Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Panko-crusted chicken with teriyaki sauce

After several days of Thanksgiving leftovers, I was looking something different, with a zingy, tangy taste. Granted, if I really wanted a change from Thanksgiving, I probably should have moved away from poultry all together. But not having the foresight that I might be sick of poultry after Thanksgiving, I bought two pounds of chicken breasts (they were buy one get one free!) on the day before Thanksgiving.

So I turned to Jaden Hair's Steamy Kitchen cookbook, since Asian flavors were about as far as I could think of from Thanksgiving. I am an avid reader of Jaden's blog, and was delighted to get her book as a gift last Christmas. What Jaden has done in this book is great because she memorializes Asian recipes in writing. And from what I know from experience, written Asian recipes are hard to come by! All of my grandmother's cooking was simply her tossing in ingredients and seasonings based on her experience and taste. Growing up in my house, we never even had measuring cups in our kitchen! So you can imagine, it is difficult and maybe even impossible to re-create my grandmother's dishes in my kitchen.

What I especially like about this book is that at the beginning there is a section that gives the low-down on Asian ingredients and cooking techniques in a way that easy for my Americanized brain to understand. I found this book has helped me learn more about Asian flavors and get an approximation to what I remember from my grandmother's cooking.

The following recipe is adapted, barely, from Jaden's book. As usual, I made adjustments based on my tastes and availability of ingredients. I reduced the whole recipe to only make one serving for myself. I also reduced the amount of sugar the sauce called for, since I didn't want it to be overly sweet, and I omitted the sake, simply because I didn't have any. If I were to do this again, I would add more orange juice because it is supposed to by a citrusy sauce, but I didn't taste much of the citrus. Another thing I might try next time in cooking the chicken is pan frying it first to get the nice golden brown crust, rather than simply spraying cooking spray and putting it in the oven. (Although, admittedly, this would make the recipe less healthy).

Panko-crusted Chicken with Teriyaki sauce
Adapted from Jaden Hair, Steamy Kitchen


For the chicken:
1 chicken breast, flattened to about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thickness
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste

For the dipping sauce:
3 Tbs soy sace
3 Tbs orange juice
3 Tbs mirin
1 Tbs sugar

Preheat oven for 475 degrees. Combine flour with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and then dip into the egg. Shake off any excess egg and dredge the chicken into the panko crumbs. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and both sides of the chicken. Place chicken in the pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 475 degrees.

While the chicken is baking, combing the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer for about 3-5 minutes.

(Note for next time I try this recipe: try frying chicken in oil for a few minutes on each side to get the nice golden brown crust. This time, I didn't quite get the golden brown crust, even after raising the temperature to 500 degrees for an extra five minutes. Perhaps the chicken was not thin enough, or perhaps my oven is finicky, but it just wasn't meant to be.)

Serves 1 person with white rice.

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