Honey, honey, oh how we love honey. Whether it’s baked up in a sweet-a-licious cake or swirled in a savory-sweet sticky sauce like this Honey Sesame Chicken, honey is a wonderful thing.
As Lenny once sang:
“Winds may blow over the icy sea.
I’ll take with me the warmth of thee.
A taste of honey,
A taste much sweeter than wine.”
Or you may prefer the Beatles’ version. Or Andy Williams’. Of course anything sung by Andy Williams is sweet as honey.
But enough about jazz standards. Let’s get back to FOOD.
Something else that’s wonderful is… chicken. You got it, that deliciously tender and moist lean meat from our friend the fowl. One of the reasons I love chicken is because it’s so versatile. For that reason our family eats chicken more than any other kind of meat. Here are just a few of the chicken dishes on my blog. Yep, we love chicken!
Today we’re going to enjoy some terrific Chinese food that is simple and quick to make. There are several Chinese take-out “standards” (e.g., General Tso’s Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Chicken Chow Mein) and Sesame Chicken is one of them. Most take-out Sesame Chicken is made with sugar only, no honey, but we’re adding honey to this dish because it’s, well, amazingly delicious and will make you love this dish just that much more.
This is a relatively quick dish to make anyway, but as a time-saver you can cut up and marinate the chicken and make the sauce in advance (then reheat it). Then all you have left to do is fry the chicken, toss it in the sauce and there it is – a sweet and sticky delicious Chinese take-out classic that will cause you to think twice about ever ordering take-out again!
Let’s get started!
Cut up the fresh chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine the marinade ingredients, whisking with a fork, and pour it over the chicken pieces. Stir the chicken to thoroughly coat with the marinade. Set aside while you’re preparing the sauce.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients, except for the garlic, ginger and sesame oil, in a bowl and stir until the cornstarch, honey and sugar are dissolved.
Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and fry the garlic and ginger for 1 minute.
Add the sauce and bring to a boil for 1 minute until thickened. Set aside until ready to use.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornstarch/salt mixture and shake off the excess cornstarch.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F (NOTE: You can also fry the chicken in a frying pan with an inch or two of oil, turning the pieces. Just be careful, it’s hot! Use a thermometer to check the temperature.) Working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the deep fryer, fry the chicken until golden brown and crispy.
Place the chicken pieces on paper towels to drain while you fry the remaining chicken.
Add the chicken pieces to the sauce, stirring to thoroughly coat each piece of chicken, and bring the mixture to a simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the coating to absorb the sauce.
Serve immediately with steamed rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Asian food fans, don’t forget to try this recipe for the Best Homemade Teriyaki Sauce!
- 2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup cornstarch combined with 1 teaspoon salt
- Peanut oil for deep frying
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- For the marinade:
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (can substitute dry sherry)
- For the sauce:
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 heaping teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- Whisk the marinade ingredients together with a fork and pour over the chicken in a bowl. Stir to coat the chicken and set aside while preparing the sauce.
- To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients, except for the garlic, ginger and sesame oil, until the cornstarch, honey and sugar are dissolved.
- In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, fry the garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Pour in the sauce and bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornstarch/salt mixture, shake off the excess cornstarch deep fry the chicken in batches until golden brown and crispy. Be careful not to over-crowd the deep fryer. Place the chicken pieces on paper towels to drain while frying the next batch.
- Add the fried chicken to the sauce, stirring to thoroughly coat each piece and let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes until the chicken has absorbed the sauce.
- Serve immediately with steamed rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Note: Chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 degrees for boneless products and 180 degrees for bone in chicken products.