Here is yet another "get out of your chicken rut" recipes: Crispy Chinese Lemony Chicken. My husband often laments the fact that I hardly ever make the same recipe twice, but I swear I was traumatized as a child by having the same recipes over and over and over and over. I can't walk past Stove Top Stuffing and Shake n Bake boxes in the grocery store without a little shudder. Seriously.
Darcy (who is 21 months now!!!) loves chicken. Or, as she refers to it, bock bock. She'll eat in in just about any form (she even ate Buffalo Chicken Chili last week, since that is one of the recipes I do repeat), so I knew this one would really float her boat. Luckily, all of us loved it. It's not the healthiest Rachael Ray chicken recipe out there but it might be one of the yummiest. With some brown rice and green salad on the side, you raise the health quotient at least a little bit. With so few ingredients, this one is easy on the budget, too. Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:
1 1/2 cups rice [As noted above, I used brown rice.]
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup unflavored breadcrumbs
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 tablespoon (about a 1-inch piece) fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon (a palmful) sesame seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/4 cup soy sauce (eyeball it)
2 tablespoons honey
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with the rice and 3 cups of water. Bring the liquid to a boil then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and reserve.
While the rice is simmering, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 4 turns of the pan of vegetable oil, about 4 tablespoons. In a large, re-sealable plastic bag, mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, ginger, sesame seeds, some salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the bag and toss well to evenly coat the chicken (give each piece a good press with the crumbs to make sure the coating sticks). [This is important! Make sure that stuff is really stuck on there for maximum crispyness.]
Lay the chicken pieces in the hot skillet and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 7-8 minutes (you may have to cook them in batches if the pan isn’t large enough). As the chicken pieces finish, transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.
When the chicken is almost ready, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice and honey with a little splash of water in a small bowl. [I think the dipping was Darcy's favorite part.] Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the scallions.
Serve the chicken with the dipping sauce and rice alongside.