Monday, January 5, 2009

sesame orange chicken

Okay, so maybe you recently got up the courage to look at your 401K balance. And, after much weeping and gnashing of teeth, you decided that unless you wanted to spend your twilight years as a greeter at your neighborhood discount retailer, you had better make some fiscal sacrifices. Meaning no more take out.

Fear not!

Leaping to your rescue (because that's the kind of stuff I do), I bring you Sesame Orange Chicken. Granted, it doesn't have that whole crispy batter-fried thing going on like take out chicken does, but you made a New Year's resolution to stop eating that kind of stuff anyhow, didn't you? Thought so. Otherwise, it tastes a lot like the chicken at your local strip mall chinese place; sweet, tangy, a little spice kick, great over sticky rice. It also functions well as a base recipe to tweak and add other stuff - garlic, scallions, broccoli, or whatever leftovers your newfound frugality can find lurking in the veggie drawer of the fridge.

Sesame Orange Chicken

1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch wide strips
1 T. sesame oil (or other cooking oil)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice
2 T soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1 t. ginger
1 t. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 T. toasted sesame seeds

Saute chicken strips in oil until no longer pink. Cook in batches if necessary to avoid crowding in the pan. Whisk honey, orange juice, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger and red pepper flakes until no lumps remain. Pour into skillet with chicken and cook until thickened. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 8 -10 minutes, depending on the size of your strips). Cover if necessary to keep sauce from becoming too thick and burning. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice.

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