Sunday, November 13, 2011

Soy-Honey Chicken

This meal began as an attempt to replicate one of my favorite elements of Chinese take-out: Sesame Chicken.  And then, well...I sort of forgot about the "sesame" bit and ended up just making some tasty chicken.  Next time I'll put those poor, neglected sesame seeds in my cabinet to good use, I swear!  In the meantime, I'll just have to content myself with a tasty dish of lightly fried chicken breast and broccoli in sweet, tangy, and slightly-hot sauce.  Gee, life is tough.

Marinating is good.  I highly recommend it.  So long as you're not making this dish completely last-minute, make a quick marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, white wine, sugar, salt, and pepper.

Marinade the chicken for at least an hour and you'll get extra-flavorful results.

Here's what you'll need for the sauce.  This is sort of a silly array of bottles, isn't it?  Clearly the sauce isn't exactly "from scratch."  However, this array of tasty, Asian ingredients (...and Ketchup) are all easy to find and mix into a really fantastic, sweet-tangy-hot sauce.

Mix together all of the sauce ingredients above with a bit of water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over low until the sauce has reduced a bit.  Later, we'll cover everything in saucy tastiness.

Now back to that chicken!  The "breading" we'll fry in is a mixture of flour and cornstarch.  The cornstarch crisps up nicely, and the flour gives that classic golden-brown color.  It's a good pairing.

Drain off the excess marinade from the chicken, then toss it in the flour/cornstarch until coated. Set aside for a few minutes to make sure the coating will stick around.

In the meantime, it's the perfect opportunity to steam some broccoli!

Once you've rested the chicken for a few minutes, heat some oil in a wok or other high-walled pan. Don't use too much - just about a quarter-inch is more than plenty.

Now fry that chicken!  Use nice small batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan.  A couple of minutes per side will result in wonderful, golden-brown color.

Once the chicken is golden-brown, carefully (carefully!) remove from the pan and transfer onto a plate covered in paper towels to absorb excess oil.  Keep frying chicken in small batches until it's all cooked.

And now, the grand combination!  Combine the broccoli, chicken, and sauce and mix well until everything is covered in deliciousness.

Serve hot over rice.  Devour promptly.

Recipe: Soy-Honey Chicken
Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Difficulty: Medium | Servings: 6-8

  • 1 1/2 lbs Chicken Breast
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp White Wine
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp White Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 3 crowns Broccoli
  • 1/4 cup Chili Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup Water
Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces.  

Combine all marinade ingredients in a gallon zip-loc bag.  Add chicken and marinade at least 1 hour.

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil, then simmer over low heat 10 minutes or until reduced slightly.

Dredge chicken in flour and cornstarch.  Set aside 2-3 minutes.

Chop broccoli into bite-sized florettes.  Steam until tender.

Heat 1/4 inch of frying oil in wok over medium-high heat.  Fry chicken approx. 2 minutes per side until golden brown.  Remove and pat dry on paper towels.

Combine chicken, broccoli, and sauce and mix thoroughly.

Serve hot over steamed rice.

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