Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sesame Honey Chicken with Garlic Spinach

     A Tasty Light Entrée!
     Entrées like today's recipe were popular at trendy cafés in the 1980's.  Many chefs were offering a few Asian style entrées on menus and the cooking techniques used were close to being genuine traditional Asian style.  The dining public and chefs had an interest in Asian fine dining cuisine items back in those days and fusion cuisine had not yet entered the picture.

     *This entire recipe yields 1 petite entrée!  
     Boil or steam 1 small portion of white jasmine rice ahead of time.  The entrée only takes a few minutes to prepare!

     Sesame Honey Chicken:  
     Step 1:  Cut 4 thin wide chicken breast strips that weigh about 1 1/2 ounces to 2 ounces apiece.
     Step 2:  Whisk 1 large egg with 2 teaspoons of corn starch in a mixing bowl to make a thin batter.
     Step 3:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add enough vegetable oil, so the oil is about 1/8" deep.
     Step 4:  Dredge the chicken strips in flour.
     Dip the chicken in the batter.
     Place the chicken strips side by side in the hot pan.
     Pan fry the egg battered chicken pieces.
     Cook both sides of the chicken pieces, till they are golden brown.
     Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and keep them warm on a stove top.
     Step 5:  Drain the oil out of the hot pan.
     Return the pan to medium low heat.
     Step 6:  Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil.
     Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Sauté for a few seconds, so the ginger and garlic are fragrant.
     Step 7:  Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
     Add 1 tablespoon of thin soy sauce.
     Add 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of Chinese five spice powder.
     Step 8:  Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.
     Add enough of the corn starch slurry while stirring, to thicken the sauce to a thin consistency.  (Save any extra slurry for another recipe!)
     Step 9:  Add 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds.
     Add 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds.
     Add 2 tablespoons of honey.
     Step 10:  Return the chicken strips to the sauce.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce the sauce, till the sauce becomes a medium thin glaze consistency.
     Keep the chicken warm over very low heat.
     Garlic Spinach: 
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil.
     Add 2 cloves of minced garlic.
     Sauté till the garlic turns a golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 2 1/2 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Stir till the spinach wilts.
     Remove the spinach from the pan and set it aside.
     Keep the wilted garlic spinach warm on a stove top.
     Sesame Honey Chicken with Garlic Spinach:
     Use a ring mold to place 1 small portion of rice on the center of a plate.
     Place the wilted spinach on the plate around the rice.
     Lean the sesame honey chicken strips against the rice's edge and on the spinach.
     Spoon a little bit of the sesame honey sauce over the chicken pieces.
     Sprinkle some thin sliced green onions over the center of the rice.
     Sweet sesame honey chicken and garlic spinach are a nice flavor combination!  

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