The sheet-pan meal is often billed as the be-all, end-all convenient dinner, but the reality is a little trickier. (Since when do chicken thighs and broccoli florets cook at the same time?) Jessica Merchant, How Sweet Eats food blogger and author of the new cookbook, Everyday Dinners, has nailed the method with her recipe for sheet-pan cashew chicken.
“There aren’t many sheet-pan meals that I’m a fan of,” Merchant writes, “mostly because meat and vegetables have different cooking times. It’s often impossible to throw everything on a sheet pan at once and have each ingredient come out perfect. But—I’ve remedied that situation for this cashew chicken.”
“I like to roast the vegetables first,” she continues, “so they get caramelized and soft. Then I add in the chicken and let it cook, tossing everything together once it’s done. The result is a saucy pan of chicken and vegetables.” Add a pot of steamed rice and dinner is complete.
Recipe from Everyday Dinners. Copyright © 2021 by Jessica Merchant. Photography copyright © 2021 by Jessica Merchant. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Sheet-Pan Cashew Chicken
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
½ cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
Cooked brown or white rice, for serving
Chopped fresh scallions or chives, for topping
Toasted sesame seeds, for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.
3. Place the bell peppers and onion on a baking sheet and cover them with half of the sauce. Toss well. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a bowl and cover it with the remaining sauce.
4. After 15 minutes, push all the vegetables to one side. Place the chicken pieces in the marinade on the baking sheet. Add the cashews as well. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes,
5. Toss everything together on the sheet before serving. Serve over rice and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds.
Note: Leftovers are wonderful and stay great in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. To meal prep this dish in 10 minutes, make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge, and chop the vegetables and the chicken and store separately in sealed containers in the fridge.
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