I’ve never really been completely in love with Chinese food, 19 times out of 20 I’d pick Italian, Mexican or all American pizza over Chinese food but my taste buds are really starting to crave it more lately. To be honest I don’t know how much a dish like this honey sesame chicken could really be considered a Chinese dish, it’s probably more of an American Chinese type entree. Either way, it is completely delicious. It definitely satisfies that craving for Chinese take out.
If you don’t have the sesame oil, yes it would probably be fine to leave it out of the recipe, BUT you would be amazed at how much 2 tsp of sesame oil can do. It is powerful stuff. It’s almost like an extract, its so potently flavorful. It has a very savory and deep tone to it with hints of smokiness. Once you taste it you may go, ahh that is what the underlying flavor of that tasty entree I had at that Chinese restaurant was that I just couldn’t quite put my finger on. If you wanted to make this a bit healthier you could replace the whole eggs with 2 egg whites, reduce the cornstarch mixture to 1/4 cup as well as 1/4 tsp baking powder, then combine the cornstarch/baking powder mixture with the egg whites and toss the chicken into mixture, saute the chicken in a wok or large non-stick skillet with a few Tbsp of oil rather than deep frying in several cups of oil. Also, if going the lighter route you can cut the sauce recipe in half. Which ever you make it I hope you enjoy!
Honey Sesame Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite size pieces
- 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic , finely minced
- 1 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- 1 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cold water
- Vegetable oil , for frying
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Chopped green onions , for garnish (optional)
In a small saucepan combine chicken broth, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, onion, garlic, ginger and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, meanwhile in a small bowl whisk together 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 1/2 Tbsp cold water until well blended. Once mixture has reached a boil, whisk cornstarch and water mixture into honey mixture, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook stirring constantly until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with lid to keep warm.
Pour vegetable oil into a large cast iron dutch oven, filling pot about 1 1/2-inches deep and heat oil to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a shallow dish until well blended. Pour remaining 1 cup cornstarch into a separate shallow dish, add in baking powder and whisk well to blend. Dip chicken pieces into egg followed by cornstarch and toss pieces to evenly coat in cornstarch, then carefully place 1/3 of the chicken pieces into preheated oil and cook for 5 - 7 minutes until golden, turning once during cooking. Using skimmer, remove fried chicken from oil and transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet to drain excess oil. Repeat process with remaining chicken working in two more batches. Pour drained fried chicken into a bowl and toss with sauce and sesame seeds. Serve warm over white or brown rice garnished with green onions if desired.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy