November 3, 2010

cashew chicken in lettuce cups

I made this on Tuesday night. I spent the weekend consuming dark chocolate brownies, sour cream cheesecake and devil's food cupcakes. Yikes.

I needed a pick-me-up. I needed to eat something that didn't have cups of sugar in it. I needed vegetables and vitamins like, injected into my veins.

I got home from work and began the pick-me-up process. I shaved my legs. I painted my toes. I put on my boyfriend's gym shorts. Then I made these.

 I looooove making cashew chicken. It has a great flavor. And then when you think it can't get any better, you put a spoonful of it in beautiful, vibrant, green, healthy lettuce cups. Delicious.

Start off with chicken breasts. I used 3 big ones here... trim off the fat, then dice them up into cubes and throw them in a skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Leave the chicken alone so it gets nice and brown. Cook it almost all the way through, but not quite. It will continue cooking as you add the next couple ingredients.

Mince 2 garlic cloves and a tablespoon of fresh ginger. I always use a spoon to peel the skin off ginger. It works perfectly, no fancy gadgets required.

Also, stick your nose in the freshly cut ginger and smell. Amazing.

Let the garlic and ginger cook for just a few minutes. Then add soy sauce, brown sugar and honey to the pan. Stir it all around, then let it sit. After awhile, it will start to caramelize a bit. The sauce will bubble up and get beautiful and thick as it coats the chicken.

While good things are happening in the chicken pan, get the cashews. I used dry roasted, unsalted cashews for this.

Chop them up and throw them in with the chicken. Turn off the heat. Done!

Now for the lettuce. I used Boston lettuce for this recipe. Each leaf is shaped in perfect little cups. It holds the chicken so well. Wrap it all up like a burrito to eat it.

Or just stare at it because it's so pretty.

Just kidding. Eat it.

Here's the recipe!

Cashew Chicken in Lettuce Cups

3 or 4 large chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon oil
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 -3 tablespoons dry roasted, unsalted cashews, diced
Boston lettuce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Put chicken in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let brown. Cook chicken until almost done, but not quite, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stirring constantly. Let cook for a few minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add soy sauce, brown sugar and honey to pan. Stir well, then leave alone to caramelize, about 4 - 5 minutes. Sauce will start to bubble and thicken. Stir it a few times until it coats the chicken. Throw in cashews, mix well. Remove from heat.
Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture into individual leaves of Boston lettuce. Serve immediately.


  1. These were amazing...I could have eaten quite a few of these!!! I love the taste of the chicken. Good job sweetie! :)

  2. I wish I had you for my personal chef. Oh, to never have to cook again and eat all the good things you make, how great would that be!

  3. These are SO GOOD! It's definitely one of my favorite meals at the moment :) I crave it from time to time.

  4. Mmmmmm! Just made this for dinner! Of course, I changed it a bit because I am unable to cook a recipe without adding my own twist. Added a little crushed red pepper to give it some zip and doubled the sauce because I served it over brown rice. Will definitely make this again, might throw some veggies in the mix...thinking red pepper and bok choy. Awesome recipe! Fast & easy too!