IT'S THE MONDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS!
That mainly means it's not a Monday. It still feels like last week for us - we worked all dang weekend because APPARENTLY people like purchasing food from us.
That's actually a great thing, but my knees hurt. Because I'm old. Currently there's a double batch of broccoli cheddar cornbread in my oven and DANG SON does that smell good.
Today, though, we're doing something different! Something yummy and maybe not Christmasy but wait for it.We're working with Campbell's again on their new line of ready-made skillet sauces. They're all super duper yummy, and they asked us to make a holiday recipe using one of them.
In talking about this, I wasn't sure what to make because my Christmases are nearly the same every year and I wasn't feeling creative. My spouse, though, said CHINESE FOOD! which of course made me laugh because I'm an ethnocentric sheltered child who didn't know that apparently it's a total thing to eat Chinese food on Christmas day if you 1. don't want to make a big meal or 2. don't celebrate Christmas? I took to the interwebz to verify that, yes, it's a thing.
So I made you Chinese food for Christmas! Or my version of it, at least. It's sesame chicken made with the toasted sesame Skillet Sauce, and it's super duper delicious and simple. Let's make it! In addition to the Campbell's sauce, you need hot chili oil OR sesame oil, eggs, cornstarch, rice vinegar, broccoli, chicken, and maybe sugar. That one's going to be totally up to you. Sesame chicken is usually pretty sweet, and this sauce isn't, so we'll have a moment of reflection about adding sugar later on.
You'll also need some oil for frying the chicken. As a note, there's an extra step here to make the chicken battered and crispy. If you'd prefer to hurry this along and not have fried chicken, just cut it into bits and brown it in the skillet right before you start the broccoli. No worries! If you'd like to batter the chicken, though, heat ¼ inch oil in a large skillet over medium/medium-high, and put the eggs in one bowl and the cornstarch in another.
Then, cut the chicken into little bits - 1 inch or so, and dunk them in the eggs. I like to set up a station with the cornstarch right next to the skillet and the eggs right next to that so that we aren't dripping raw eggy chicken all over the kitchen. Not festive at all.
Now, move each piece of chicken to the cornstarch and dredge it all over, then set it in the oil.
The oil should sizzle. Test one piece of chicken and if it doesn't sizzle turn the heat up a bit and wait 2 more minutes to proceed with the rest of the chicken. ALSO. Don't crowd the chicken. For the 2 breasts I used I did 2 batches of frying, so be patient. Crowded chicken will end up gummy and, again, ew. Not festive.
Let the chicken fry on the first side without moving it for 3-4 minutes until you can see white cooked chicken creeping up the edges. Then, flip it over and cook for another 3 minutes until both sides of the chicken are crispy and golden.
Remove the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels, and fry the rest of the chicken if you couldn't get it all in the first batch.
While the chicken is frying, cut the broccoli stems into thin slices, and cut the head into florets.
I do this in two steps because I've seen people throw away entire broccoli stems before, and it makes me sad because WHY would you throw away food that is edible, delicious, and that you purchased with your hard earned money? Cut it up. Eat it. Yum!
Now, when the chicken is done, pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pan. Then, add the broccoli and turn the heat on the skillet down to medium. Toss the broccoli in the pan for 2 minutes to coat and brown slightly.
Then, add ¼ cup water to the pan to help steam the broccoli without charring the outsides.
While the broccoli steams, thinly slice the green onion on an angle.
When the broccoli turns bright green but ISN'T COOKED THROUGH, add the Campbell's Toasted Sesame sauce. Emphasis on the not cooked through - the broccoli should be mainly raw at this point to allow it to keep cooking and not get mushy while we finish the sauce.
To the Skillet Sauce, add 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon of chili oil for spice or sesame oil for flavor - or a few drops of each!
Stir the sauce to coat the broccoli, and taste.
Add more vinegar if you'd like, or a sprinkle of sugar if you enjoy a sweeter sauce.
When the sauce tastes perfect to you, add the chicken back to the skillet and stir for 1 minute to heat everything through.
I like to serve this topped with the green onions over white rice, but over noodles would be delicious too!
You'll love this dish, friends, and it's SO easy to make - a huge selling point at this time of year. There are lots of yummy other Skillet Sauces, but try this one first - perfect for a non-traditional holiday meal!
Easy Sesame Chicken
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each, cut into bite sized pieces
- canola oil, for frying
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 head broccoli, cut to bite sized pieces.
- 1 package Campbell's Toasted Sesame Skillet Sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- sugar, optional, to taste
- 1 teaspoon sesame or hot chili oil
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced, for topping
- cooked white rice, for serving
- Heat ¼ inch oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat until shimmering. Dredge the chicken in the egg mixture then the cornstarch and place in the oil. If the first piece of chicken doesn't sizzle, wait 2 more minutes before adding the rest. Fry the chicken for about 3 minutes per side until golden, flipping once. Work in batches if you need to to avoid crowing the pan. Remove the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels while you make the rest of the sauce.
- When the chicken is cooked, drain all but 1 tablespoon oil from the skillet, and reduce the heat to medium. Add the broccoli and toss for 2 minutes, then add ¼ cup water to help the broccoli steam. Steam the broccoli for 2 minutes. When bright green but still very crunchy, add the Campbell's sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Taste, and add sugar if desired. Stir to coat the broccoli, then add the chicken back to the mixture for 1 minute to heat through. Serve topped with the scallions over rice, if desired.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Serving Size: 4
This post brought to you by Campbell’s Dinner Sauces. Weekend-worthy dinners with only weekday-level effort needed! Learn more at http://www.campbellsauces.com/
Shared with weekend potluck. Head over to join the fun!
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