Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A use for plum sauce

I noticed a recipe in the poultry chapter the other day that had plum sauce as an ingredient: sesame chicken (p142). I'd made five bottles of plum sauce a couple of months ago, but hadn't used any yet. This looked like a good chance to try it out.

The recipe uses four chicken breasts, but I made my usual half-recipe with two. The plum sauce is mixed with crushed garlic and cooking oil, then brushed on to the chicken breasts. When the chicken is coated in the sauce mixture, you roll each breast in sesame seeds and put them in an oven dish to bake.

The cooking time was surprisingly short, only 15 minutes: just enough time to throw together some stir-fried veges with noodles and a bit more plum sauce. When the timer went off, the chicken hadn't gone 'golden' as described in the recipe, so I put it back in for another few minutes.

Five minutes later, and the chicken breasts were still looking kind of anaemic. Piercing the breasts with the tip of a knife yielded only clear juices, though, so clearly they were cooked through. I didn't want to dry out the chicken, so I decided to leave it the way it was.

The chicken was nicely cooked, and I liked the texture of the sesame seeds on the outside. Unfortunately there wasn't much flavour from the plum sauce, and the chicken was quite bland on the whole. On the other hand, the sauce gave a nice tang to the stirfry, so that's one successful way of using it, at least!

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