Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sesame Chicken

When I lived in Austin, there was a Chinese take-out place right around the corner from my last apartment. At that point in time, I'd never been a huge Chinese food person, but I quickly became hooked on their sesame chicken. The sauce was horribly Americanized. Overly sweet with a slight tang ... and I loved it. This recipe isn't quite that, but it's good. It also uses mostly ingredients I have on hand and you should too if you keep a ridiculously overstocked Asian pantry. I did run out of regular soy sauce midway through making this (technically, that's not true. I ran out of the soy sauce that I like and didn't want to use the cheap stuff in the sauce.), so I ended up using dark soy sauce in the sauce. I'm going to recommend that you stick with the light though!

One year ago: Cherry Tomato Penne al Arrabbiata

Sesame Chicken (from Cully's Kitchen)

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
cornstarch, to coat chicken
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry wine (I used mirin)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
2 drops sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used 1/2 tbsp grated fresh)
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
1-2 tablespoon sesame oil (to personal taste)
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 dash red chili pepper flakes
2 teaspoons cornstarch (or more is you want a thicker sauce)
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil (for frying)
Sesame Seed (to garnish)
Sliced Green Onion (to garnish)
prepared Rice, to serve.

1. Combine marinade ingredients with chicken and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
2. Remove chicken from marinade and toss in cornstarch then cook chicken in hot oil on the stove or deep fryer until cooked through.
3. Remove from pan and keep warm in oven while making the sauce.
4. [I made this part slightly more complicated.] Brown ginger and garlic in a sauce pan with oil until fragrant.
5. Add remaining sauce ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch and bring to a boil over med. heat.
6. Mix cornstarch with a little water (about 1/4 cup) in a cup until dissolved- then slowly add to the sauce mixture on the stove and heat until thickened to the consistency of gravy.
7. Add the chicken into the sauce. Heat thoroughly.
8. Serve over hot rice.
9. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions!

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