Monday, November 30, 2015

Cashew cream butter chicken

As I typed that title out, I realized I have to make something other than chicken next month for you all. (except that I probably will still make something with chicken)


A few weeks ago, I made Butter Chicken from +Ricardo Cuisine ( and it was probably the easiest thing I ever made. Seriously, if you enjoy butter chicken, I highly recommend trying this recipe.. or the one I’m about to share with you!
*Side note. I say this was really simple, but I managed to accidentally add water instead of milk. And then added milk, too. So we had a LOT of sauce.

After I saw how simple it was to make, I thought that I should try my own spin on it. The recipe I originally used was basically tomato soup and milk – so I thought I would make my own soup, and use cashew cream instead of milk. Obviously I didn't substitute anything for the butter, because let's face it, everything tastes better with butter (and looks better on my hips and arms and butt and thighs)

As we learned last time I did a food post, I am not very good at taking photos of food yet. And unlike a normal person who would probably take the time between posts (three weeks…) to practice taking photos, I was lazy and took one single photograph of this meal on my plate before I ate it.

Good thing I know how to centre something when I'm taking a picture of it...
So, to give this baby a whirl, follow these directions that you may want to read over several times before you actually start to cook...

1 cup cashews + a few extras, crushed
1/4 cup water
540 mL can of crushed tomatoes (it was the smallest can I could find, so you're going to have a lot of extra soup)
2 cups chicken broth (I always just use a bouillon cube)
1 cup of uncooked basmati or jasmine rice (makes about 3 cups cooked)
3 Tbsp curry powder
3 Tbsp butter
3 chicken breasts, chopped up into about 1 to 2 inch pieces (or if it is Meatless Monday in your home, roast cauliflower instead!)

1. First thing’s first: soaking cashews. It is recommended that you soak them for at least three hours, but I find they blend way better if you let them soak over night. Once they are all good and soggy, drain and rinse them and then put them in a blender with water (or you can use broth here, too). Blend until they’re nice and smooth.

2. In the meantime, add your can of crushed tomatoes to a pot at about medium heat, as well as the chicken broth. Let it come to a boil, just make sure you keep stirring it so it doesn’t burn onto the bottom of your pot and then turn the temperature really low. I added some salt, pepper and parsley. Add the cashew cream and keep stirring. Let this soup simmer.

3. Start to cook your rice according to the instructions on the package. Ian can confirm that I’m really bad at cooking rice.. but I have been doing a better job lately! I tend to forget about it and then it sticks to the pot. *This may or may not take as long as cooking the chicken, depending on your rice and how long it takes for your water to boil etc. My rice was done a little before the chicken, so I took a bit of sauce and stirred it in so the rice wouldn't stick once it was done.

4. Now comes the fun part! Once your chicken is cut up into a million pieces, add your butter, garlic, curry powder and chicken to a frying pan – I would use a wok next time I do this, because my frying pan was just the right size. Cook the chicken on about medium heat, until they are pretty much all the way cooked and then add about 3 cups of the soup. Keep stirring! Let it just all cook together for about 10 more minutes. I don't have a meat thermometer cause our first one, I submerged in water and  broke and then our second one got stuck in a drawer.... so technically, the chicken should be 160F inside but I just took the biggest piece I could find and cut into it. Please don't call the health inspector!

5. I made some oil and vinegar (and salt and pepper) dressing and threw it on some spinach so we had something green on our plate. I call that an "Olga salad" because growing up, whenever we had supper at my grandma's she always made a salad with iceburg lettuce and oil and vinegar and it was the BEST (and most plain) salad ever. But since no one actually enjoys iceburg lettuce, if we are being honest, I used spinach today and usually it's romaine.

Just spoon some rice on your plate, add some sauce and chicken and away you go! I crushed up a few cashews on top to try and make it look pretty. Enjoy!

I give this meal an A. It didn’t have as much of a cashew-y taste as I had hoped for – honestly, it basically tasted exactly like the one I tried from Ricardo Cuisine but with more work… so if you’re like me and you like doing extra work for no reason, you should make the cashew cream version. If you like quick and easy, make the Ricardo version! Ian ate the leftovers today for lunch , and he said it is still delicious even as leftovers, so that’s a bonus.

I think next time I will saute some onions to blend into the soup, or maybe try making it with a roasted red pepper. If you try something different, let me know! I'd love to hear from you if you tried out this recipe and what your thoughts are. I guess since I'm going to make this a regular thing, I should also start thinking of more creative names than "Bruschetta stuffed chicken parmesan" and "cashwer cream butter chicken". ALSO after reading this, I realize I did a lot of different things all at once: making soup and cashew cream; cooking rice; cooking chicken - so feel free to do a few things ahead of time, use a can of soup instead of making your own or grab a helper!

dream big dreams, be reckless

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