Orange Sesame Chicken

18 Apr

I’m back on my Asian flavors kick.  This time, I’m taking one of my favorite Chinese takeout recipes and giving it a healthier spin.  Usually when you order orange chicken, it’s been deep-fried and doused in a thick, yummy sauce.  This recipe, not so much.  I added lots of veggies, maybe a little too much red pepper, and didn’t fry a thing.  The boyfriend admitted that he thought it would be too sweet and really wasn’t looking forward to eating this dinner.  Yet, after tasting it, he declared it was much better than he expected; in fact, he claimed it was quite tasty.  Once again, I win!

I wanted to add A LOT of veggies to this dish which is why I added carrots, celery, peas, onions, and the baby corn.  You could add peppers, water chestnuts, or even mushrooms if you’d like.  In fact, this could be an entirely vegetarian meal by foregoing the chicken and adding firm tofu, or just leaving it all veggies.  I like options.  If you’re a meat-eater, I bet this would be great with beef.

Here’s a tip for toasting the sesame seeds.  Put a pan on the stove top at low to medium heat, and make sure to keep the pan dry.  Add the seeds and swirl them around.  You’ll see that in a few minutes, they’ll start to turn golden brown, and you’ll smell a nuttiness in the air.  Keep swirling.  And whatever you do, don’t walk away!  Burnt anything is just bad!

The red pepper flakes and the ginger add a real spicy kick to this dish.  Use less pepper if that’s not your thing.  I thought the spiciness of the dish really balanced out the semi-sweet sauce.  There’s a lot of flavor here, folks, but don’t be scared!  It’s tasty!

 

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

3/4 c orange juice

1/4 c apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp packed brown sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

For the chicken:

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1 tsp already minced garlic from a jar)

1 piece (1-in) ginger, chopped (or 1 tsp ground ginger)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 1/2 c thinly sliced celery

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 c thinly sliced carrots

2 c frozen peas (defrost them by running them under hot water)

1 can baby corn, slice the cobs in half

2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

2 Tbsp sesame seed oil

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.  Cook about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and begins to brown.  Remove, and transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the rest of the oil to the pan.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, and baby corn to the pan.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies start to soften.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan, and add the peas.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the sauce.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Make sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve.  (I used brown rice.)
  7. Enjoy!
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2 Responses to “Orange Sesame Chicken”

  1. Pasta Princess April 18, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    This sounds so good! I may be making this on the weekend! Thanks!

    • stacy1220 April 18, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      It really was yummy! I hope you do make it, and please let me know how it turns out!

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