Friday, December 31, 2010

A The Squirrel Can Cook Classic – Baked Sesame Chicken & Fried Rice

(Today's The Squirrel Can Cook is a classic repeat recipe from May 2009. It also happens to be what I'm fixing for dinner tonight. Happy New Year, everyone!)

Where last week’s recipe was all about the Hot & Spicy, this week we’ve got Subtle & Savory in store. This is my take on a recipe that Mom has made for years. She fixes it with white wine, were I use chicken broth, and I added the sesame oil, for that subtle Asian flavor.

Note: All photographs (Here you go, Fred!) show a half-recipe that I fixed for Mrs. Squirrel and me last Saturday. I guess, if I’m going to include pictures, that Friday’s recipe will usually reflect the prior Saturday’s dinner. This means that you may get the occasional frozen pizza recipe!

Our ingredients today are:

4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
2 cups of rice (regular white rice – don’t use “minute” type rice --- ever! For anything! Blech!)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

First we have to fry our rice. Heat your stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the 4 cups of rice. Mix thoroughly so that all rice is coated with oil, add another tablespoon of oil, if needed. Then stir slowly until the rice is a nice toasty brown color (close to the color of a brown paper shopping bag.)

In a large covered baking dish, mix the chicken broth, sesame oil, soy sauce. Now, the fun part! Spoon the fried rice into the chicken broth mixture… ah, nice hiss and a cloud of steam! Add the sesame seeds, and give it a stir. Then arrange the chicken breast on top of the rice. Everything will be mostly submerged under the chicken broth, with sesame seeds floating on top.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the cover and bake another 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is nicely browned.

Serve with the veggie of your choice, and enjoy.

The Squirrel shall not live by nuts alone!

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