December 7, 2012

Honey Sesame Chicken and Quinoa

I had grilled chicken breasts slated for dinner last night, but when I got around to prepping/marinating the chicken I realized I didn't really feel like having grilled chicken. Normally I love grilled chicken, but for some reason it just seemed like a mundane meal to have yesterday. Not only that, but my chicken was still partially frozen at 3pm. I remembered reading that my friend, Claire did this recipe in the slow cooker and she used frozen chicken breasts. Also, I remembered that it didn't take that long to cook (a couple of hours versus all day). Thankfully, I had all the ingredients in my pantry and I even had some additional veggies to add to the party. Score! It ended up turning out perfectly. The chicken and sauce were delicious (Claire was right...the chicken didn't dry out at all), and the quinoa was a perfect compliment. Yum! Hubby and kiddos all happily munched this down and it really didn't take all that much effort on my part. I love it when that happens!

Honey Sesame Chicken and Quinoa
From: Cooking Claire blog

1 to 1.5 pounds of chicken breasts (this was 2 very large pieces of chicken for me)
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds
1 bag of frozen broccoli, steamed in the microwave
quinoa (see below)

For Quinoa:
2 cups of quinoa, rinsed
4 cups of water
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
olive oil

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker insert and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
In a medium sized bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.

When done, remove chicken and cut into chunks. Prior to putting the chicken back in the stockpot, combine some cornstarch in water and whisk it into the slow cooker to thicken up the sauce a bit. Throw the chicken back in and stir around to re-coat the chicken in the sauce. Add the steamed broccoli and sesame seeds, stir to combine.

Serve hot over a bed of quinoa (or rice) and sprinkle some more sesame seeds on top, if desired.

For quinoa:
Rinse quinoa according to package directions. Get as much of the water out as possible and let drain on a kitchen towel while still in the strainer. Set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauce pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add sliced peppers and onions. Saute until soft and onions are translucent. Add quinoa and toast for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add water and simmer quinoa according to packaged directions (about 20-25 minutes or until all the water is absorbed). Add salt to taste. Add bed of quinoa to plates and serve it with chicken, sauce, and broccoli (see above) over top.

NOTE: This is a lot of quinoa. I have 5 people to feed and I wanted leftovers for lunches the next day. If you are not feeding a smallish army, then you can safely cut the quinoa and water amounts in half.

No comments: