Fencing, Table Tennis and Rowing.

After recently reading a book about the U.S. rowing team and their gold medal victory in the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics, I was interested in watching rowing in this year’s games in Rio. I had seen archive footage of the race in Berlin and looked forward to seeing the difference, if any, in the races of today.

Tuning in to the TV coverage earlier this week, my daughter and I expected to see rowing crews lined up in their boats at the starting line. What we didn’t expect was the boats being held steady by Olympic staff lying on the docks, stomach down. We couldn’t help but giggle.

Once the starting horn sounded, it was all business and we were reminded that rowing is a serious sport. While taxing their muscles and cardiovascular system, the team has to row as one with their oars in perfect unison. It’s really a beautiful sport to watch.

With all this extra TV time, I’ve tried to make it a priority to plan easy dinners for my family. When I’m watching sports I tend to gravitate towards nachos and beer; but of course, we can’t do that every night this week, can we? It is too easy to let healthy meal planning fall to the wayside.

I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman website and was so glad that it includes several forms of healthy fats: sesame oil, canola/avocado oil and cashews. The bonus? It is gluten-free and dairy-free, too.

This week’s recipe requires some preparatory chopping, but that can be done earlier than dinner time. Once the chicken hits the pan, this stir fry meal comes together quickly and is ready to eat in 15-ish minutes, in about the same time it takes to listen to “The Girl from Ipanema” five times.


A14-PIC-CookCashew Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp. canola or avocado oil
  • 6 whole boneless, skinless chicken thighs,
  •    cut into small cubes
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 whole green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sherry or chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews (be sure to use unsalted)
  • 2 whole green onions, thinly sliced
  • Cooked rice or noodles, for serving

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat and add the chicken in a single layer. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt, then leave it alone for at least a couple of minutes to give the chicken a chance to brown. When the chicken has turned golden, stir it around so that it can brown on all sides. Throw in the garlic and ginger and stir to combine. Stir in the bell pepper and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

While the pan is still hot, pour in the sherry. Stir it around, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all the flavorful bits. Turn the heat to medium-low and pour in the sauce mixture, then mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water to make a slurry and pour it in. Stir the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken, then add the water chestnuts and cashews and stir to coat everything with the sauce, adding a splash of water if the sauce is too thick. Finally, sprinkle on the green onions. Serve with cooked rice or noodles.

 

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Betty Williams