Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

This is from the cookbook "Comfort Food Fix," by Ellie Krieger.  It's a new one that I got for Christmas.  The author basically takes her favorite comfort foods and health-ifies them.  Yes, I just made up that word. ;) 

This one is a great Chinese dish, with all the right balance of flavors.  Like most Chinese food it's easy and quick to put together, which is fantastic for a busy weeknight.  Serve over rice.

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli
Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger

5 Tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 tsp toasted sesame oil
5 tsp honey
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Tbs canola oil
2 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced, reserving 2 T greens for garnish
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp chili paste (I didn't have this so I substituted 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper)
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets, and steamed until tender-crisp (about 4 minutes)
2-3 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 T soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, and 2 tsp honey.  Add the chicken, toss to coat, and marinate for at least 20 minutes. 
Heat 2 tsp canola oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Remove chicken from marinade with slotted spoon and add to pan (discard remaining marinade).  Cook until browned and cooked through, turning as needed, about 6 minutes.  Transfer cooked chicken to a serving dish.  (Chicken can be cooked in two batches if needed).
While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together the broth, 2 T soy sauce, 3 tsp honey, cornstarch, vinegar, and chili paste until the cornstarch and honey are dissolved.  Set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tsp canola oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and cook, stirring, until the mixture is thickened and darkened in color, about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 2 tsp sesame oil and remove from heat.
Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Surround chicken with steamed broccoli.  Sprinkle the chicken with the sesame seeds and reserved 2 T scallions.  Serve over rice.

Makes 4 servings.

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