Thai Chicken Pasta

We felt like chicken tonight… chicken tonight

Spicy Cashew Pasta w/ Chicken & Veggies
Eater rating: 4.4 / 5  4.3615

Bored of plain old chicken breasts for dinner? Do what we did and turn it into a spicy asian-inspired pasta dish! We’re eating pasta tossed with a home made spicy cashew sauce filled with sauteed carrots, red bell peppers, crispy green beans, cilantro, jalapenos, and yes…slices of seared chicken breast meat. The dish was savory and spicy with just a hint of sweet.

A: this was seriously easy to make! the sauce requires zero cooking… just a bit o’ whisking. i love these types of meals!
T: I know, I was amazed at how quickly you made the sauce. You walked into the kitchen, I was zoned out at the computer, and like 5 seconds later you were done! That’s quick.
A: hehe yeah that part was particularly quick. although i sat on the floor meditating in front of the cabinets before launching into sauce making action. forming the game plan was totally key.
T: Now I’ve never seen you sitting on the kitchen floor meditating in front of the open cabinet doors before… was this a new approach to cooking creativity?
A: yup, i’ve never done it before. the cabinets are a mystical wonderland full of forgotten goodies. some times it’s good to get a refresh on what the hell’s in there! (and i “reorganized” while meditating)
T: I think it worked out well. This was different than anything I remember you making in the past, and it was quite tasty. It had a great spice level and a nice Thai-esque feel to it. It was a good thing to do with chicken breasts, too, because they can get kind of boring for me.
A: me. freaking. too. i get soooooo bored with chicken breasts. I mean, yeah yeah, they’re good and all, but they just don’t generally excite me or spark creativity… unless i stuff ‘em with goodies, but i’ve done that pretty recently.
T: yeah, :) stuffing em with goodies is a GREAT thing to do with chicken breasts. Damn dry flavorless pieces of crap. They should grow chickens that have duck breasts. That would be the shit.
A: :-) okay crack head. so what’d ya rate this meal?
T: 4.4/5. It was quite tasty, and delightfully spicy. And I really get excited about fresh jalapeños :D It might be nice to try this with rice noodles instead of fettuccine (as you said while we were eating). What’s your rating?
A: i feel pretty similarly. i give this meal a 4.323/5. it was good, with the exception being the pasta. the pasta was just alright. in the recipe i don’t tell the user what type of pasta to use, but i suggest vermicelli. i think with the right pasta this would have gotten a much higher rating from me.
T: Yeah, from me too, I think. It might have also been interesting to have some of those super-hot peppers soaked in fish and soy sauce that they sometimes have at thai restaurants. But it was good as it was. So, you were saying that the sauce requires no cooking, and that rice noodles require no cooking… does this mean that this meal (aside from the chicken) could theoretically pass as a “raw food” meal if the veggies and stuff were left uncooked?
A: to tell you the truth, i don’t really know the “rules” of raw food “cooking”. i am apt to think that the process that the rice noodles had to go through to become rice noodles would exclude them from the whole raw food thing. you could always make veggie “pasta” with one of those little devices for making veggie pasta… can you tell i don’t know what they’re called?
T: One of those little devices… is that a brand name? :-P I just thought of something… where do you draw the line of processing before something no longer counts as being raw? I’ve always thought it was the act of heating that made the difference, but would something marinated in lime juice be considered cooked? Can raw food people eat ceviche?
A: these are some good question that i just don’t know the answers too. if anyone who reads this knows anything about the whole raw food movement, let us know in the comments!

A Pasta Recipe, by Amanda
Spicy Cashew Pasta with Chicken

3 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in 1 1/2 long pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 1/2 inch long pieces
1 large carrot, cut in thin 1 1/2 inch long pieces
2 green onions, cut in 1 1/2 inch long pieces
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)
2 tbsp canola oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Long pasta of your choice (vermicelli works the best), cooked according to the directions

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup cashew butter
3/4 cup coconut milk (unsweetened!)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp sambal oelek (can adjust amount for desired heat level)
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup water

Preheat a medium sized pot of water over high heat. Preheat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil to the saute pan. While the pan is heat, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot place the chicken in the pan. Saute the chicken over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook for another five minutes, or until chicken is just cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the saute pan. Allow the chicken to rest, loosely cover in aluminum foil, for at least 8 minutes. Once the chicken has rested, slice across the grain (width-wise) into bite sized pieces.

While the chicken is sauteing make the sauce, boil the green beans and saute the veggies:
Add all the ingredients for the sauce into a mixing bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Once the pot of water comes to a boil, season liberally with salt. Add the green beans to the pot of boiling water. Boil the green beans for 5 minutes. Drain the green beans.

While the green beans are cooking and the chicken is resting, saute the red bell pepper, carrot slices, and green onions over medium-high heat in the same saute pan the chicken was cooked in, using the remaining oil from the chicken. Saute the veggies for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp-tender. (oxymoronic i know)

Add the spicy cashew sauce, drained green beans, sliced chicken, cilantro, and jalapeños to the pan with the veggies. Stir to combine thoroughly. Add the pasta, cooked al dente according to the direction on the package, to the sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce so that every strand of pasta is completely covered. Serve and garnish the dish with chopped cilantro and slices of jalapeno (optional). Enjoy!

18 comments so far:

  1. aria says:

    why hullo there amanda! i’m coming to your house for dinner, man oh man that looks awesome! we had chicken tonight too, roasted bird with a bagguette lettuce and tomato, help yourself. this soundswonderful! i need to take the hint and make more pasta….

