Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken

Entree Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
4 tablespoon flour (use a gluten free blend if needed)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cloves garlic minced or grated
1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Pomegranate arils/seeds, for serving

For Ginger Rice Pilaf:
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
1/2 cup orzo pasta
1 cup white or brown basmati or jasmine rice
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)

To make the rice, heat a 10-12 inch sided skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil (or butter) and orzo pasta. Allow the pasta to get slightly golden and toasted, about 2 minutes.

 Add the rice and toast the rice another 2 minutes.

Add the ginger and cook 30 seconds longer or until the garlic is fragrant.

 Slowly pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.

Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.

While the rice simmers,  make the chicken. Add the diced chicken to a bowl and toss with the flour to coat.

Cut chicken into small pieces.

Less messy to coat chicken in a Ziploc bag!

Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and sear the chicken in batches until browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per batch.

Remove the chicken to a plate (or another skillet) and carefully wipe the hot skillet or wok clean.

Use a clean paper towel to wipe out wok or skillet before
adding broccoli. Be careful not to burn yourself! 

In a glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the toasted sesame oil, pomegranate juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic and chili paste. (Sorry, no pic for this step.  But it's pretty self-explanatory!  ::smile::) 

Heat the wok on high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add the broccoli and mushrooms, cook for 3-5 minutes or until just lightly charred.(Cook's Note:  Mushrooms not shown in pictures...I forgot to buy some when I ran to the store that morning. LOL)

"Char" means to cook to blackened state -
a "controlled burn." (I like to call it!)
 Reduce the heat to low and slowly pour in the pomegranate/soy mixture.

Slide the chicken back in and bring the sauce to a bubble. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken.

I covered my wok during the simmer step, but you don't have to!

If you are concerned about the chicken being fully-cooked,
you can use an instant read thermometer to check the internal
temperature.  For poultry, cook to a MINIMUM of 165°F.
Remove from the heat and toss with 3 tablespoons sesame seeds. Divide the rice among plates or bowls.

Finishing touch: Sprinkle with additional sesame and pomegranate seeds for color and presentation.  

1 comment:

  1. This recipe adapted from Half-Baked Harvest. Please check out her site for some interesting and tasty flavor combinations!