Baked Sesame Chicken

It has been such a busy and eventful week, and I must admit that I am super excited for this weekend as well – but mostly because I get to finally meet my best friend’s baby! I am so excited to meet the sweet little bundle of joy. I have been basically chomping at the bit for the past two weeks to do so. 😉

In less exciting and non related news, my husband and I had our good friend over for dinner a few weeks ago and made this baked sesame chicken by Oh Sweet Basil.
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Originally I was going to make Thai Chicken Soup (which I still need to post on the blog), but after I dumped everything into the slow cooker, I realized that the chicken broth contained an ingredient that our friend can’t eat. So, after a momentary freak out, I whipped up the dish by Oh Sweet Basil, and my husband and I enjoyed the soup on a different night. I must admit, this whole “be flexible” thing is kinda hard, but I’m doing what I can.

I did have a few issues with this recipe. I had to substitute flour instead of cornstarch, due to my friend’s food restrictions, and it just was a big clump. When I mixed it into the saucepan, it just stayed clumpy, no matter how hard I whisked it, so I ended up just spooning out the flour clumps. I’m sure it would be better with cornstarch.

Also – please only use low sodium soy sauce! The original blogger specifies to not use regular soy sauce. I only have regular soy sauce (thanks to buying in bulk at Costco), so I combined 3 parts soy sauce and 1 part water (my mom has always sworn that low-sodium soy sauce is just watered down), and that worked out really well. Even so, it was almost to the border of “too salty.” I know I’m infamous for being a salt-hater, but even my salt-loving husband said that any more salt would have been unpleasant. I guess the blogger really knew what she was talking about!
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Baked Sesame Chicken

serves 4-6

Ingredients:
For the chicken:
-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
11.5cu panko breadcrumbs
-canola oil for drizzling
-Salt and pepper, to taste
For the sesame sauce:
-1tbsp sesame oil, divided
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2tsp ground ginger
-1tsp chili paste, or 1tsp sweet chili sauce
-1 pinch red pepper flakes
-1/2cu chicken stock
-3/4cu low sodium soy sauce
-1/3cu honey
-1/4cu rice wine vinegar
-1/3cu brown sugar, packed
-2tbsp cornstarch
-2tbsp water
-sesame seeds, toasted for garnish

Directions:
-Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
-Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper and then dredge in the panko bread crumbs until they are evenly coated. Place on the baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.
-Meanwhile, in a sauce pan over medium heat, add the sesame oil, ginger, chili paste, and pepper flakes and stir for a few seconds then quickly add the stock, soy sauce, honey, vinegar and brown sugar. Let it come to a boil while stirring frequently. In a small dish, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Once the saucepan mixture is boiling, slowly add the cornstarch mixture, stirring until thickened. Once thick, pour over chicken and top with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

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