Garlic, Cashew, and Chicken Casserole

Garlic Cashew Chicken CasseroleOne of my New Year's resolutions (yes I always make a few very general ones) is to start cracking open some of the many cookbooks and recipe magazines I own and trying new dishes.  Yesterday I picked up one that is fairly new to me, but actually a 2015 reprint of a 2014 special interest issue that proved popular. It from Better Homes and Gardens and called One-Pan Recipes.

What drew me to this issue was that recipes are separated by cooking pan/method. There are five sections with several subsections - The Classics (skillet, 3 quart baking dish, 2 quart baking dish), The Round Pans (muffin pan, pie plate, springform pan), The Kitchen Helpers (slow cooker, grill pan, dutch oven), The Baking Pans (loaf pan, 15 x 10 x 1 cookie sheet, 8 x 8 pan) and Specialty Pans (fondue, pizza, doughnut, paella, ebelskiver).  Recipes range from appetizers through dessert.

Sunday nights are dinner and a movie night with my oldest and my husband. I always look for something fairly easy to pull together, or that can be fully prepped before, as I want to spend my time visiting - not labouring in the kitchen. The recipe that caught my eye was Garlic, Cashew and Chicken Casserole. A one-dish meal, it offered lots of fresh veggies, rice and meat all in one dish, I could prep it ahead of time and just toss in the oven later. The sauce includes lots of garlic and fresh ginger - both fab flavours for me. 

Better Homes and Gardens' One-Pan Recipes 2014
Back issues can be ordered HERE
Trying new recipes out on others is always an iffy proposition, but fortunately this one was a hit. It proved a nice warm meal on a cold winter night - not fancy fare, but filling and oh so tasty.  All I added was some crusty toasted rolls, a side dish of hot veggie mix and dessert. The only note I would offer is while I think this would make an great dish for a casual potluck or get together. I probably wouldn't offer it for a fancier sit down dinner.

(NOTE - I wanted leftovers for the next night so did a recipe and a half.  All you do is multiply all amounts by 1.5 and use a 9 x 13 pan instead of the 2 quart baking dish. I also reduced the fresh ginger and garlic just a bit to suit the likes of one family member. The casserole still offered great flavour.)

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Garlic Cashew and Chicken Casserole

Ingredients -

Nonstick cooking spray

1 C          Reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 C       Hoisin sauce
2 T          Grated fresh ginger (I used 2T for a recipe and a half)
4 tsp        Cornstarch
1/2 tsp     Crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp     Ground black pepper

1 lb          Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch strips
2 C          Sliced bok choy (I used baby bok choy)
2              Medium onions, cut into thin wedges (I used one jumbo sweet onion)
1 C          Sliced celery (2 stalks)
1 C          Sliced carrots (2 medium)
3/4 C       Chopped red sweet pepper (Note original recipe used green - no my fav)
6              Cloves garlic, minced (I used 7 for a recipe and a half and used a garlic press)
2 C          Cooked brown rice

1 C          Chow mein noodles, coarsely broken
1/2 C       Cashews
1/4 C       Thinly sliced green onions

Directions -

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

(Note - The recipe puts the fresh ginger right in the sauce. I toned it down slightly by sauting the ginger with the vegetables in the skillet.  The choice is yours.)

For sauce, in a medium bowl combine broth, hoisin sauce, ginger, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and black pepper; set aside.

Lightly coat an extra-large skillet with cooking spray; heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook until lightly browned, turning once. Remove from skillet. Add bok choy, onion wedges, celery, carrots, and sweet pepper to skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds more. Stir in sauce. Cook and stir about 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken and cooked rice.

Transfer chicken mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake, covered, about 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (165 degrees F) and edges are bubbly. Sprinkle with chow mein noodles and cashews. Bake, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes more or until noodles and cashews are golden. Sprinkle with green onions.