Monday, February 13, 2012

Crockpot Sesame Chicken

One of the things I've been recently missing is good Chinese food. And while this is by no means authentic Chinese food, it most definitely is good.

I tried it on Saturday because I wasn't sure how it would cook and I didn't want to leave it in the morning and come home to find it overcooked/undercooked/burning, etc...

Here's what I did.

First I googled sesame chicken to get a few ideas on what goes into the sauce, and then I played around with the ingredients.

Start out by thawing out around 8 chicken tenders, or 4 chicken breasts. *the tenders thaw faster, so I've started buying them when they're on sale*

Then I got to work on the sauce.
I used 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup zero calorie brown baking sweetener, but you could totally use a full 1 cup honey instead. I was just trying to cut down the sugar carbs, without changing the taste too much. *this was a little sweet. I know sesame chicken is fairly sweet, so if you don't want it overly sweet, go with 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 cup sweetener.*

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup ketchup *trust me*

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic *or more*

1/4 teaspoon minced ginger

3-4 good shakes of crushed red pepper

Stir this up and transfer it into your crock pot.
Then, dice up a half an onion, very finely.
Add to the sauce.
Stir it up well.
You could just dump all of the ingredients into the crockpot, but I was playing with the tastes and all.

Yep, that's my excuse.

Salt and pepper your chicken and throw it in the sauce.

Sorry, there's just no way to take a picture of raw chicken and make it look appetizing.

Turn your crockpot on low and cook for about 4-5 hours, or on high for about 2.

For working mom's & dad's: Premix the sauce the night before, then in the morning use frozen chicken breasts and cook it on low. It should come out perfectly.

If you throw this in around lunchtime you should be good to go. Crockpots are very forgiving.

When it's done, the chicken is very tender. Take it out onto a plate and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Pour your sauce into a saucepan, mix up 4 Tablespoons of cornstarch and 6 Tablespoons of water in a small mug and stir with a fork until entirely dissolved. Pour into the sauce and bring to a boil.

For those low-carbers, cornstarch is only 7 grams of carbs per tablespoon, and unless you're going to slurp the sauce, it's doubtful you'll get a full tablespoon per serving. And for Dukan dieters, Dukan allows up to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch per day.

Place your chicken back into the crockpot. Once this sauce has been brought to a boil and boiled for about a minute, it will be thicken. When it's the consistency you like, turn the heat off and pour back over your chicken.

Let the chicken sit for a few minutes to rewarm and get fully coated.

I had jasmine rice cooking for the kiddos and steamed some frozen stir fry veggies.

Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. You can find them at most whole food stores. It adds a little flavor and nice texture.

I ended up mixing the chicken and veggies together. The sauce was very good on the vegetables as well.

The kids really liked this. All of them! SCORE!

The sauce is thick and sweet with a rich, heavy soy backnote and bits of heat from the red pepper flakes. It's not terribly spicy, just a little low heat. Very nice. For additional heat, just sprinkle additional red pepper flakes on at the table.

I doubled this recipe for my crew and we only had a little leftover! I'm hoping there's some left when I get home tonight...


Jana said...

YUM! I love seseme chicken. This sounds super easy, too. Might hafta give it a go.

JenMarie said...

It was very easy, much easier than I thought it would be. Especially since you're not breading and frying, then making the sauce. Also, a little healthier... :)

Tia the Baker said...

this sounds great!!!