Since I just went out for Chinese food last night, I figured I may as well stick with the asian theme.  Here's a recipe for some Chinese chicken you can make at home that is of  restaurant quality.  I wanted something I could make at home that would be a bit healthier than the deep-fried stuff you get in restaurants.  This turned out to be a great substitute.  I made it for a Chinese New Year party and it was a hit.  The sauce is absolutely amazing!

Sesame Chicken

(serves 6)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
5 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (I substituted chopped broccoli)

1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chile paste
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 cup water

    In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, black pepper, five-spice powder, and red pepper flakes. Place a few pieces of chicken at a time into the bag, and shake to coat. Remove to a platter.

    Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Place chicken into skillet, and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion wedges and bell pepper slices into skillet; cook until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

     Meanwhile,  bring chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, chile paste, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Dissolve cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water, and stir into boiling sauce.  Simmer until the sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes. (Add more cornstarch if sauce doesn't thicken enough.)  Reduce heat to low, and keep sauce warm.

   Once chicken & vegetables are cooked through, add cooked sauce to the skillet.  Stir to combine and serve with a side of brown or white rice.

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