(New York Times)
Yesterday was Wednesday and thankfully Melissa Clark again provided me with a new recipe to try for dinner tonight. Honestly, I'm not sure what I would do without Melissa Clark and the New York Times Dining section. This week's recipe for Black Pepper Chicken thighs with Mango, Rum and Cashews immediately caught my eye.
There are two things I want to tell you about this recipe. First of all, there's a lot of chopping and dicing. Second of all, there's a lot of cilantro. So, if you don't mind chopping, this recipe is well worth the effort. I did all the prep work early in the day and then just cooked it up before dinner. As to the cilantro, I love cilantro so I was thrilled to be able to use both the stems and the leaves in this dish. If you don't like cilantro, which I know is true for so many people, do not fret. You can use flat leaf parsley in its place and the recipe will be equally delicious.
Make sure to buy a good mango because the fruit really makes this dish. As I said before, I'm neither one way or the other on mango but I found myself searching for more mango. It really added a nice contrast to the slight spiciness of the nuts and the chicken.
I have to say, I really liked this recipe. In fact, I think it would be good using shrimp instead of chicken, if you're so inclined. And, if you happen to have an extra mango laying around, throw it in. There can never be too much mango, and that's something coming from me.
Recipe: Black Pepper Chicken Thighs with Mango, Rum & Cashews
(New York Times, 3/6/11)
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup salted cashews
1 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 large mango. cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the cashews and sugar spice mixture to the skillet; cook, stirring, until the nuts are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape nuts into a bowl.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Season chicken all over with the remaining pepper and the salt. Return skillet to medium high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add scallions and cilantro stems; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add garlic and chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is golden and cooked through, about 12 minutes. Pour in the rum and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the rum evaporates, about 1 minute.
Remove pan from the heat and immediately add the nuts, mango, vinegar and cilantro leaves. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary,