This is one of those recipes where I learn something new every time I make it and it keeps getting better. We’ve been making this recipe for about a year and a half, and it is always tasty. The name of the dish is Baked Honey Sesame Chicken, and I don’t know where I found the original recipe, but you can find it here or you can just Google it. I tried to look it up and I found a lot of sites that claimed they came up with this recipe, and I’m not saying this one is the real deal, so it’s up to you to decide which one is the real Slim Shady.
Over time, we’ve made several adjustments to this recipe. We cut up the chicken with kitchen shears, since it’s a lot easier to handle that way, then chuck the pieces into a bowl. The eggs get broken straight into the bowl to coat the chicken, and then the chicken is transferred to a second bowl with cornstarch. The Ziploc-bag method sounds like it’ll be so handy and save you time, but the eggs are too wet for it to work well. It works, it’s just not the best way to coat the chicken, imho.
If you have two people, the optimal way to do this is to have one person take care of the chicken and the other do the sauce. The sauce doesn’t take too long, so the second person can then help the chicken-fryer with managing the frying. I use a cast-iron skillet to cook the chicken, and I use twice as much oil as the recipe calls for. That way, the outside of the chicken gets crispy, and it doesn’t get drenched in oil like if you deep-fried it.
I keep the rest of the recipe the same, although sometimes I chop up some scallions and put the whites in the sauce and use the greens as a garnish. I have a rice cooker, so while the chicken is cooking, I put together a three-person serving of rice. That way, I have enough rice to feed myself and my husband who seriously is a food black hole, and there’s still some left over to make frozen lunches. Win-win-win.
It’s kind of hard to say how difficult this recipe is because I’ve made it so many times. Plus, when we first started making this, it was so much more difficult because the original recipe is kind of crappy. The hardest thing by far is breading and frying the chicken. You really can’t step away during this step or things will burn. I think this recipe takes about two hours from start to finish (including 45 minutes of baking time), so that makes it hard to plan sometimes. It’s a recipe you have to start before you’re really hungry or you’ll be sorry. I guess it’s not so much that this recipe is difficult overall, but that it has several steps that require close attention and a lot of time. Ease of making: 7/10
On the flip side, this recipe is incredibly tasty. This is the kind of recipe where I will eat the sauce by itself with a spoon. The sauce gets all thick in the oven and coats the chicken so perfectly…mmm. Sometimes I’m so excited to eat it that I forget about the sesame seeds. Yum factor: 10/10
This recipe tastes a lot like sesame chicken you can get from any Chinese restaurant, so if you’re craving it in a large quantity, this is probably the way to go. It’s not necessarily a cheaper option (you only need a teaspoon of sesame oil, for example, and that’s not something sitting around in every kitchen), and it’s not really healthy, but you’ll have a butt-ton of food. Hooray for graduate studies.