Sesame Chicken

A recipe for fried food seems out of place on a website for healthy recipes.  But I’m sharing this recipe for several reasons.

1) You can enjoy everything in moderation. We love sesame chicken, but we only make this two or three times a year as a special treat.

2) If you are careful about the temperature of your oil, you can really minimize the oil absorbed in frying. It isn’t health food now, but it doesn’t have to be horrible for you.

3) Making this at home is better than ordering take-out. You can control the ingredients in the sauce. You can control the frying temperature and oil absorbed. You can add a ton of veggies to lighten it up.

This recipe is in my husband’s top five favorites of food I make. It tastes as good or better than a restaurant. Enjoy!

Sesame Chicken (Serves 4-6)

IMG_4303label

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Batter:
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking powder

Sauce:
½ tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 teaspoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch

1 ½ quarts vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
4-6 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup per person)
1-2 (10 ounce) bags frozen stir fry vegetables, steamed on top of rice cooker while rice was cooking
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, optional garnish

1. Cut chicken into small, bite sized pieces.

2. Combine batter ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Add chicken pieces, tossing to coat. Set aside while you make sauce and heat oil.

3. For sauce, heat sesame oil in bottom of small-medium saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook until beginning to become fragrant. Combine remaining sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisking to dissolve cornstarch. Pour into pan, stirring constantly to prevent clumping. Keep warm over low heat and sauce thickens.

4. Heat oil to 375 degrees in a large, heavy bottomed pot.

5. Working in batches, fry chicken, removing excess batter before placing in the oil. Fry until golden and crispy, 3-5 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

6. Serve with sauce over cooked rice and vegetables. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving with 6 servings)

Calories: 740
Protein: 37 g
Fat: 26 g
Saturated Fat:13 g
Cholesterol: 83 mg
Carbohydrates: 90 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sodium: 964 mg

Recipe Notes: I often omit the sesame oil in the batter. I often substitute vegetable oil for the sesame oil in the sauce as well. You could probably use only one bag of vegetables if serving four people, but it will be tight.  I included all of the batter in the nutrient analysis, but you likely won’t use all of it. I added ½ cup oil (about 10%) to the nutrient analysis for frying. I know the nutrition doesn’t look great on this, but imagine what your take-out restaurant’s nutrition looks like? And, like I said above, we only eat this a few times a year.

Source: slightly adapted from Tyler Florence

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