Yesterday I pulled out my WeightWatchers One Pot Cookbook for dinner inspiration. I settled on a new recipe from the “In a Wok” chapter (one of my favorites). The three dominant words in the recipe’s title appealed to me: honey, chicken, and cashews. I thought those ingredients just might lead to culinary success!
I adjusted the recipe somewhat to suit my tastes: I used only one red bell pepper instead of two, and I added the Healthy Extra option of 2 cups of trimmed, cut green beans. I wish I had pre-steamed the green beans for a bit, however, because they were squeaky as could be when we ate the dish.
One problem I often have with sauces is getting them to thicken properly. Therefore, I increased the amount of cornstarch in the broth mixture, and I did not stir the wok constantly once I put in the broth mixture. I’m not sure which of those two factors (or both, or neither) did the trick, but in the end I had a nice, thick, sticky sauce, just like I had wanted.
The recipe turned out well (apart from the squeaky green beans), and John and I rated it 3 (out of 5) stars. The honey flavor in the sauce did not come through very strongly, but the sauce was slightly sweet and tangy. The bites with cashew bits were the most flavorful, by far. Overall, the entrée was not as good as some of the other Asian dishes I’ve recently made, such as the Edamame and Steak Stir-Fry or the Szechuan Chicken with Noodles, but with a little tweaking it could be a solid dish.
Honey Chicken with Cashews
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 TB reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 TB cornstarch (I used a heaping 2 TB)
1.5 TB honey
1 lb chicken tenders, cut lengthwise into thin strips
1/8 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
2 cups hot cooked whole wheat thin spaghetti
1. Whisk together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and honey in small bowl until smooth.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Spray wok or large deep nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over high heat until a drop of water sizzles in wok. Add chicken and stir-fry until browned ad cook through, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds; transfer to plate.
3. Add bell peppers to wok and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to wok along with cashews; stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute. Re-whisk broth mixture; add to work and stir-fry until sauce bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute longer. Serve over spaghetti.
*Healthy Extra: Add 2 cups trimmed and cut green beans to the wok along with the peppers in step 3.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/2 cup pasta). Per serving, 8 PointsPlus.