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Who wants chicken for dinner?
It turns out I do. At least if it’s crispy and rubbed with a spicy garlicky cashew sauce.
I was a vegetarian for a long time, and most of what I eat is still plant-based, but it’s meals like this that make me appreciate my carnivorous side.
This recipe comes from Melissa Clark. She’s one of my favorite food writers. You might know her from her from the column she writes for the the New York Times. Or you might see her name as the co-writer on one of your favorite chef’s cookbooks.
I love the way she cooks. Her food is simple and seasonal. It’s usually a manageable amount of work for a weeknight, and it’s always delicious.
Her book In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite was one of the first I turned to when I was trying to figure out how to approach cooking meat.
This one is a winner.
Toasted cashews get blended with garlic and cilantro and tamari and lime and a squeeze of sriracha. (This sauce is seriously amazing. I love using it on pretty much anything. Like slicing some cucumbers or carrots and just dipping them in it.)
Then chicken legs get salted and rubbed with the sauce while the broiler preheats.
Then they go under the broiler where they get crispy and blackened in spots. (Although you could, as I have, absolutely do this on the grill if the weather is cooperative and you have one available.)
Then you smear the extra cashew sauce on the plates to make a nice spot for the chicken to land, throw together a simple green salad, and you have dinner.
And a pretty amazing dinner at that.
- 1 cup roasted salted cashews
- 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- Juice of one lime
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha, or more to taste
- kosher salt
- 3 pounds chicken legs
- With a stick blender or food processor, blend the cashews, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, soy sauce/tamari, brown sugar, lime juice, water, and sriracha until it forms a smooth paste.
- Season the chicken with kosher salt and smear each piece with a light coat of the cashew sauce. Reserve the extra cashew sauce for serving. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the chicken pieces on it.
- Broil the chicken, turning frequently, for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is crispy and blackened in spots and registers 160ºF on an instant read thermometer.
- Smear the remaining cashew sauce on each plate, and divide the chicken legs between the plates, placing them over the sauce. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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ThermoPro TP03A Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer Kitchen Cooking Food Candy Thermometer for Oil Deep Fry BBQ Grill Smoker Thermometer
Braun MQ505 Multiquick Hand Blender, Black
IMUSA USA VICTORIA-70007 Lemon Squeezer, Yellow
San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce, Black Bottle, 10 Ounce
Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, 28 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 570
This post was originally published on May 2, 2014.