I feel like I need to get better at reading between the lines when I search out new recipes. I get drawn into pictures of beautifully displayed food even though I know that it's probably been rendered inedible in order to make it camera ready.
I also have naive trust in recipe authors when they use terms like "simple" and "easy". Why don't chef's ever admit when a recipe takes longer than expected? Why can't they disclose when a recipe involves more steps than filling out a tax form or requires the knife skills of a professional butcher? I, for one, would appreciate that kind of honesty when I read through a recipe.
I'm committed to NOT being that type of recipe blogger. I want to be honest and transparent with my audience. And with that being said - this cashew chicken is beautifully golden and glazed but the reality is that it didn't quite live up to my flavor expectations.
So why am I posting a recipe that didn't live up to my expectations? Even though it wasn't something that I enjoyed, there were other members of my family that actually really liked this dish. I also feel like it could easily be modified to better suit my preferences. I really liked the cashews but the strong hoisin flavor in the sauce was too overpowering. With that being said, I wouldn't scrap this recipe completely. I feel like I can make it again - with some minor adjustments.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup hoisin
1/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 cup raw cashews
2 celery ribs, sliced thin
6 scallions, cut into thin slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
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