Sunday, November 3, 2013

Paleo Crock Pot Cashew Chicken (Recipe Revisit)


This is a post long overdue, and for that I apologize. When I first posted my paleo reworking of a crock pot cashew chicken dish back in January 2012, I didn't give the post the love it deserved. Rather than type out the recipe, I linked to the original and noted the changes I made.

I never actually thought the post would get so much attention, but countless comments have asked for the specific recipe, and several people had trouble with my link. I promised to revisit the dish and give it the attention it deserved, and I'm happy to make right on that pledge!

My kids and the caveman adore this dish, and it couldn't be easier. While I used arrowroot to coat the chicken, you could use tapioca, almond or coconut flour. The step just helps the sauce to adhere to the meat.

If you prefer more spice and less sweet, either lessen the palm sugar or up the red pepper flakes. Last time I made this I topped the finished dish with minced cilantro, but I like it with minced green onion ever better.

This one would be delicious over some cauliflower rice. Since I just made some in paleo jambalaya on Friday, I skipped it altogether and simply served some green beans alongside the chicken.


Paleo Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 lbs. chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbs. coconut oil
3 tbs. coconut aminos
2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
2 tbs. organic ketchup (tomato paste would work also)
1/2-1 tbs. palm sugar
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/4-1/2 red pepper flakes
1/2 cup raw cashews

Place starch and black pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Add chicken pieces and seal; toss to thoroughly coat meat.

Melt coconut oil in a large skillet or wok. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes until brown on all sides. Remove and add to crock pot.

Mix coconut aminos through red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Pour mixture over chicken and toss to coat. Put lid on crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Stir cashews into chicken and sauce before serving.

41 comments:

  1. Hello! Would the cooking time be the same for chopped chicken breasts? I plan on making this for tomorrow's dinner with, oh dare I say... Coconut Jasmine rice :-)

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    1. Laurie, I would think the breasts might take longer than thighs... mine cooked in 3 hrs with thighs, so I'd check yours after 3 and perhaps let them cook longer. And no judgment on the rice! Coconut rice is delicious, I agree ;)

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    2. I ended up using chicken thighs and the meal turned out fabulous. I adjusted the time for my super hot running crockpot. This will go into regular rotation in our home. Thank you very much! Oh and I forgot the green onion and did feel it was missing so I will be sure to add that next time.

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    3. so glad you liked it! I do really think the green onion adds something.

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  2. Hi Susan, I can't wait to try this. Did you use bone-in thighs or boneless?

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  3. This same sauce mixture can be used to just pan fry the chicken, correct? My crock pot cooks very high also so I am unsure if it will overcook. Thanks!

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    1. Steph, see below! :) I'm so glad to hear that it works on the stovetop too.

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  4. This tastes great! I made it tonight for dinner! I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts as my husband isn't a fan of dark meat. I also did this on the stove top, but I like knowing it will work in the slow-cooker too. I will be making this recipe again!

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    1. I've wondered myself how this would taste made on the stovetop, so I'm glad you made it and can report it works well! Glad you guys liked it and thanks for letting me know!

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  5. What do you do with the rest of the ingredients?

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    1. hi Karen, not sure which ingredients you mean? In the last step before cooking you mix the remaining items (coconut amines through red pepper flakes) in a small bowl, then pour that mixture over the chicken in the crockpot. That accounts for everything but the cashews :)

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    2. I was also confused by this initially. I might suggest listing out all the ingredients in the directions for clarification.

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    3. Or just word it as "all remaining ingredients except cashews".

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    4. Just noting that I was puzzled by this as well....Glad to have found an answer though!

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  6. Thanks for the great recipe! I brought the leftovers to work for lunch; my whole office was very jealous. I've pointed them all to this post.

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  7. Was just wondering about the rest of the ingredients. I assume they are mixed with the aminos and red pepper flakes. There isn't any mention of the following in the directions:

    2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
    2 tbs. organic ketchup (tomato paste would work also)
    1/2-1 tbs. palm sugar
    2 minced garlic cloves
    1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

    Looks SO good!

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    1. hi Danielle,
      I actually just answered this question above earlier this week… the directions read coconut amines THROUGH red pepper flakes, which means you mix all of them together to make the sauce. Thanks!

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  8. If I don't have palm sugar, but I have coconut sugar -- would that work?

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    1. good news Heather… they are one in the same thing!

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  10. Look so delicious...How many servings would you say this is?

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    1. Thanks and great question Michelle! I find it's enough for 2 adult portions and 2 kids', with enough left over for one lunch serving. Of course that depends on how big your servings are ;)

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  11. I thought the "through" red peppers meant to distribute-through-the-red-peppers. I didn't realize you meant "all recipe items on the list from X through Z" by that. Guess that explains it! This sounds great, thanks!!

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  12. Can anyone tell me where I can find coconut aminos? grocery or health food store...etcc?
    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Carey, I usually get my online at vitacost.com or at Whole Foods. If you're gluten-free but not strict paleo you can also use organic GF soy sauce.

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  13. Thanks Susan....good to know other options.

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  14. What would be a good vegetable dish to go with this?

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    1. If I make it with cauliflower rice I often don't do a side, but I think some broccoli, green beans or spinach would taste great with it! You could also add some chopped red peppers into the mix.

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  15. I made this and it was great. I am really bad at reading directions so I ended up just tossing it all in the crockpot together instead of cooking the chicken first. Which in my world if I have to cook it on the stove I don't understand the point of the crockpot. Either way...it worked great anyway! LOL Also, I didn't realize I was out of cashews so I added Marcona Almonds (right away and not at the end) and it was still wonderful. :)

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    1. I'm bad at writing directions sometimes! Ha ;) And I totally get you about being frustrated when having to cook something before using the crock pot. It does seem to defeat the purpose. I added the step to (hopefully) add a crispness to the chicken that would help the sauce better adhere to it. But good to know it works just all dumped in the pot!! Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Hi there - do you think it would be ok without the coconut sugar, if you're on a whole life type challenge that doesn't allow it? And would white vinegar, red wine or apple cider vinegar work?

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    1. sorry for my late reply Katie! I do think it would taste good without the sugar, though it might have a bit of a tanginess to it. You can always sub different vinegars… I would suggest apple cider or white over red wine here.

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  17. Very good!!

    I didn't use crock pot, I followed all steps and then put chicken in 8x11 glass baking dish, covered with foil and baked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Then kept covered until ready to serve. I also added more dried red peppers for those who like it spicier. Oh and I used a gluten free soy sauce instead of the coconut aminos because I can't find it locally.

    Will make again for sure. We served it with white rice and broccoli. Yum!

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    1. So glad you liked and good to know it worked in the oven!

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  18. My sauce was not as thick or dark once I put it in the crockpot. Did you thicken up the sauce?

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    1. I made the recipe exactly as written... the starch on the chicken will help the sauce thicken up in the crock pot and adhere to the meat.

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  20. Is there a substitute I could use for the arrowroot flour or could I omit it?

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    1. Hi Karen,
      Any starch will work... tapioca is an easy sub. While not paleo, cornstarch would work as well.

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