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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Toasted Sesame Honey Chicken

Toasted Sesame Honey Chicken
Lately it seems that there is just not enough time in the day.  One minute I'm waving at the kids as they hop onto the bus, and the next minute I'm trying to whip up a delicious dinner before it's time to slide into our jammies!  Can you relate?

I find that now that my kids are getting older and have more after-school activities, I don't have the time that I used to have for prepping, cooking, and serving dinner - especially on weeknights.  For the past couple of months, there have been more times than not that we don't wind up eating dinner until 7:30 or later on a school night.  That is not ideal.  So, I've had to take a little time early in the day to map out a plan.

That plan usually includes prepping early and sometimes even cooking early (with plans to reheat when we walk in the door at 6:30).  I won't lie, I've given in the allure of take-out now and again, as well.  But recently, I was introduced to something that makes getting dinner on the table on busy weeknights a snap - Campbell's Dinner Sauces.  With skillet sauce flavors like Thai Green Curry, Chicken Marsala, and Scampi, you could potentially have dinner on the table in 15 minutes flat.  That's from start to finish, people!

Toasted Sesame Honey Chicken
Campbell's also has some tempting Slow Cooker sauces like Tavern Style Pot Roast, Moroccan Spiced Stew, Sweet Korean BBQ, and our dinner a few nights ago, Apple Bourbon BBQ.  It's almost too easy; I put a pork butt in the slow cooker, ripped open the Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce, poured it over, put the lid on, and cooked on low for 8 hours.  When we walked in the door after a day filled with school, work, errands, field trips, and swim practices - all I had to do was pull out some buns that I'd made the day before and pile the fragrant, delicious pulled pork on high!  Oh, and I also sliced up a red onion, and opened a jar of pickles and a jar of banana peppers.  And can I just say...SO much more satisfying than take-out.

But back to their skillet sauces, though eventually I will try them all, I started out with the Toasted Sesame with Garlic and Ginger.  I made this after we were home for the night, and yet, I still had some daylight outside.  THAT is a victory in my book.  I couldn't decide between noodles and rice, so I left that up to the kids.  They chose rice.  I also had a head of butter lettuce in the crisper, which I used as an alternative to the starch; it turned out to be my favorite way to eat this chicken.

Don't stress yourself out, we all try to get through our days and feed our families in the best way we can.  Sometimes, we need a little shortcut.  Campbell's is providing us with just such a shortcut with their Dinner Sauce options.  Plus, they contain minimal ingredients (check out the labels).

Toasted Sesame Honey Chicken
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Toasted Sesame Honey Chicken
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Keywords: stir-fry entree chicken sesame seeds

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 (4 ounce) pkgs. Campbell's Toasted Sesame Skillet Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • big pinch crushed red chile flakes
to serve:
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • cooked rice or noodles, optional
  • butter lettuce leaves, optional

Whisk the egg whites and cornstarch together in a large bowl. Add the cubed chicken and good smattering of salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, wide, deep-sided nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lift about 1/2 of the chicken out of the bowl, allowing excess batter to fall back in to the bowl. Put the chicken into the hot oil and cook, stirring, until golden on the outside, and cooked through on the inside, 6-8 minutes. Lift chicken out and set on a rimmed plate or dish. Repeat with remaining half of oil and chicken.

Add the sauce, honey, and chile flakes to the now empty pan, and heat until it starts to bubble. Set the chicken back into the sauce and toss to coat. Remove from heat. Scatter the sesame seeds, cilantro, and scallions over the top.

Scoop the chicken over cooked rice or noodles, or into butter lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps. Serve some roasted, steamed, or stir-fried veggies along with it.
Toasted Sesame Honey Chicken