I have always been a huge fan of sesame chicken, and almost always ordered it whenever we went out for Chinese food. The combination of crispy chicken and sticky-sweet sauce was a siren call of sugar and fat, and I loved every bite. I haven't attempted to make it on my own much, but I watched Hubs eat some the other weekend and it kicked up some major cravings. I came up with a fairly decent version of it for what is likely a fraction of the fat and calories of his take-out meal!
Honey Sesame Chicken with Green Beans
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3 egg whites (I used about 1/3 cup of All Whites)
- Vegetable oil, for pan frying
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Fresh cilantro (optional)
- 2 cups green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
- White or brown rice for serving
For Marinade and Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce (recommended - San-J brand)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
Prepare rice according to package directions.
Whisk together the marinade/sauce ingredients. Add chicken to a zip-top bag and add about 1/2 cup of the mixture, making sure chicken pieces are coated. Set the remaining sauce aside and put the chicken in the fridge to marinate for about half an hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat and add oil just until the bottom is coated.
Whisk egg whites until foamy, then toss in the chicken chunks to coat. Next, toss chunks in the cornstarch to coat (you can do this on a plate, but easier/less messy to use a fresh zip-top bag).
Add chicken in batches to the hot pan and cook on both sides until golden brown, adding more oil as necessary (it's OK if not cooked through all the way - it's going in the oven while you finish up the dish). Remove to a paper towel lined plate, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with foil. Put chicken in oven.
Drain oil from skillet and wipe out. Add the reserved sauce to the skillet and cook until syrupy (about 10 mins), whisking often. While sauce is reducing, microwave the green beans until crisp-tender (about 3 1/2 minutes). Put sesame seeds in a small bowl and microwave for about a minute to toast them.
When sauce is ready, remove chicken from oven and toss into the sauce along with the cooked green beans, Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro if desired. Serve with the rice.