Simple & Swift: Sesame Chicken

16 Apr

I was ever so thankful for this easy and quick-to-cook dinner as I started on my slide into a nasty cold.  A quick marinade for thinly sliced chicken breast, a cooking sauce from typical pantry items and next to no chopping. Sounds like a week-night supper to me. The recipe for Sesame Chicken with Ginger and Snow Peas comes from Make It Tonight: Fine Cooking [The Taunton Press, 2012].

Sesame Chicken with Ginger, Snow Peas and Carrots

Sesame Chicken with Ginger, Snow Peas and Carrots

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The sesame oil is the key to the flavour of this recipe. I recommend you make the splurge. I have kept a bottle in my fridge for a very long time. Just allow the oil to come to room temperature, shake well and then use it in your cooking.

Pop some Basmati rice into the rice cooker as you start to prepare the food. But frankly, some sticky rice or Jasmine would be the more suitable option for this meal. As I was ready to add the vegetables to the skillet, I decided the dish needed a more balanced colour palette. I added grated carrots to round out the nutritional profile and punch up the eye-appeal. A Julienned red or orange sweet pepper would be another option.

Ingredients:                                                                                               Serves: 2

  • 1/2 pound (227 g)            boneless, skinless chicken breast, very thinly sliced on  the diagonal.
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)                  soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7.5 mL)            Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7.5 mL)
  • + 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL)           rice vinegar (or substitute apple or white wine)
  • 1/8 cup (30 mL)              water
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)                 ketchup
  • 4                                          scallions (green onions)
  • 3 oz (85 g)                         snow peas, trimmed (just over 3/4 cup –175 mL)
  • 1 cup (250 mL)                 grated carrot
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)                  fresh ginger, minced (I used bottled)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22.5 mL)       canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)                  lightly toasted sesame seeds

TIP #1: pop the thawed chicken into the freezer for 10 minutes before slicing. The firmer flesh will make it easier to slice the chicken thinly.

TIP # 2: To trim snow peas, grasp the thinner tip and pull along the straight edge of the pea, removing the thin, string-like spine. Snow peas become tough and unchewable when cooked.

TIP #3: To toast sesame seeds, set a small, non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add sesame seeds (in a single layer, avoid over-crowding) and allow them to toast to a light brown colour, stirring and shaking the pan to prevent burning. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool. Keep toasted sesame seeds in an air-tight container.

Marinate thin slices of chicken breast, toast sesame seeds and prep cooking sauce.

Marinate thin slices of chicken breast, toast sesame seeds and prep cooking sauce.

Instructions:

1.     In a medium-sized bowl, toss the raw chicken slices with 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce, 3/4 tsp sesame oil and 1/2 tsp of the rice vinegar. Set aside.

2.      Prepare the cooking sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour 1/8 cup of water and add the ketchup, remaining 1/2 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar and 3/4 tsp sesame oil. Whisk together and set aside.

Trim snow peas, prep green onions, toss with ginger

Trim snow peas, prep green onions, toss with ginger

3.     Trim the green onions and separate the dark green tops from the white and light green ends. Slice the dark green parts into 2″ chunks and slice the white/pale green ends into thin rounds. Add the green onions into a bowl with the snow peas, carrots and the minced ginger. Toss and set aside.

Colour needed! Add 1 C grated carrots

Colour needed! Add 1 C grated carrots

4.     Heat 3/4 tsp of the canola oil in a large skillet or Wok set over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally for about 1 – 2 minutes or until the chicken no longer looks raw.

5.     Remove chicken to a plate or pasta bowl and set aside. Add the remaining 3/4 Tbsp canola oil to the pan.

Quickly saute chicken slices for 2 minutes. Set aside.

Quickly saute chicken slices for 2 minutes. Set aside.

6.     Add the green onions, snow peas, ginger and grated carrot to the pan. Saute for 2 minutes just until the onions start to brown.

Saute vegetables for 2 - 3 minutes

Saute vegetables for 2 – 3 minutes

7.     Return the chicken to the pan, along with 1/2 Tbsp of the sesame seeds. Re-whisk  the cooking sauce and add to the pan. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, stirring, until the chicken cooks through and the snow peas are tender-crisp.

Add in chicken and cooking sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Add in chicken and cooking sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes.

8.     Serve over rice and top each serving with 1/4 Tbsp of sesame seeds.

TIP #4: To reserve a second portion for later enjoyment, refrigerate the rice separately from the Sesame Chicken (and vegetables). Reheat the rice, with a spoonful of water in the microwave and gently reheat the chicken in a skillet over medium heat. The texture of your chicken and snow peas will thank you.

Sesame Chicken:  Simple and Swift

Sesame Chicken:
Simple and Swift

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4 Responses to “Simple & Swift: Sesame Chicken”

  1. Debby Simpson April 17, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    The photo of the carrots and snow peas in the pan is especially gorgeous…

    • Susan at Savvy Single Suppers April 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Thanks, Debby. Don’t the grated carrots just make the dish come alive? And it adds all those good nutrients we get from orange fruits and veggies.

  2. Lisa Bourdage April 17, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Hey Susan,
    Just wanted to let you know that your recipies sound yummy and I adapt them to “non-single” portions. Can I still be savvy?? Love, Lisa

    • Susan at Savvy Single Suppers April 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi Lisa, You bet! The original recipe was designed to serve four. Just double my amounts and you san have a swift savvy supper on the weeknight table for your family! Thanks for stopping by.

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