Friday, July 23, 2010

Sesame Chicken

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, divide
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
5 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons honey

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, black pepper, five-spice powder, and red pepper flakes. Place a few pieces of chicken at a time into the bag, and shake to coat. Remove to a platter.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Place chicken into skillet, and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken, and set aside. Stir onion wedges and bell pepper slices into skillet; cook until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove, and set aside.

3. Return chicken to skillet, and reduce heat to low. Mix in teriyaki marinade, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, and honey; stir until sauce thickens. Return onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Warm through, and serve.

You’ll probably end up tripling the sauce amount; the fried chicken chunks generally absorb the relatively small amount of sauce mixture that is called-for very quickly.

Use sesame oil (refined for high heat) for frying. I’d also recommend that you pre-mix together the teriyaki sauce and honey separately in a small dish (or measuring cup), as opposed to adding each of those separately to the chicken pieces after you put them back in the skillet. This prevents one or the other tastes from becoming overly dominant.

I would definitely *not* omit the five-spice powder, as this is the unique, exotic ingredient that has a chance to give this dish a distinctively Asian taste. The end result of this recipe is relatively unsweet; if you do like more sweetness (most restaurant-style sesame chicken is actually sweeter than this recipe) I’d add brown sugar to taste when you're at the final mix, and maybe a little soy sauce and ginger powder.
I have also used broccoli and carrots rather than the onion and peppers.
Serve over a bed of rice

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