Friday, May 29, 2015

Sweet & Sticky Honey Soy Sauce Chicken Strips

We had plans to have our friends over for dinner a few weeks ago with their new baby, Christopher.  He is almost 5 months old now and such a happy, smiling little sweetheart!

I wanted to serve a meal that wasn't too complicated since it was a weeknight and I wouldn't have much time to prep the night of, but I wanted it to be something special, tasty and not too simple since I imagine the new parents have to lean heavily on simple, quick meals since they both have full time jobs and now a bouncy babe to spend their time on!

I saw this chicken recipe on Todd & Diane's blog and I was intrigued!  Though the recipe looked a little advanced at first with lots of ingredients - albeit ones that are almost definitely in the refrigerator and pantry - I went for it.

With a new recipe, I like to do a trial run on Andy and myself, to see what I would change, if anything.  The recipe looked like it called for too much sauce to me so I only made a quarter the first time around.  My mistake.  This sauce is so good!  Andy and I were both wishing we had more!

{ Sweet & Sticky Honey Soy Sauce }

I've breaded chicken before, for Chicken Parmesan, so that part was familiar and easy enough.  As with Chicken Parmesan, I cut the chicken breast into similarly sized pieces, then use a meat tenderizer to smash them to a similar thickness to ensure even and quick cooking.  Another key tip is making sure to prepare your 'chicken station' before starting the breading process.  Both of these steps are really important so don't cut corners to try to save time, it'll get ya in the long run!  My final tip is to keep the panko on standby - I always end up using more panko (pictured far right) than the recipe calls for.  If I'm going to bother to bread chicken, I prefer maximum chicken coverage ;)

Ready for the oven...

Bake for 25 minutes...

Toss the cooked and crispy chicken in the sauce, sprinkle with a fresh garnish....

Juicy, tender, crispy coated chicken, with tangy, sweet sauce and fresh basil and scallions - oh yeah!

I served the chicken strips with some quinoa "fried rice" the first time around, but served with my Kale Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette (get the recipe here) for our friends.

Sweet & Stick Honey Soy Sauce Chicken Strips

Ingredients for Chicken Strips:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, rinsed, cut into strips and tenderized
1 - 2 c panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
3/4 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Ingredients for Sauce:

1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c honey
1/4 c soy sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar

Ingredients for Serving:

1/3 c sliced green onions (top, green parts only!)
A few fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Prep your chicken breading area before you go any further.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Line up your raw chicken, flour, eggs and panko in order and use some metal tongs to avoid getting your hands too messy.  Whisk the salt and pepper into your flour bowl.

One at a time, dip your chicken strips into flour, then egg, then panko and lay out evenly on your lined cookie sheet.  Once your chicks are coated and lined up and your oven is preheated, bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

While chicken is baking, prepare this delicious sauce!  I like to run the honey bottle under warm water to loosen things up and make it easier to stir.  Combine all elements of the sauce into a medium to large glass measuring cup and stir until combined.

Use a wok or large skillet, turn on low to medium heat, just hot enough to warm the sauce since your chicken should still be hot from the oven.  Add half of the cooked chicken strips and half of the sauce, tossing gently to coat.  Set aside on a serving platter.  Repeat with second half.

Sprinkle your chicken on the platter with scallions and basil and serve warm!  Be kind to your guests and have a print out of this recipe ready to send home with them - they'll definitely want to know your recipe secrets on this one!

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