For the life of me, I could not take a picture of this dish to do it justice! Between the shine from the glaze and the white rice, I was doomed from the start. You'll just have to take my word for how fabulous it is! Orange with a hint of sesame and just the right kick of heat.
1 T canola oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
5 scallions, sliced (keep tops for garnish)
1 c tomato sauce
1/2 c water
1/4 c honey
2 T chili garlic sauce
1 T soy sauce
juice of one orange
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c cornstarch
1/2 t black pepper
1/3 c oil (1T sesame / balance canola or veg)
Toasted sesame seeds
Zest from an additional orange
For the sauce, saute the garlic and scallion bottoms in the canola (or vegetable) oil just until the garlic starts to brown, then add the tomato sauce, water, honey, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce and the juice from your already zested orange. You really don't want to juice the orange and THEN try to zest it. ;)
Let the sauce come to a boil, then reduce it to a gentle simmer for 5-6 minutes to reduce a bit. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small dry pan, cook a tablespoon or two of sesame seeds (shaking or stirring frequently to prevent scorching), until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cut the chicken into slightly larger than bite-sized pieces. You want to allow for a little shrinkage while cooking. Toss the chicken in a zip-top bag with the pepper and cornstarch.
Pour the 1T sesame oil into a measuring cup, then add enough canola or vegetable oil to make 1/3c. Heat that over medium heat, then brown the chicken on both sides, transferring to a paper-towel (or brown paper bag) lined plate to drain. You will want to do this in 2 or 3 batches to avoid over-crowding the pan. You may find you need to add another splash of oil between batches. You can use more than 1T of sesame oil if you want, but you really want that flavor to be subtle rather than overpowering.
|I don't know why, but I love that you can see the oil bubbling in this shot.|
Once all of the chicken has been browned, wipe out the pan and return it to medium heat. Add the orange zest to the pan, and once the oils start to release and you can really smell the orange, add the chicken, cooking them together for about a minute. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook until slightly thickened and the chicken has finished cooking through.
To plate, serve over white rice (I cooked mine in chicken broth with a little butter), and sprinkle with the reserved scallion tops and toasted sesame seeds. If you have another orange handy, you can also zest that over the top for a bright note.
See what I mean about the pics? Oh well ... :(