(Becky, the Mama.)
One of my most-repeated cooking mottos is, “It’s all about the sauce.” Growing up in Texas, pot luck suppers often provided informal competitions for whose mama made the best Bar-B-Que Sauce or home-made Salsa. My palette was set for big flavors at a young age. And I am still like a kid when it comes to tasty dipping sauces.
One of my favorite flavor combinations are foods that use the following layers of flavor and texture: crunchy, spicy, savory, garlicky, tangy and sweet. A tall order, but I think I may have created the perfect irresistible dish that, as we say in the south, “has it ALL going on, ya’ll.”
These spicy oriental style chicken strips get an extra crisp texture by dipping them in a mixture of egg whites and siracha, then rolling in seasoned flour and cornstarch before pan-frying in healthy coconut oil.
And wait until you try this sweet garlicky sauce made with honey, soy and a touch of molasses. So easy and only has to be heated to a boil then simmered for a minute before serving, but the depth and layers of flavor is amazing.
Move over Colonel, I think I may have given a whole new defination to finger lickin’ good!
Sesame Chicken with Honey Garlic Sauce
Serves 3 to 4 people
½ to 1/3 c coconut oil (may substitute other oil, but this is my favorite)
12 chicken tenders (or breasts cut in 12 tender-sized slices)
2 egg whites
1 T. siracha (or Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)
½ c. flour
½ c. cornstarch
1 ½ t. Tony’s Cajun Seasoning
1 t. steak or grill seasoning
1 T. sesame seeds (black or white, I used black
½ cup honey
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
3 cloves fresh garlic grated
1 T. vinegar
1 T. molasses
1 T. sweet thai chili sauce
1 T. bourbon (may omit and sauce will still be delicious)
Heat Oven to 250 degrees.
Melt about 1/3 to ½ cup coconut oil in a large skillet, so that there is about ¼ inch of oil in the pan. Heat to medium high.
Rinse and pat dry a dozen chicken tenders. Lightly salt and pepper them. In a side shallow bowl, mix egg whites and siracha sauce. In another bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, Cajun seasoning, grill seasoning and sesame seeds.
Using long tongs, dip tenders first in egg white mixture and then in dry flour mixture, then carefully in hot oil in skillet, about 6 at a time. Turn when golden brown and crispy on one side. Repeat on the other side. Put the first batch in a warm oven on a cookie sheet while waiting for next set of tenders to cook
In the meantime, in a saucepan, mix all the ingredients listed for the sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then simmer for one more minute. Let cool a bit before pouring into small individual dipping bowls. Serve each person 3-4 chicken tenders about 3 T. of dipping sauce. We enjoy this meal with brown jasmine rice and colorful stir-fried veggies as a side dish. Fresh sliced pineapple makes the perfect dessert.
(Vegan variation: use a vegan chicken-substitute product, extra firm tofu or seitan instead of chicken. Substitute egg white with a 3 Tablespoons water mixed with 1 T. flax meal.)
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