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Salt & Pepper Chicken Strips




I am very fond of Chinese food of any kind, although to be sure I have never actually had any "real" Chinese food. I have only ever had the Westernised stuff, which  is good enough for me.  You would think that Westernised Chinese food would be the same all over the place, but that isn't the case.  Chinese food here in the UK, is somewhat different to the kind I was used to back home.  Its still pretty tasty however.  



As a young bride I can remember going to a place in Granville Ferry back home, called The Continental Kitchen. It was an old farm house that had been converted to a restaurant. People came from miles and miles away to eat there.  You had to book ahead it was so popular.  They did all you can eat Buffets.  All homemade from scratch food. They had both a seafood and a Chinese buffet.


Later on when I moved out to Western Canada, my ex and I used to go out for a Chinese meal every now and then.  We would dress up in our finest duds and go to this place in downtown Calgary. It would be a really special evening for us. My ex BIL was also very good at cooking Chinese food.  He would make lovely Chinese meals for us that I always really enjoyed.  I know they were a lot of work, preparing all of the vegetables and meats, sauces etc.  I always really appreciated all that  he did. It was so delicious!


One of my favourite dishes at the buffets, aside from the sweet and sour chicken and the broccoli beef has always been the chicken wings.  There is something incredibly yummy about those little bits of skin and fat and chicken meat, seasoned perfectly the way they do it, and then fried until crisp. I think they were very popular with everyone, because they always seemed to be almost empty whenever I would go to get some. You had to be quick!


This recipe I am sharing today is a play on those, albeit quite a bit healthier.  Yes, healthier . . .  but but every bit as tasty . . . .  believe it or not . . . .  maybe even tastier!  A bold statment I know!


I cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into strips (do it diagonally, for some reason the shape is nicer) and soak them in dark soy sauce and then I coat them in a special seasoning I create which uses things you probably have in your kitchen right now.


Montreal steak seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning and coarsely ground black pepper, that is all.  I make my own lemon pepper seasoning because it is a very difficult ingredient to find over here in the UK, but you really do need to have it.  It adds a unique layer to the flavours. If you would like to know how I make mine, just ask. It does involve a bit of time and oven cooking to dry out the lemon zest.


Once coated the chicken strips are baked in a hot oven . . .  8 minutes on one side, and then 5 to 6 minutes on the other side.  (I flip them after the first 8 minutes)  I think any longer than that they would dry out.  These timings keep them just moist and delicious.


They have a bit of a spark, yes, but it is a spark that I heartily enjoy! I like to serve them with a homemade sweet and sour sauce for dipping.



It goes really well with the flavours of the chicken and is also really easy to make.  I am betting you already have everything in the kitchen now to make the sauce right now as well . . .


Apricot jam, tomato ketchup, rice wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce . .  . that's it.  I blitz it together in my mini food chopper because I like it to be smooth. 


This is the one I use, the Cookhouse Premium 400W Mini Food Processor.  I won this recently in a giveaway and have stopped using my old one altogether.  This one is so easy to use and to clean (always important).  It makes short work of throwing this sauce together.  Just pile it all into the glass base, pop the lid on and blitz. It works by pressing down on the lid, and has two speeds.  I really love it and have been using it just about every day.  Mine came from here.  Its really a beautiful piece of kit.   

You will love this sweet and sour sauce.  Its thick and flavourful with just the right amount of sweet and sour.  Its a sauce we use often in our house, on everything from salmon to chicken to pork and even lamb.  I haven't tried it with beef yet, but it would probably be great with meatballs!



*Salt & Pepper Chicken Strips*
Serves 4
 

Spicy and finger licking good!
 

900g boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips (2 pounds)
2 TBS soy sauce
2 tsp Montreal Steak Spice
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

for the sauce:
235g of apricot preserves (3/4 cup)
3 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS tomato ketchup
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 



Pre-heat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Spray a foil lined baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the soy sauce into a bowl.  Combine the spices and seasonings in a plastic bag.  Roll the chicken strips in the soy sauce and then shake them in the plastic bag to coat with the seasonings.  Place in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes, flip over and bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear, and they are golden brown.

While the chicken is cooking, put all of the sauce ingredients into a deep wide mouthed jar and blitz with a stick blender, or alternatively blitz together in a regular blender/food processor until smooth.

Serve the chicken strips hot with the dipping sauce.

Oh boy but these are some tasty.  I served mine with some steamed rice and vegetables.  Juicy, tender chicken with a bit of a spicy bite . . . and that tangy sweet and sticky sauce . . .  what a beautiful combination this is.  If you can resist this, you are a much better than me.  I love how quick and easy it is as well. BONUS!  I love taking something I love and then making it a bit healthier, don't you?  Baked, not fried. No skin.  Even tastier in my opinion!   Bon Appetit!



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Marie Rayner
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6 comments:

  1. These sound wonderful! My son made about 3 pounds of chicken wings on the grill on the 4th of July. He used spices and some VERY hot, spicy sauce. They were devoured as a snack between meals. You are right, just the goodness of pulling that meat off the bones!

    I'll give these try! :)

    Jane x

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    Replies
    1. I adore chicken wings Jane, and I am sure your son's were fabulous! You need to try these strips. They are really delicious! Thanks! xo

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Monique! They really are! xo

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  3. Lovely recipe, please could you post how you make your lemon pepper seasoning. It used to be a favourite seasoning, but has vanished from the shelves, I can't imagine why it is so tasty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen! For the seasoning you will need the zest peeled from 4 to 6 lemons, 6 TBS whole pepper corns and 5 TBS sea salt. Line a baking sheet with paper and spread the lemon zest onto it in a single layer. Put your oven at the lowest setting, and dry it in the oven for about an hour. Put it into a lender or spice grinder with the salt and pepper corns and blend together until you get the consistency you want! Hope this helps. Store I. A tightly sealed jar in a dark place! Xo

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