  2. Erielle says:

    Your original recipes are look so delicious! You should really be working on a cookbook. About the cashew butter, if I can’t find it, do you think peanut butter would work?

  3. Lizzie says:

    Hiya,

    Really admire all your dishes – the photography’s great too! i have an aversion to chicken with pasta products, so i might try this with prawns (and peanut butter – we don’t get cashew butter in Blighty!)

    Just out of interest… have you ever made anything which didn’t get a rating of 3 or higher?

  4. Heather says:

    PLEEEEEEEEASE come and cook for me! It is sooooo hard to cook for my pregnant self when I get home at night. You can meditate all you want on the (furry) floor of my kitchen. The puppies and kitties will keep you company while you cook – and I can sleep! Think about it – you could live in our garage…or with my dad!?

  5. Freya says:

    I’m loving the sound of the cashew sauce! Delicious!

  6. Alice Q says:

    That sounds fantastic, and I bet it would also work great with natural peanut butter. Your pictures are looking fantastic by the way!!

  7. Kristen says:

    I wish I had your creativity in the kitchen. Maybe meditating at the kitchen cabinets is they key. I’ll have to give that a try :)

  8. vegas2upst8ny says:

    Looks really good. I’ll have to give it a try.

    What units of measure are the beans in?

    1 1/2 fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in 1 1/2 long pieces

    Thanks!

  9. chase says:

    That looks delicious as well as healthy. It is so nice to whip up different stuff that goes with pasta

  10. Bill says:

    I haven’t tried cashew pasta with chicken, but since our family is full of chicken lovers it definitely will be something we’ll try this week.

  11. Leena! says:

    You know what is scary about the title of this post? I just moved to Australia, and they are STILL selling Chicken Tonight! I am sure it is lovely product, but something about it creeps me out, like all those bottles were just chillin’ in the US for the past ten years or so, and they suddenly decided to ship them over to Australia to see if anyone was dumb enough to eat them.
    Great blog. I found it yesterday, and I read it with my dinner as my food porn treat of the day:)

  12. michellephant says:

    Holy crap, you’ve been cooking up a storm since I’ve been gone. When I used to eat meat, I always had that “Chicken breasts are boring” mentality. I also love the “I feel like Chicken Tonight” jingle. To this day, I can’t listen to Otis Redding singing “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay” without ending with “drinking a Hires.”

  13. RennyBA says:

    Sounds and looks delicious – but does it taste like chicken? ;-)

  14. Amanda says:

    well hellllooooo to you, mis aria!mmmm! roasted chicken just happens to be one of my favorite comfort foods. damn my missing the dinner! Je suis mechant d’etre en retard! hmm, i don’t seem to recall seeing a photo of said chicken aria! i’ll keep an close eye out.

    thanks erielle! know anyone who wants to publish a cookbook? i’m totally game! :-) you can absolutely substitute peanut butter… or any kind of nut butter for that matter. i just happened to have a jar of cashew butter unopened in my pantry.

    lizzie, you know, that’s a good question! i most certainly have made things that wouldn’t have gotten a three or higher. we decided long ago (after our first few months of blogging) that we weren’t going to post the crappy stuff. who wants a recipe that’s crappy! now we will, of course, rate restaurants lower than a 3 without hesitation! i’m sure this recipe would work lovely with prawns and peanut butter!

    hehehe while i would LOVE to come visit miss feather and her growing baby, i, uh, don’t really want to sleep in a garage in baton rouge in the middle of the summer! :-P p.s. i forgot to mention in my email that we’re trying to work out a trip this august! i can’t wait to see you guys!

    thanks Freya!

    thanks alice! we’re still trying to improve our photos… at least the layouts and what not…. tyler is the master photoshopper who makes our photos look so damn nice. :-) natural peanut butter would work great with this.

    thanks kristen! let me know how the kitchen meditation works for you! it might help me think i’m a little less weird if someone else does it too!

    thanks for pointing out the typo vegas! it’s cups! cups of green bean pieces!

    chase, i know what you mean! pasta is such an easy fall back and there is soooooo much you can do with it.

    bill, if you try it come back and let us know how it worked out for you! we love feed back… good and bad!

    awesome leena! we’re glad you found us…there by allowing us to find you! i hadn’t been to your blog until you commented. I dig what you’re doing!…. and did i mention learning about the fact that “chicken tonight” is still being sold in australia gave me a case of the heebee jeebees!

    michelle!?! is that you michelle!?! i thought you had surely fallen into the pacific ocean never to be seen again! (j/k! i know you’re uber busy with the wedding and all!) i, still to this day, suffer from the chicken breasts are boring mentality…. but watcha gonna do? they’re healthier than the good parts of the chicken!

    heheheh renny, yeah. it still kinda tasted like chicken! the cashew sauce helped though!…. kind of!

  15. Dexter Zaf says:

    This recipe looks delicious and promising. I hope this turns out to be true. Will try this recipe in my aunt’s house.

  16. Mike says:

    This recipe looks really great. Looks like it could have come from a top Chinese restaurant!

  17. Terri says:

    We enjoyed your recipe last night. It was delicious. I forgot to add the cashews – are they to be added into the sauce mixture or added when mixing everything together?

  18. STalia says:

    I love the chicken and apple faces! Do you have any other illustrations? I’ve been on the lookout for Radish faces, eg.?…

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