Chicken Stir Fry with Cashews and Asparagus

1/2 cup raw cashews

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

2 TBS Asian fish sauce

2 TBS vegetable oil

½ cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1 pound asparagus, sliced on the diagonal, 1-inch-thick

1 TBS oyster sauce

1 TBS fresh lime juice

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

½ cup chopped basil

¼ cup chopped chives

Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350°.  Spread the cashews on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, until they are nicely browned and fragrant.  Let cool.


In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 TBS of the fish sauce.  In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add the chicken in an even layer and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, about  4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a clean bowl.


Pour the chicken stock into the wok and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits.  Add the asparagus slices, cover and cook over moderate heat until they are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to the bowl along with the chicken.


Add the remaining 1 TBS of fish sauce to the wok along with the oyster sauce, lime juice and cayenne pepper.  Simmer until the sauce is reduced to ⅓ cup, about 2 minutes.  Return the chicken pieces and sliced asparagus to the wok and toss to heat through.  Remove the wok from the heat and stir in the cashews, basil and chives.  Season the stir-fry with black pepper and serve immediately.


Serves 4

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