Stretching our budget as far as it can go is not only good for the wallet, but its kinda fun too. Last night, we were close to one of the least expensive yet most scrumptious dinners a few bucks can buy. This recipe was adapted from a book called “The Asian Barbecue Book” with a few modifications along the way. The secret to this dish is all in the marinade/basting glaze and not burning the soul out of your chicken breast.
As with all things that can go wrong, my flash decided to pack it in last night and I was too hungry to faff about with new batteries or uping my ISO to get a better shot so I’ll only post the sauce shots and one very blurry (albeit funny) photo of last night’s plating.
You’ll need the following to make the killer marinade/glaze:
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
4 Tbsp honey
2-3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 x 25 cm piece of old ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
2 pieces of star anise – ground into powder
10 black peppercorns, roughly crushed
handful of roasted and toasted white sesame seeds
1 boneless chicken breast, no skin
Over medium heat, dissolve your honey in the soy sauce then add the hoisin, minced ginger and garlic and the rest of your spice mixture. Stir it really well so that it combines and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Once done, take it off the heat and let it cool completely.
Fast forward a bit and now place half of your mixture into a zip top bag along with your chicken breast. Squish the bag a few times to massage the chicken and marinade, ensuring an even coating on all sides. Pop that in a bowl (in case you spring a leak) and let it sit for a few hours. I let the chicken sit in the bag for about 4 hours.
Fire up the grill using direct heat to 400 degrees F and just before you throw the chicken on, spray the grid with a bit of oil so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the grid. You’ll keep the breast on for about 5 minutes per side, ensuring a nice sear across the meat. 5 minutes was enough for this chicken breast but of course always make sure you don’t undercook your chicken, particularly if it’s a big piece. Once you’ve finished with the grilling, paint both sides of the chicken with the remaining glaze/marinade (the stuff you’ve set aside and not contaminated with raw chicken!) Keep the breast on the grid for another minute and then sprinkle the glazed breast with your roasted sesame seeds. They should stick to it like glue! Now simply lest the chicken rest for about 5 minutes on a plate covered with aluminium foil and move on to the plating.
In our case, Roman made a simple spinach and tomato salad with garlic butter croutons (on the grill), crispy bacon, sesame seeds and a tasty red wine vinegar/dijon mustard dressing. Here’s the link for the dressing. With the salad, a small bowl of steamed white rice drizzled with your remaining hoisin glaze. Once the breast has rested for about 5 minutes, slice it thinly at a 45 degree angle. Place your chicken pieces straight on top of the salad and present with your roasted french bread croutons.
I think the overall cost of last night’s dinner was under $5 – not too shabby!
Overall Heather Rating: 9/10