Meet one of my family’s most-requested one-pot meals: curry spiced cashew chicken and rice. They love it for the delicious mix of flavors – tender bites of chicken, crunchy cashews, curry, cilantro, peas, and fresh ginger. I love it because it’s ready in about 30 minutes, and most of that is hands-off time!
No matter where you are in life, one thing is for sure – you can never have too many recipes in your back pocket for quick, reliable, delicious weeknight meals. Because I’m working part-time right now, it might seem like I’d have all the time in the world to prepare elaborate dinners, even Monday through Friday. But in truth, the hours seem to evaporate for me as they do for everyone else, and before you know it, everyone is hungry (including me!) and wondering what’s the deal with dinner.
Even for someone who loves to cook, dinner can quickly turn into a chore. I find it best to take it one week at a time – admittedly, sometimes just day by day – otherwise the perpetual nature of the task overwhelms me. As in… seriously, we need to eat dinner every single night for the next how many years!?
That’s where it’s key to have an assortment of reliable, delicious, super fast recipes up your sleeve. Sure, some nights you’re up for experimenting and taking the long way around. Many other nights, you want a comforting, nutritious, crowd-pleasing dinner that can be cooked in one pot or skillet with minimal hassle or clean-up. This spiced cashew chicken is for those nights – the second bunch!
Of course, there are also nights when you just cry uncle and order pizza or go out for Thai. I can’t help you there, except to empathize. There are days, and then there are days, and like I said, even someone who thinks about food near constantly and loves to cook just throws in the towel from time to time.
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This meal is perfect for busy nights when you don’t have much time or energy but still want to pull together a tasty home-cooked meal. You’ll start by chopping and browning some chicken – easy. Then, in the same pot, you’ll quickly saute some curry powder and fresh ginger. At this point your house will start to smell amazing and you’ll remember why you bother to cook from scratch in the first place. Aaaaah…
Rice, raisins, lemon juice, lemon zest, the browned chicken pieces, and some broth – everything goes back together in the pot for a nice 20 minute snuggle session. This is your chance to clean up and pour a glass of wine. No need to prep a separate side, unless your heart is really crying out for one. After the rice is good and plump, you’ll add peas, cilantro, and a handful of delightfully crunchy cashews, give it all a quick stir, and serve! Boom! One-pot meal, as good as can be.
One-Pot Curry Cashew Chicken and Rice
- 1 1/2 lbs (750 grams) chicken breasts cut into pieces approximately 1 inch long
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup (220 grams) basmati or long-grain rice
- 1/2 cup (90 grams) golden raisins
- finely grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 cup (155 grams) frozen baby peas
- 1/2 cup (20 grams) fresh cilantro minced
- 1/2-1 cup (90-180 grams) roasted cashews coarsely chopped
- Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat, then saute the chicken pieces, turning occasionally, until they are lightly browned on all sides, 4-5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
- Add the ginger and curry powder to the pot and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Stir in the broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then add the rice, raisins, lemon zest and juice, and an additional 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot.
- Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the broth is absorbed, rice is tender, and chicken is cooked throughout. Remove pan from the heat, stir in the peas, re-cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes, until peas are warmed through.
- Sprinkle cilantro and cashews over the dish, stir to combine, and serve immediately. Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: One Pot
Looking for more quick weeknight inspiration? Don’t miss this quick bourbon chicken, lemon thyme chicken, or spaghetti with roasted tomatoes and garlic. And this 20-minute marinara sauce is the most popular recipe on the site for good reason – it’s a weeknight hero! Yum!