Monday, February 4, 2013

Homemade Sesame Chicken

I LOVE Chinese food...I mean, I really love it.  One problem, I am highly sensitive to MSG (monosodium glutamate), a food additive that is often added to Chinese food and most flavored potato chips, premade queso dips, and some frozen foods.  I usually get a migraine within two hours of eating it when it is added to the foods listed above.  Because of this sensitivity, I have had to stop eating frozen foods (no big loss), flavored potato chips (good bye Cheetos), and I only eat Chinese food rarely.  (Even though soy sauce has a small amount of MSG in it naturally, I seem to be able to tolerate it).
Well, last week I had Chinese food three times!  My boss took me out to eat to a local Chinese restaurant that does not add MSG to their food.  I really enjoyed my lemon chicken, but did save half of it for James to have as lunch the next day.  More importantly I made Chinese food at home twice last week.  I made General Tso's Chicken one day using this recipe I found on Yahoo.  The General Tso's Chicken was good although it was a little different from the traditional recipe.
On Saturday night, I made Sesame Chicken, using a recipe I modified from the 2003 Quick Cooking recipe book.

James and I really enjoyed this recipe, and yes, for those of you who know me, I did eat the broccoli.  It almost ruined the meal for me, but James has asked me to start cooking with more vegetables and we all know I will do almost anything for that man.  The original version used the marinade to make the sauce, and James is sensitive about using marinades that had raw meat in them for sauces, so I just made a double batch.  Also, the original marinade was really tart, so I added some brown sugar and honey to even out the tartness when I made the sauce (not in the actual marinade). Here's my version of the recipe:

Sesame Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chicken broth
1-2 T sesame seeds, toasted

1.  In a glass bowl (or resealable plastic bag if you use them), mix together half the amounts of each of the following: the soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and ginger and all of the canola oil.  Stir with a fork or whisk to combine.  Add the chicken, cover, refrigerate, and marinate for 8 hours or overnight.

2.  Remove chicken and grill until juices run clear.  Meanwhile, discard marinade.  Mix the rest of the soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and ginger in a sauce pan.  Add the cornstarch, water, brown sugar, honey and broth until smooth.  Bring to a rolling boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.

3.  Dice the chicken into bite size pieces and mix with sauce.  Add the toasted sesame seeds. At this point, I also added some fresh broccoli I had cooked and cooked rice.

Happy eating!

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