Our Anniversary fell on a Sunday this year, so Stephan and I decided to cook at home. That’s not to say that Sunday isn’t a fine night to dine out; in fact, it’s probably a better night to go out vs. fighting the pre-holiday crowds on a Friday or Saturday evening. Our decision to stay in had more to do with the fact that it had been a busy Thanksgiving weekend of traveling near and far, so we opted to stick close to home. Stephan took total control of the kitchen--I just steamed the rice and lit the candles. Grabbing chicken breasts, mushrooms and green beans from the fridge, he had a vague plan to make something stir-fry. After combing Epicurious, he settled on Sesame Chicken. The recipe Stephan found called for broccoli vs. green beans and mushrooms, so his creation was a variation of the one below. Since his rendition was perfection, I'll probably go for green beans vs. broccoli in the future, as well. The dish is sweet and spicy, crunchy and flavor packed, and I have been craving it every day since November 27. (Wink, wink, Stephan--my birthday's next week!)
Note: I just used the recipe for the sauce below with shrimp and broccoli, and it was divine, as well!
- 1 1/2 cups rice (we used brown)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more
- 8 cups broccoli florets (or a 1/2 pound of green beans, cut into 1" pieces)
- 8-10 mushrooms (Stephan used shiitake), sliced
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, breasts, or a mix, trimmed, patted dry, cut into 1 1/2" chunks
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 5 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 large clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, divided
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Cook rice with a pinch of salt according to package directions.
- Set a steamer basket in a medium pot filled with 1" water, cover pot, and bring water to a boil. Uncover and steam broccoli until crisp-tender, 5–6 minutes. Drain and set aside. (Stephan skipped this step entirely.)
- Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch, pepper, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet (or wok) over high. Add half of the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and a light brown crust forms, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil; cook remaining chicken and transfer to plate.
- If using green beans (and mushrooms), add them to wok once you've removed the chicken and cook over high heat, tossing often, until they begin to brown. Remove from wok and follow steps below.
- Combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Transfer sauce to skillet and cook 1 minute to reduce slightly. Return chicken to skillet, toss in sauce to coat, and cook until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in reserved vegetables, toss to coat, and remove from heat.
- Divide chicken and vegetables among 4 plates and top with scallions and remaining 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds. Serve with rice on the side.