I am surrounded by delicious, authentic Chinese food and I have lots of local favorites. There is a cabbage dish at a local restaurant that I could literally eat every single day for the rest of my life. I’ve also come to appreciate and love a level of spicy unlike anything I’ve ever had in the US (seriously, not the kind of spicy that makes you sweat, the kind that literally makes your mouth go numb). And there is a green bean dish that I order at every single restaurant that has it. But sometimes….
Well… sometimes I crave American Chinese food. That’s right. I live in China and I crave Chinese food – from America. Food that is sticky and sweet and salty (kind of like the Jack Daniels Glaze). Sad, I know.
I was having one of those cravings a few weeks ago, so I went on the hunt for a recipe. I came across this Honey Sesame Chicken and I knew it would be a winner. This chicken had all of the flavors I was looking for. The recipe originally called for using a crockpot – but I don’t have one here in China, so I just used my dutch oven and cooked it in the oven. It was still very easy and mostly hands off! I’ll include both methods so you can choose!
Honey Sesame Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup diced onion
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (1/4-1/2 tsp dry)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tablespoons water
*This recipe made enough for Jesse and I to each have generous portions and left overs for lunch the next day.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in dutch oven (or crockpot). In a liquid measuring cup, combine the honey, soy sauce, diced onion, ketchup, vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Pour the liquid over the chicken.
Cook in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (or in crockpot on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours). Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, move to a plate and shred with a fork. Leave the cooking liquid in the dutch oven (or crockpot).
Stir together cornstarch and water. Pour into the cooking liquid. Place the dutch oven on a stove-top burner on medium-high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until thickened (stir the cornstarch/water into the liquid in the crock, leave on high and cook for 10 minutes). Return the shredded chicken to the sauce and stir to coat.
Serve chicken hot over rice with a good amount of sesame seeds.