Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Honey Sesame Chicken (aka OMFG! Chicken) - Win!

I love this recipe. Let's get that one out of the way.

Some nights when my little family gets home we do the 'What do you want for dinner' dance. We knew chicken was on the menu (yay meal planning!) but chicken and potatoes and salad just really didn't appeal to us yet again. A quick jump on Pinterest would solve my problem! But do you know how hard it is to find a recipe where you have ALL the ingredients in your house? Pretty damned hard if you ask me - but I digress...

I came across this recipe from Cooking Classy and lo and behold I had (most) of the ingredients. SO happy I purchased sesame oil! :D And the culinary adventure begins!
Sorry again about no 'in-progress' pictures but I had no idea how this would turn out.

Honey Sesame Chicken 

1 1/2lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (about 3 breasts)
2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth (I replaced this with water)
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp white vinegar
3 Tbsp finely chopped yellow onion (I omitted this, didn't have any)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
Salt and 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 sauce 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.
Overall this recipe was a little tedious with all the dip, dunk, fry, repeat but it was totally worth the effort. I eliminated the chicken broth and onion because I didn't have any, but I would do something to replace the onion next time since you do need something to cut the sweet.
I really cut down on the oil since I'm not a fan of frying. I maybe used 1/2 cup in my pan for the whole batch of chicken
This recipe makes about 4 adult servings (yay leftovers!), we served it over brown rice and some vegetables.
This was a HUGE FREAKING WIN. I seriously cannot express how amazing this chicken is, the hubby and I kept stopping to just marvel at the awesomeness of this recipe. The sauce was sweet and tangy from the soy sauce, and the chicken was crispy. It was perfect over the rice.
This will now be our replacement for the occasional Chinese take-out craving. This recipe probably won't make it into our regular weeknight rotation because of the time and effort, but we will definitely be eating it again.

And the Munchkin's review is "Yummy Chicken Mummy!"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Handprint Ornaments

Considering it's the middle of March and it's still snowing I thought it'd be appropriate to post a Christmas project. 
After the Sharpie mug fiasco I was in desperate need of a replacement Christmas gift for the grandparents. And good old Pinterest came though again!

I found a craft that used your kid's handprint on an ornament and then you, the parent (with all your crafty skills) turn said handprint into some sort of festive creature like a reindeer or snowman.
With such short notice I was hard pressed to find plain ornament balls that didn't come in bulk. So I found a small canvas square at our local craft store. I then purchased paints, and used the Sharpies I had from our failed project. The whole thing cost about $15 since I didn't have any paints or decent brushes on hand.

The canvas was white so I painted it a light blue and let it dry overnight. Then we painted Munchkin's hand and fingers white and pressed them on the canvas. Again - dry time was required. Then came the parental creativity - I used a fine brush and the Sharpies as well to decorate the white fingers into little snowman families. I even made a dog out of the deformed thumb! And the disconnected finger? One jumps and one is upside-down! 

Pretty cute if you ask me. We made 3 in total, there was to be a 4th but I got messed up. And it took a whole 5 minutes of my son's participation which was great. It's a neat way to get creative. I attached some green wire to each one so they hung on our tree. They were a definite hit with the grandparents!

Have fun!
 The original idea is from here -