Sesame Chicken & Cauliflower

Sesame chicken gets a healthier twist with the addition of cauliflower. Try substituting all the chicken for cauliflower for a vegetarian option.

Sesame Chicken & Cauliflower 1

The USA may have lost yesterday but it was only 0-1 against Germany AND Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 which means scenario #4 played out in our favor to advance to the next round! The next opponent will be Belgium on July 1st at 4pm Eastern time and of course I am working and will again be forced to DVR the game and avoid social interactions as much as possible until arriving home. There is a slight chance I could watch it at work since I’ll be at the location with a TV in sight, but we shall see.

But now let’s talk about the game of figuring out what to do with all the cauliflower and broccoli I picked last week. I have  frozen a bunch, made broccoli cheddar soup, roasted it for side dishes, and now this sesame chicken with cauliflower. Originally I had planned on making it vegetarian with vegetable broth and only cauliflower but my parents seemed a little unexcited about the idea of eating just cauliflower for dinner so I went half-and-half. Feel free to go all the way in one direction, it’ll work either way! I was impressed with how the cauliflower turned out, they were perfectly tender and held up just as well as the chicken.

Sesame Chicken & Cauliflower 2

One year ago: Bobby Flay’s Crunchburger

Two years ago: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

SESAME CHICKEN & CAULIFLOWER

Serves 4

Ingredients:

MARINADE

1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

3 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp sesame oil

3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets

SAUCE

1 Tbsp sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried ginger

1 tsp chili paste, optional

COATING

1 cup cornstarch

2 eggs

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the marinade (except for the chicken and cauliflower). Place 1/2 cup into a zip lock storage bag and add the chicken and cauliflower; seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Set aside the remaining marinade.
  3. Meanwhile make the sauce. In a large skillet over medium heat add the sesame oil. Sauté the garlic, ginger and chile paste until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved marinade to the skillet and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture has become a darker brown and thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover.
  4. Place the eggs in a shallow bowl and whisk until foamy, set aside. In a second shallow bowl add the cornstarch. Remove the chicken mixture from the refrigerator, drain from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Toss half the chicken mixture into the foamy eggs until well coated, then dredge in the cornstarch pressing to adhere. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken and cauliflower.
  5. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat, in two batches cook the chicken and cauliflower until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning each piece halfway through cooking. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
  6. Place in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Pour sauce evenly and turn to ensure each piece is coated.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

Source: Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s Sweet and Sour Chicken and Sesame Chicken.

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