Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken

Light and packed with veggies, our Sesame Chicken is a healthy and delicious alternative to Chinese takeout.

As much as we love Chinese food, many restaurants tend to make their dishes with too much oil and the result is a greasy meal that sits on our stomachs. To avoid that, we like making this lighter version of traditional Sesame Chicken at home and serving it over Basic White Rice. It is filling and easy to prepare, and the additional vegetables in this recipe provides added nutrition. Because preparing food in a wok happens very quickly due to high heat, be sure to have all ingredients cut and measured prior to cooking in order to avoid burning the meal.

PREP: 10 minutes + 15 minutes—8 hours to marinate
COOK: 6 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 6 ounces snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, and sugar. Stir in chicken and marinate covered in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to overnight.
  2. Bring chicken to room temperature prior to cooking. Place wok over high heat. When wok smokes, add safflower oil. When oil shimmers, add garlic and ginger and cook for 10 seconds.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade. Reserve marinade and add chicken to wok. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned in places and just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in chili paste and snow peas and cook 2 minutes more, or until snow peas are shiny and bright green.
  5. Add reserved marinade back to pan. Stir in bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and continue cooking until they are heated through, about one minute.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in scallions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil and serve immediately.

TIPS: Sesame oil tends to turn rancid rather quickly. Be sure to taste it for freshness before adding it to the rest of the ingredients in step six.

YIELDS: 4 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Flat Roast Chicken

Flat Roast Chicken

Removing the backbone from a hen and roasting the bird flattened in a cast iron skillet reduces the typical cook time to about an hour.

We just love our cast-iron cookware. Versatile and easy to maintain, we use it for everything these days, including frying fish, baking cornbread or roasting veggies like carrots, cauliflower and potatoes. Then one day we had an epiphany! If we can whip up veggies in a cast-iron pan, why don’t we try poultry? Now we roast an entire chicken, minus the backbone, in about an hour and it is the simplest, juiciest, and tastiest roast bird that we’ve ever encountered. So what are you waiting for? Grab your biggest cast iron skillet and try it out!

PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 50 to 60 minutes + 10 minutes rest time

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 roasting hen, 6 to 8 pounds, backbone removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove. Save the backbone in a zip-top plastic bag in the freezer to use to make broth at a later time. Rinse the chicken, and then pat it dry with paper towels. Open the chicken’s legs and spread the bird down flat, skin side up. Press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten it. Salt and pepper generously on both sides.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter; swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken, skin side down. Allow to brown (without moving) for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over, careful not to break the skin, and transfer to the oven.
  3. The chicken is done when it is golden brown and cooked through, 50 to 60 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird, not touching bone, should read 165°F. Remove the chicken from heat, place on a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan drippings and swirl around, using a spatula to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, red pepper flakes, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cut the chicken into 10 pieces, drizzle with fresh lemon sauce and pan sauce, and serve immediately.

TIP: A fryer chicken, which is 3 to 4 pounds, may also be used. Directions are the same, except the cook time will be reduced to 40 to 45 minutes and the meal will serve 4 to 6 people. Also, if you don’t have cast iron cookware, any ovenproof skillet will work.

YIELDS: 6 to 8 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Kung Pao Chicken with Peanuts

Kung Pao Chicken with Peanuts

Make a favorite Chinese takeout dish at home! Our Kung Pao Chicken is tasty, spicy and filled with protein.

Ever since I was a kid in California, Asian cuisine was something to be shared, and whether I was eating at the Golden Dragon in Los Angeles, Lee’s in Texarkana, or Clifton’s King Wok, I have fond memories filled with laughter, friends and good food like egg rolls, fried rice and egg drop soup with fried noodles. But one of my favorite dishes has always been kung pao chicken with peanuts, a dish that is spicy and surprisingly simple to prepare. So make it at home for the people you love and serve it with steamed rice, celery salad and tea for a family-style meal that will become one of your family’s favorites. Oh, and don’t forget the fortune cookies!

PREP: 10 minutes + marinating time
COOK: 6 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry or vermouth
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or cashews
  • 2 whole scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 whole dried Chinese red peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, wine, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Dice the chicken and toss it in the marinade. Cover and marinate for at least an hour to overnight in the refrigerator. Return chicken to room temperature prior to cooking.
  2. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the oil. Lightly fry the peanuts for about 1 minute and remove. Add the scallions, red peppers, and garlic. Stir-fry for about 20 seconds.
  3. Just before adding to the pan, coat the chicken in the cornstarch. Fry until the chicken is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes (depending on the pan and the heat). Return the peanuts to the pan and mix thoroughly to combine with the chicken. Serve immediately with white rice.

YIELDS: 2 to 4 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Ya-Ya Chicken

Ya-Ya Chicken

Moist and flavorful, our Ya-Ya Chicken is a baked healthy alternative to traditional fried chicken.

