Cashew Garlic Grilled Chicken...There's never enough chicken recipes...and this dish sort of reminds me of the Nigerian Suya I posted sometime ago. I wasn't really planning on making this dish, but when I saw Elise from Simply Recipes post a recipe for garlicky cashew chicken, I knew I wanted to try it. It so happened I had some chicken defrosting in the fridge...and even though I was planning on using the chicken for something else, I decided to switch my plans... and made the cashew chicken instead. I simply loved the idea of using cashew nuts in the marinade...
Since I had planned on grilling some vegetables, I ended up making them anyway. Served the grilled vegetables alongside the cashew chicken. But you can easily serve the chicken with a side of rice if you want... or even some flatbread, wraps or tortillas. Fill the wraps with chicken strips and add some cashew sauce along with some chopped fresh vegetables. Or even add the chicken strips over a salad. Anyway, if you are looking for yet another way to prepare chicken, you might want to give this recipe a try. I tried it with chicken breasts as well, just to see if it works... great substitution, just cook it for less time than you would the thigh meat. I loved the cashew nut flavor. Hope you enjoy...
Note: I made half the amount of chicken called for in the original recipe, used boneless chicken instead of bone-in/skin-on, and added a couple of ingredients( had plenty of chives in the garden and paprika for a bit of color and flavor)... both I labeled as optional.
Tip: You can opt to use peanuts instead of the cashews... and parsley instead of the cilantro.
The chicken is served with extra cashew nut sauce...
If you want to stretch the sauce and make it a bit more creamy, opt to add a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise....or even some Greek yoghurt.
The sauce looses some of its green vibrancy as the lime oxidizes the herbs, but it's still delicious.
5-6 chicken pieces(1.25 lbs) boneless thighs/chicken breasts
1/2 cup roasted, salted cashew nuts
3 TBS chopped cilantro with stems
2 TBS light olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced (discard seeds or not, to taste)
1 TBS chopped chives, optional
1 TBS water
1 TBS lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
1/2 tsp smoked paprika( or regular), optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a blender or food processor, combine nuts, cilantro, oil, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, jalapeño, lime juice and water. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
2. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper....if the cashew mixture is salty, season the chicken lightly.
3. Smear about 2/3 of the cashew mixture unto the chicken pieces....make sure to thoroughly coat pieces. Sprinkle the smoked paprika, if using, all over the chicken pieces Set aside the rest of the cashew mixture.
4. Let marinate at room temperature for 20- 30 minutes( You can also refrigerate for up to 12 hours before cooking...).
5. Preheat broiler or grill on med/high. Grill or broil chicken, turning frequently, until it is crisp and golden on outside and done on inside, 15 minutes or so. Lower the heat if need be and cut a small piece to see, if in doubt. If using chicken breasts, they will take a bit less cooking time...and if using bone-in they will take a bit longer to cook.
6. Serve with lime wedges and the rest of the cashew mixture.