Tuesday, July 10, 2012

June Pinterest Project: Orange Sesame Chicken

I’m excited to share my P-P-P-Pinterest project with you for the month of June!

I mentioned it was a happy coincidence that my cousin suggested we whip up a Pinterest-inspired recipe in the spirit of stop-pinning-and-start-doing! We chose Orange Sesame Chicken as our dish of choice, inspired by pins such as these:

My cousin surfed around until we found a recipe that seemed doable and not to time-consuming. Some required TONS of ingredients and some pretty intensive steps in the cooking process, so we opted out of those. We were hungry, what can we say? So we settled on this recipe:

Orange Sesame Chicken - Fake Out Take Out

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon sweet rice cooking wine or white wine (we used white wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (we left these out)
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 tablespoons butter - melted
Rice (for serving)

Preheat oven 375 degrees

Cut chicken breast into 1 inch cubes

In medium bowl, mix soy sauce, orange marmalade, wine, & crushed pepper flakes. (make 2 batches of sauce. Marinate chicken with 1 and 1 to pour over chicken after)
Toss chicken cubes and marinate for at least 10 minutes. (or marinate in zip-lock bag and place in fridge overnight)

In another bowl, (or zip-lock bag) mix together the flour and sesame seeds.

Drain chicken cubes and blot any excess liquid, and then toss in the flour to coat lightly. Spread chicken cubes on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the melted butter.
Bake until chicken in crispy but not dry (about 20 minutes) turning the cubes halfway through.
Serve with rice. (Fried rice is excellent, but white rice works fine)

I’ll admit, we were a bit leery of how it would turn out. The first thing to raise question marks was that this was a baked chicken, not a fried one. The other Sesame Chicken recipes were fried, and while baked is probably better on the ‘ol arteries, we weren’t sure we’d like this without that crunch to it. The other thing we wondered about was the simplicity of the recipe. Some of the others were so detailed and intense, would this easy-peasy recipe come out as good? I especially was wondering about the orange flavor...all this recipe calls for is orange marmalade. Would that be enough orange?

Marinating the chicken....looks appetizing, doesn't it?

Baking...I even remembered to turn them!

My cousin whipped up some fried rice to go with it, and we gave it our first taste-test. The result? Shock-your-socks-off goodness. We LOVED it!

Seriously, after just one bite we were both raving about it. The orange flavor was perfect. The chicken still had great texture. It tasted like we’d spent lots of time on it. (Haha, we have it fooled!) It was so good I went back for seconds. Score.

It was a fantastic Pinterest-inspired project that turned into my new favorite meal. I love that it is simple, but packs a huge punch. I could seriously impress people with my knowledge of Chinese cuisine, haha! Thanks Crysten for a great cooking project!

So what have you been cooking up these days? Anything Pinterest-inspired? Have you found the dish of your dreams on Pinterest?

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