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  • Take-out at Home: Sesame Chicken

    How to make Take-out at Home: Sesame Chicken

    Note: You can steam the broccoli in a saucepan fitted with a steamer insert and 1-inch of water, or in the microwave in a covered heat-safe bowl with a few tablespoons of water for 3-4 minutes.


    5 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
    5 teaspoons honey
    1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    2 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
    1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    4 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    1 teaspoon chili paste
    1 small head broccoli, cut into florets, steamed until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes
    2 tablespoons sesame seeds


    In a medium bowl whisk together 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons of the honey. Add chicken, toss to coat, then marinate for 20-30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade with a slotted spoon and discard marinade.

    In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, working in 2 batches, until browned and cook through, about 6 minutes a batch. Transfer cooked chicken to a large serving plate.

    Heat another 2 teaspoons of the canola oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook until fragrant. In a small bowl whisk the broth, remaining soy sauce, remaining honey, cornstarch, vinegar, and chili paste until incorporated. Add mixture to skillet and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until thickened and darkened in color. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil.

    To serve, pour sauce over chicken and surround with broccoli over brown rice, if desired. Garnish with sesame seeds and remaining green onion.

    From Better Homes and Gardens January 2012

  • Take-out at Home: Chicken Tikka Masala

    How to make Take-out at Home: Chicken Tikka Masala

    Yield: 4-6 servings


    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
    1 cup plain yogurt
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
    2 garlic cloves, minced

    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
    1 fresh serrano chile, seeded and minced
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1 tablespoon garam masala
    1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    2/3 cup heavy cream
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


    For the chicken:
    In a small bowl combine salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Sprinkle chicken all over with spice mixture, pressing mixture into chicken. Wrap chicken in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, oil, ginger, and garlic in a large bowl.

    For the sauce:
    Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and light brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, serrano, tomato paste, and garam masala, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm. Sauce can be made up to 4 days ahead of time.

    Cook the chicken:
    Meanwhile, set oven rack 6-inches away from upper heating element. Preheat broiler. Spray a large wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place over a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Dip spiced chicken into yogurt mixture, coat evenly, then place on a wire rack. Discard remaining yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees F and the exterior is slightly charred in spots, 10-18 minutes total, flipping chicken halfway through.

    To finish:
    Let chicken rest 5 minutes then cut into 1-inch chunks. Stir chicken into warm sauce. Stir in cilantro, season to taste with salt, and serve.

    From The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

  • Take-out at Home: Kung Pao Shrimp

    How to make Take-out at Home: Kung Pao Shrimp

    Yield: 4 servings


    3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    1 tablespoon oyster sauce
    1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
    2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar or plain rice vinegar
    2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

    1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1 tablespoon dry sherry or Chinese rice cooking wine
    2 teaspoons soy sauce
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
    1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    3 green onions, sliced thin


    For the sauce:
    Whisk all ingredients together in large liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Set aside.

    For the shrimp:
    Toss shrimp with sherry and soy sauce and let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small bowl. Combine peanuts and red pepper flakes in a second small bowl and set aside.

    Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add shrimp and cook, stirring about every 10 seconds, until barely opaque, 30-40 seconds. Add peanuts and pepper flakes and cook until shrimp are almost completely opaque and peanuts have darkened slightly, 30-40 seconds longer. Transfer mixture to a clean bowl and set aside.

    Add remaining 1 tablespoons vegetable oil to skillet and return to high heat until just smoking. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 45 seconds. Clear center of skillet and add garlic mixture, cooking until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir garlic mixture into peppers to combine.

    Whisk sauce to recombine then add to skillet along with reserved shrimp, peanuts, and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until sauce has thickened to syrupy consistency, about 45 seconds. Add green onions and serve immediately with rice, noodles, or quinoa.

    From Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

  • Take-out at Home: Orange Chicken

    How to make Take-out at Home: Orange Chicken

    Yield: 4 servings


    For the marinade and sauce:

    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
    • 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon water

    For the chicken:

    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 3 tablespoons cooking oil


    Combine the water, orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, green onion, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

    Place the chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag. Add 1 cup of the cooled sauce mixture. Reserve remaining mixture. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    In another resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, letting the sauce drip off, to the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake to coat.

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces to skillet and brown on all sides, letting chicken cook through (work in batches if necessary). Drain chicken on a paper towel lined plate and cover with aluminum foil.

    Wipe out skillet and add the reserved sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water and slowly stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to low and stir until sauce has thickened to a sticky, syrup-like consistency. When ready to serve, pour sauce over chicken on a serving dish. Serve with rice or noodles if desired.

    Adapted from All Recipes

  • Take-out at Home: Mongolian Beef

    How to make Take-out at Home: Mongolian Beef

    Yield: 2 servings

    This recipe can easily be doubled to serve 4. Some readers have suggested tossing in broccoli during the last five minutes of cooking, making this more of a wholesome one pot meal.


    2/3 lb. flank steak, sliced across the grain
    3 Tbsp. corn starch
    3 tsp. canola oil, divided
    1/2 tsp. grated ginger
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    1/3 cup water
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 tsp. (heaping) red pepper flakes
    2-3 large scallions, sliced


    1. Pat the steak pieces with a paper towel to get rid of any moisture. Toss the steak and cornstarch together; shake of excess cornstarch using a fine strainer.
    2. Mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes in a small bowl or large measuring cup.
    3. Heat half the oil in a wok or large fry-pan at medium-high heat and add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, then add the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer back to the bowl or measuring cup.
    4. Turn the heat up on the wok and add the remaining oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring until just browned.
    5. Pour the sauce back in and let it cook with the meat. Simmer for around 5 minutes or until thickened. Place beef mixture on top of a bed of brown rice and garnish with scallions. Serve with a side of steamed veggies dolloped with leftover soy sauce mixture (or see note above).

    From Elly Says Opa who adapted from Pink Bites

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