Growing up in the South, I ate nearly everything fried, from pork chops and catfish to tomatoes and okra. But now that we’re older and watching our figures as well as our health, we can’t (or shouldn’t) always eat our Favorite Southern Fried Chicken, no matter how much we love it. In a recent Facebook poll, you all agreed with us and asked that we start featuring more low-fat fare. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce you to a recipe that Heather says is her new favorite, Ya-Ya Chicken! “Ya-Ya” is an African word for “divine,” which is what this marinated and baked chicken is. Soaked in herbs and dredged in breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, this chicken is guaranteed to be moist and flavorful. We know you’ll love it too!

PREP: 10 minutes + marinating time (1 hour to overnight)
COOK: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), rinsed well, patted dry, and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, fresh, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, red-pepper flakes, oregano, and 2 minced garlic cloves in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add chicken to marinade in dish, turning each piece to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Stir together breadcrumbs, cheeses, parsley, pepper, and remaining garlic in a medium bowl. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and coat lightly with olive oil.
  4. Dredge each chicken piece in breadcrumb mixture to coat; shake off excess. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake chicken until breadcrumbs are golden and chicken is cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes. Using a spatula, loosen chicken from sheet before serving.

YIELDS: 4 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Chicken two ways

Chicken is one of the easiest, inexpensive and most convenient dishes in a family’s culinary repertoire.   Roasted, baked, sautéed, broiled, grilled or fried, you likely already have a favorite chicken recipe or two up your sleeve. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who learned how to make these simple poultry classics from your mom or grandmother, or even an uncle or father who happened to know his way around the kitchen. But in case you’re not, or even if you are but you still like to try new variations on these recipes, today we’re going to teach you how to prepare two of our favorites.

With Our Favorite Southern Fried Chicken you’ll sink your teeth into flavor filled drumsticks that are as juicy as they are crispy. And with our Southern Grilled Chicken, you’ll savor rich pepper glazed poultry that cooks up great on the grill or on the stove. We’re making chicken two ways, today on Jathan & Heather!  

Buying chicken

Before we get started, we’re going to tell you a little tip that saves us time and money every time we make chicken. We love dark meat when we eat poultry, and if you do too, you should know that your butcher probably sells thighs and drumsticks already packaged together. If so, you’ll want to get a 5-pound bag or carton (and if you want the whole chicken, just buy the 5-pound equivalent, whole or cut up). Now that you have that handy, we’re going to brine the poultry.

Kosher Salt

Kosher salt dissolves easily in water to make a basic brine that creates succulent poultry.

Brining poultry

In case you don’t know, brining is an important step in preparing truly fabulous poultry. Brining changes the consistency of your poultry, making it more fibrous and porous, which is a good thing. This allows your chicken to retain moisture as it cooks so by the time you serve it on the table, it is still juicy and oh-so-delicious! So let’s begin. Now for those of you who have brined poultry before, you may have seen a more complex method than what we’ll use here, but you really don’t have to. Our method is quick and simple, and has the same effect as other recipes that tell you to use multiple herbs.

PREP: 10 minutes
REFRIGERATE: 8 hours or overnight

INGREDIENTS
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
5 pounds chicken, cut up

  1. In a large stock pot, combine 6 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt; add chicken. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain chicken; rinse with cold water, and pat dry.
  3. Step three? There is no step three. Brining is that simple!
Our favorite Southern Fried Chicken

Our Favorite Southern Fried Chicken is juicy, zesty, crispy and delicious. Here we've served it with sides of Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Golden Raisins and Sautéed Green Beans.

Our Favorite Southern Fried Chicken

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
STAND: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2-pounds chicken, already cut up and brined
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup bacon drippings

  1. Combine salt, pepper, cayenne and flour in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Place 2 pieces of chicken in bag; seal. Shake to coat. Remove chicken; repeat procedure with remaining chicken, 2 pieces at a time.
  2. Combine oil and bacon drippings in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat to 360° or until a few water droplets dance on the oil when shaken from your fingertips into the pan. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, skin side down. Cover and cook 6 minutes; uncover and cook 9 minutes.
  3. Turn pieces; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover and cook 9 minutes, turning pieces during the last 3 minutes for even browning, if necessary. Drain on paper towels; keep warm.

TIP: For best results, keep the oil temperature between 300° to 325°.

YIELDS: 4 servings.

Southern Barbecued Chicken

Pepper glazed Southern Barbecued Chicken is great off the grill or cooked atop the stove. Try serving it with Baked Beans, Cole Slaw and Corn Bread.

Southern Barbecued Chicken

PREP: 25 minutes + marinating
GRILL: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (We use Chipotle Chicks Hot Flash Habanero Sauce.)
1 tablespoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 1/2-pounds chicken, already cut up and brined

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Bring to a boil; stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring often. Cool.
  2. Pour 1-2/3 cups marinade into a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add the chicken.
  3. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting.
  4. If cooking on a grill, prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Place skin side down over pan. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 20 – 25 minutes on each side or until juices run clear, basting occasionally with reserved marinade.
  5. If cooking on the stove, heat a cast-iron grill pan until pan is hot and water droplets sizzle on the surface. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Place skin side down over pan. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Do not baste as bottom of pan will fill juices from the poultry.

YIELDS: 4 servings.

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.