I was pinning away the other night on Pinterest, when I came across one of my recipes posted back in 2011 for "Springfield Style" Cashew Chicken. When I grew up in Missouri in the 1960's, there just weren't a lot of Asian restaurants. I can remember the first time I went, my future sister-in-law Terry asked if I'd like to go to lunch. I think I was 14 and other than La Choy in a can, I'd never had Chinese. The restaurant was decorated with black lacquered chairs and tables, white paper screens and lanterns, and a waitstaff that gave 5 star service... it left an impression! When our orders of Cashew chicken arrived at the table, they smelled delicious. Crispy fried chicken pieces smothered in a rich brown sauce and topped with salty cashews, alongside a snowy bowl of purest white steamed rice. From that moment I have loved Asian cuisine!
Leong's closed their doors in 2000, but lucky for you their recipe lives on in many restaurants across the state. When you think of regions of Chinese food, Sichuan, Cantonese or Hunan come to mind... but don't forget to add Springfield Style to the list!
Just click on the title to print the recipe!
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (per person)
2 eggs per pound of chicken
1/4 cup milk per egg
salt and pepper
peanut oil for frying
2 chicken bouillon cubes per cup of water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
chopped green onions
hot rice for serving
Heat oil to 350-400° in deep pan or fryer. Cut chicken into small pieces, dredge and let stand in flour for 15 minutes. Mix together egg, milk, and salt & pepper. Remove chicken from flour and let stand in egg mixture for 10 minutes. Roll chicken pieces in flour and deep-fry, in batches if need be, until golden. Drain well on paper towels and keep warm in covered pan in 200° oven.
Serve chicken over hot rice, topped with sauce, cashews, and chopped green onions. Pass soy sauce at table.