Sesame Chicken

This past weekend I got the pleasure of co-hosting my best friend’s baby shower – and it was a hit!!  Her mother-in-law made all of the food and it was so amazing!  Ham and cheese croissants, southwestern chicken wraps, turkey and cranberry bites, frozen fruit salad, and so much more.  Yummm.  Also, her mother made an amazing punch – it was completely gone by the time the last person left!  So much good food and fun celebration – and the mama-to-be really cleaned up with gifts!  That baby has so much stuff. =P
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I have been so busy with helping plan, shopping, wrapping prize-gifts for the games (and just regular “life” stuff on top of that), that I have once again gotten behind in blogging, but I am sure my readers are not surprised by that.  I do have a great and simple Monday recipe for ya (sesame chicken from Damn Delicious) – as long as you marinade it ahead of time, you will be good to go!  The recipe instructions may look super long and complicated, but I promise you, it’s not!

We had a friend with food allergies over for dinner the night of making this dish, so I had to alter it greatly – and moreso in the final stages, as I had known one of the allergies was corn-related, but it didn’t dawn on me that CORNSTARCH is made of CORN (yes, I have a Master’s degree…), and I don’t have any gluten-free flour (because I had been thinking I could just use cornstarch), so it ended up not breaded.  In any case, it still turned out delicious, no one had an allergic reaction, and we all had full bellies!  I am going to post the recipe as-is, though, and you can obviously adjust it for what you need, as well.
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Sesame Chicken

serves 4

Ingredients:
For the chicken
-1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
-1cu cornstarch
-1/2cu all-purpose flour
-1/2tsp baking soda
-2 large egg whites, beaten
-Oil, for frying
-Sesame seeds, for garnish
-Sliced green onions, for garnish
For the marinade
-1cu chicken stock
-1/2cu soy sauce
-1/4cu honey
-1/4cu rice wine vinegar
-3tbsp brown sugar, packed
-2tbsp cornstarch
-2tbsp sesame oil, divided
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1tbsp grated fresh ginger
-1tsp chili paste

Directions:
-To make the marinade, whisk together chicken stock, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1/2 cup water in a large bowl.
-In a large bowl or ziploc bag, combine chicken and 6 tablespoons of the marinade; marinate overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
-Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and chili paste and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups marinade until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes; keep warm.
-Separately, in a large bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, baking soda and remaining marinade until it resembles coarse meal.
-Dredge each piece of chicken in the egg whites, then coat with the marinade corn meal mixture.
-Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven (I used my wok!). Add chicken and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
-Serve chicken immediately, tossed or drizzled with the marinade, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion.

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