Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chicken Sauce

This is for Hawaiian Haystacks (which are rice with chicken gravy and all the toppings you like). You could use cream of chicken soup with milk added to it, but this tastes better, we think. Again I found this on a Mel's Kitchen Cafe Blog I like to read to get great ideas from for delicious food. They were trying to figure out a good way to replace the cream of chicken soup to make it healthier. Personally, I don't really have a problem with cream of chicken soup. I love it, but this was great!
And once again, we ate way too fast to take a picture. If you want to see what it looks like follow the link above.

Chicken Sauce for Hawaiian Haystacks
*Makes about 4 cups chicken sauce (enough to serve 4-6 for Hawaiian Haystacks. I should have doubled this because if I did, I wouldn't have to make dinner tomorrow.)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks (or leftover cooked chicken, cubed)
3 Tablespoons Butter
½ Onion (about ½ cup), finely chopped (I just used 1 teaspoon or less of onion powder because some people in my household don't like the texture of onions, but do like the flavor.)
3 cloves Garlic, finely minced (I used 1 teaspoon of the crushed garlic that is all ready to use that you buy at the store.)
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
¼ cup Flour
2 cups Milk
1 cup Chicken Broth

In a large skillet (really use a big skillet. I used a small saucepan first and had to switch over.) melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion and raw chicken (if using leftover cooked chicken, don’t add it to the skillet now, you’ll add it later). Saute the onion and chicken, if using, until the onions are soft and translucent and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring, until fragrant.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and chicken and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for one minute – this helps get rid of the starchy, flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Add the salt and pepper. If you are using leftover cooked chicken, add it now. Continue simmering, stirring the sauce frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. It took mine a long time to thicken, so I ended up adding a Tablespoon of Cornstarch to help it along for maybe 10 minutes or so instead of 5.

Serve the chicken sauce over rice with your toppings of choice. I asked some friends what they like on their Hawaiian Haystacks and here is what they added to the basics.
Basics: Cheddar Cheese, Green Onions, Sliced Olives, Chow Mien Noodles
Extras: Olives, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Mandarin Oranges, coconut, pineapple, raisins, peas, sliced steamed Carrots, Broccoli or Cauliflower, Sunflower Seeds, Celery, Cut up Boiled Eggs, Bean Sprouts, and someone even said Mustard.

What do you like on yours? I love almost everything, so my plate piles very high!

Sesame Chicken

I read this on a food blog I LOVE and tried it back in February or March. I made it again Monday night and fed it to my husband, my own three kids, and a friend's three kids. They all loved it (except for the two youngest boys who didn't even try the chicken and just ate rice and chow mien noodles.)
I didn't get a good picture of it because we ate it too fast and because when I fry things it kind of all falls apart and doesn't look great like their picture did. Just believe me that the sauce was delicious. One of the kids visiting had two pieces of the chicken.

Chicken of your choice (breast, drumstick, thigh, etc.)
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons Water
1 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch, divided
2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
2 Tablespoons Honey
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Chili Paste (find this in the Asian section by the soy sauce)
1 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stalk
2 Tablespoons Sesame Seed, toasted

First beat the egg and add in the water in a shallow bowl.
Roll chicken pieces in the egg and water mixture.
In a quart size ziplock bag mix the flour, salt and pepper, and 1 Tablespoon of the corn starch. Put the wet chicken into the bag and shake until chicken is coated.
In a large skillet on med-high heat, melt the butter, and fry the chicken on each side until golden brown. Place chicken off to the side if you want to use the same pan for the next step.
To the pan (or start a small saucepan) add the chicken stalk, chili paste, soy sauce, honey and remaining 1 Tablespoon corn starch. (Hint: in order to prevent clumping of the corn starch, mix it in the stalk cold, before adding to heat). Stir often until begins to thicken.
Reduce heat and add the chicken back in. Cook until the sauce is about the consistency of the honey and begins to coat the chicken. Sprinkle in the sesame seeds over the chicken.
We served this with plain old white rice and chow mien noodles. The next time I make it, I'm going to try to just bake the chicken breasts in the sauce in the oven and save on time and frying.

Serve, and enjoy. Goes well with fried rice, chow mein, or just plain. Key is to enjoy!