Sesame Chicken Recipe is a traditional Chinese – American Take Out dish. This Sesame Chicken recipe has orange and hot peppers added to resemble Orange Chicken!
The inspiration for this Asian style chicken was my sons’ love of sesame chicken.
I, on the other hand, prefer the flavor of orange chicken so I decided to marry the two dishes. The fact that it’s super easy means it will be great for a work night when you are short on time!
History and origins of Chinese- American food
As with many Americanized Chinese foods, you would never find this dish, or anything similar to it, in China! As with most foreign foods, in general, in the melting pot that is the United States of America, immigrants to this country are responsible for Americanizing their local dishes, using ingredients available in the US.
With the increasing popularity of Panda Express, and PF Changs, in the US, in the early 90’s Chinese food has taken on yet another transformation, such as Chang’s lettuce wraps. This is interesting article called the An Illustrated History of Americanized Chinese Food.
Did you know that there are more Chinese Restaurants in America than McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Wendy’s, combined? That fact alone is astonishing!
I guess, when you think about it, every time you see one of the big 4 fast food chains, there is at least 1 Chinese Restaurant, close by.
I like to going out to Chinese Restaurants, now and again, but when you think of the oil they use in those deep fryers, and the MSG and sodium, it’s a no brainer to stay home.
This, coupled with the fact that most Chinese- American dishes, are quite easy, there is no reason not to make it at home!
My brother got me this wok for Christmas sometime in the early 90’s and I have used it ever since! You will never have to replace it. It has no non stick coating on it, like many that are available for sale now, which will get scratched and peel. This will make them unsafe to use.
Even though it doesn’t have a nonstick coating, food never sticks to it! It’s a great addition to your favorite kitdhen gadgets!
Sesame Chicken, Orange Chicken and General Tso’s Chicken, are basically the same dish, except the Orange/General Tso’s Chicken has spicy hot Tien Tsin Peppers (The Chinese Red)
I married the spicy hot version and the mild version in this Sesame Chicken Recipe. Remove the peppers before serving, unless your group likes extra spicy!
How to make this Sesame Chicken Recipe
Cut up the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl. Salt and pepper chicken to taste. Mince garlic and grate ginger. Shave off half of the orange rind with a vegetable peeler trying not to get too much of the white pith. Grate the other half into marinade.
- Place all marinade ingredeints in large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Juice orange and add to marinade.
- Add chicken pieces to marinade and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.
- Place sesame seeds in the dry wok over medium low heat, watching carefully, until toasted. Remove to a bowl.
- Drain chicken pieces in a colander, over a bowl. Reserve juices.
- Dip chicken pieces in cornstarch.
- Stir fry with a few tablespoons oil, until golden on both sides. Reserve pieces to a plate, until all chicken is done.
- Stir fry orange rind and white and light green parts of green onion, until soft.
- Steam brocolli in microwave, or on stovetop, until crisp tender.
Add reserved marinade to wok. Bring to boil. Boil 5 minutes. Reduce heat. Add dried hot peppers, if using. Thicken sauce with cornstarch mixed with water. Allow to cook until thickened and bubbly. Add chicken, and broccoli, if desired, back to wok, stir to heat through. Serve with Jasmine Rice. Garnish with orange slices, green onion tops and additional sesame seeds. YUM!
This Sesame Chicken Recipe is easy to make at home
This Sweet and Sour Chicken is another great Chinese Take-out fake-out!
That is how easy it is to make this Sesame Chicken Recipe at home! Customize it however you would like it! Add more vegetables, if you like and call it a stir fry.
The sauce is delicious for a stir fry anyway.
Keep your eyes open this year for more classic Chinese American takeout/ fakeout dishes this winter on BCC. I have a bunch of others planned.
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Tools I Use to Make Sesame Chicken
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Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
Sesame Orange Chicken
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/3 c Rice Vinegar
- 1 c brown sugar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 c water
- 1 whole orange plus slices for garnish, if desired
- 3 chicken breast boneless, skinless
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp oil (I use peanut oil for a deeper brown color
- 2 scallions plus one for garnish
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch plus about 1/2 c. for dredging
- 1/4 c water
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind off of the orange being careful not to get too much of white pith.
- Cut the orange peels into about 2 inch strips.
- Juice the orange and set juice aside.
- Mix half of the garlic, half of the ginger, rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and 1/2 of the orange peel together in a bowl.
- Cut chicken into about 2″ pieces. Add chicken to the soy sauce mixture. Let stand. Can be refrigerated up to 2 days.
- In a wok or heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat toast sesame seed in a dry pan. When sesame seeds are a nice light golden brown and fragrant, remove them and set aside.
- Add oil to the same pan and saute the scallions, the rest of the ginger, garlic and orange peel for a few minutes until soft.
- Drain chicken, reserving the marinade.
- Add marinade, orange juice, and water to the scallions. Heat to boiling.
- Combine the cornstarch and water stirring until smooth.
- Add the cornstarch to the sauce mixture. It will look white at first but as it thickens and cooks through it will turn a lovely dark brown.
- Once the sauce is thickened, Remove from wok and set aside.
- Wipe the wok clean and add about 2 Tbsp more oil.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the remaining cornstarch and shake off excess.
- Heat the oil in the wok to very hot. It should start to lightly smoke. Brown chicken pieces a few at a time on both sides until golden. Check the internal temperature of a few of the larger pieces. They should be in excess of 165°F, If they are not, place on cooking tray in a 350°F oven until done.
- When all of the chicken has browned, discard any additional oil and wipe out the wok again.
- Add sauce back to the wok to heat through. Add Sesame seeds and combine with sauce.
- Once the sauce has reheated, add chicken pieces to coat.
- Serve with jasmine rice. Garnish with sliced scallions and orange slices.
- Prepare all ingredients before starting to cook.
- Cook vegetables crisp tender because they will continue to cook when dish is assembled.
- An authentic wok will required much less oil when it is fully seasoned.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 4 days.
- Best if not frozen.
Originally Published 1/22/2016