A healthy Chicken cashew stir-fry recipe should be in everyone’s arsenal. Chicken is a great lean protein to use, plus the addition of five-spice to the rice gives a nice twist to a plain staple!
- 2 tsp five-spice powder
- 250g/9oz brown or basmati rice or quinoa
- 125g/4½oz cashews
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 225g/8oz each), cut into bite-sized chunks
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 peppers, mixed colours, cut into strips
- 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces
- 2-3 red chillies, deseeded (if preferred for less heat) and cut into long strips
- 3cm/1¼in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 100ml/3½fl oz chicken stock
- 3 tbsp hoisin sauce (alternatively use soy sauce)
- large handful basil leaves
- First cook the rice. Put the five spice in the bottom of a medium pan over a low heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until you start to smell the aromas, then add the rice or quinoa along with a little salt and cook it according to the pack instructions.
- Meanwhile, put the cashew nuts in a large wok (without any oil) over a medium heat and toast for about 3-4 minutes, giving them a shake from time to time until golden-brown all over. Then tip them onto a plate and set them aside.
- Heat the oil in the wok with the heat turned up to high. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown. Add the peppers, spring onions, chillies and ginger, and cook for 2-3 minutes keeping the pan moving so nothing burns. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Place the cornflour in a small bowl with two teaspoons of cold water and mix to a smooth paste. Add to the stir fry along with the stock and hoisin sauce and let the sauce bubble away for 1-2 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Toss the toasted cashew nuts into the pan and check that the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat.
- The rice or quinoa should be cooked by now and so drain, season to taste with salt and pepper and then return to the pan to keep warm if necessary.
- Spoon the rice or quinoa onto each serving plate. Spoon the stir fry between them and rip up the basil leaves to scatter over. Serve the chicken stir-fry immediately.