Chicken in Chile Sauce with Cashews

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 8 servings

An unusual combination of ingredients—chicken, cheese, cashews, potatoes, olives and eggs—melds into an intensely flavorful South American dish.

Chicken in Chile Sauce with Cashews
Mark Boughton/ styling: Teresa Blackburn

Nirmala uses 1 tablespoon ground aji chile or cayenne pepper. Start with 1 teaspoon and work your way up to the desired degree of heat.


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
2 -- slices white bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 -- garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground aji chile or cayenne pepper
1/2 cup unsalted cashew nuts, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
5 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
8 small Peruvian blue or red bliss potatoes, boiled and cut into halves
3 -- hard-cooked eggs, cut into halves lengthwise
1/2 cup pitted black Kalamata olives
-- Finely chopped fresh chives


  1. Cover chicken with 1-inch cold water in a medium saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender and thoroughly cooked, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness.
  2. Remove chicken breasts and let cool. Discard all but 1/2 cup cooking liquid. In a small bowl, soak bread in reserved liquid. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into small pieces and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, paprika and aji chile. Cook until onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add soaked bread. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon, breaking up bread, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add cashews, evaporated milk, grated cheese and shredded chicken. Continue cooking 5 minutes more, or until thoroughly heated. Transfer chicken mixture to the center of a large serving platter. Arrange potatoes around outer edge of platter. Top with hard-cooked egg halves and olives. Garnish with chopped chives.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Nirmala Narine's In Nirmala's Kitchen: Everyday World Cuisine (Lake Isle Press, 2006).



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