Monday, April 11, 2011

Sesame Chicken Recipe (Baked, not Fried!)

So there I was, waking up in a Hampton Inn with the hotel telephone wakeup call blaring in my ear and my little grandmother snoring in the bed parallel to me. My parents and my grandma, who I endearingly call Mema, came to visit me for my sorority’s Parents Weekend. Conveniently enough, my roommate was waking up at 7 a.m. to run her first half-marathon (congrats Anneli!) so I kindly offered to sleep at the hotel. I mean seriously…a night not sleeping in my dorm bed? How generous of me.

I pulled the covers over me, reassuring my comfortable position in bed and pushed the cotton balls I had substituted for earplugs deeply into my ear canal. (It was the only way I could assure a relaxed sleep with no interruptions from my sleeping partner who snored like a 50-year-old man.)

Eventually, I got out the bed, got dressed in five minutes and proceeded to turn on the television. While my parents were getting ready, Mema and I watched Melissa d’Arabian on the Food Network show “Ten Dollar Dinners” prepare what seemed to be an ingenious meal. It was Sesame Chicken, yes the same type you get when you takeout Chinese food, but only cheaper and healthier! In this recipe, all of the ingredients seem so easy to gather from any supermarket and the best part (besides being cheap)? You bake the sesame chicken rather than fry it! Now a once in a while calorie splurge can be made in under a half-an-hour in the comfort of your kitchen! It’s such a simple recipe; I had to share it with you all.

(serves 4)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, nearly thawed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon sweet rice cooking wine (aji mirin), or white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper or foil.
  2. After rinsing your chicken breasts, cut them into 1-inch cubs.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, orange marmalade, wine and crushed red pepper flakes.
  4. Toss in the chicken cubes and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to marinate. (It can be kept up to 8 hours in the fridge if you want to prepare this meal earlier in the day).
  5. In another bowl, mix together the flour and sesame seeds. Drain the chicken cubes of any excess liquid and toss them into the flour to coat lightly. Once coated, spread onto the baking sheet and drizzle with the melted butter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, until the chicken is crispy, but not dried out. After the first 10 minutes, flip the chicken cubes over so both sides are cooked evenly.
  7. Serve with Rice for a complete meal!
Original recipe seen on the episode found here.

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