Sauteing instead of deep-frying removes some guilt from sesame chicken

I have to preface this story with a confession that there is nothing at all healthy about this week’s recipe.

The only thing that could have made it more unhealthy would be if I owned a deep fryer.

My new policy of having the kids pick a recipe to make is going well. It gives me the chance to cook with one kid at a time, which is a piece of cake compared to orchestrating all of them in the kitchen at once.

It was Clay’s turn to pick a recipe, and he chose sesame chicken. Yep, just like at the local Chinese restaurant.

I knew that meant plenty of salty stuff and cornstarch. The best I could do was offset the dish with brown rice and some steamed edamame.

I took charge of cutting the chicken, and Clay, 7, measured lots of ingredients for the marinade. He poured it over the meat and stirred it to coat.

Next, Clay measured the sauce ingredients. We then gently sauteed the ginger and garlic in the sesame oil.

After just a minute or two, we poured the sauce mixture into the pan and stirred until it thickened, about five minutes. We put it aside while I cooked the chicken.

Rather than deep frying the chicken as the restaurants do, I tried sauteing it. I heated the oil in the pan until it was nearly smoking. Then, I slid a layer of chicken into the pan and let it sizzle.

After a few minutes, I flipped the chicken and cooked it for another five minutes. After I quickly drained the chicken on a paper bag, Clay returned to arrange it in a bowl, then poured the sauce over the top.

We served brown rice on the side and a bowl of edamame so there was some vegetable on the table.

Needless to say, the sesame chicken was devoured. It is sweet, thick and really tasty, much like that at a Chinese restaurant, except not crispy from frying.

Maybe I need that deep fryer after all.

mpoitras@discoveryspeed.com. Margery Reed Poitras is a former professional chef who now cooks for her kids and occasionally for the more mature palate.