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Author Notes: This was an experiment to prove to my boyfriend that I could make Chinese takeout food he would love, and skip the MSG. He's since devoured it every time I've made it, and I've added it to my permanent recipe collection. —Jacqueline Russo
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and diced into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cups low fat milk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 1/8 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chin-Kiang black rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 vegetable oil, plus 1/2-inch in saute pan
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- In a medium bowl, pour milk over chicken pieces - set aside
- In a shallow dish, combine flour, bread crumb, salt and black pepper - set aside
- In a small bowl whisk water, soy sauce, jam, honey, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch until well combined
- Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, add garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil then lower to simmer and cook until thickened, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat 1/2" oil in large skillet over medium heat. Dredge milk-soaked chicken through flour mixture and pan fry in oil until browned and chicken pieces register 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 5-7 minutes. (Turn once to fry both sides)
- When chicken is cooked, return the sauce to a burner over medium heat and toss with the chicken to coat. Serve with steamed rice.