Honey and pepper, sweet and spice, sparks the traditional combination of soy and sesame in a marinade for chicken. As inspiring as the flavors of this dish are, it also proves to be a recipe which allows for much diversity. It’s an easy recipe, and what a good thing that turned out to be: life does not happen according to plan.
Back in January, I bought an amazing work-cart for the kitchen. Almost everyone who visits says that we should have a table in the center of the kitchen but I like the open space: in the old house it was difficult for two people to move past each other, much less work together in the kitchen. Here, the kitchen is the heart of home where we spend time together. For us, a table in the center would have become a flat-surface-magnet to attract all manner of stuff not put away properly. I’d checked Ikea and The Treasure Mart for hostess carts but found them flimsy, too wobbly to use for real kitchen work.
The University has a warehouse, open to the public sometimes, where un-needed equipment and furnishings go on offer. We go every other week, and I found a pair of upolstered benches for $25 each, a nice sidetable for $15, and a pair of green velvet chairs with ottomen for $35 each. Such bargains!
There was my cart: heavy-duty casters, steel pipe frame, thick sturdy shelves, almost counter height. Perfect but for a missing end-cap on one leg. I finally got around to Googling the company to see if I could buy a replacement.
On the Anthro website, I saw another perfect cart, for my office:
Six feet long, sturdy wheels with plenty of space for cutting fabric, spreading out drawings, everything. But the basic model with one shelf was $600! Not quite in my budget! Next day, we took our bi-weekly trip to Property Disposition at the U. Unbelievable, but there was “my” cart: two shelves, with extensions to make it taller, a bunch of unnecessary accessories for computer equipment, and the larger size wheels. $100!
Of course we had to dismantle it to get it into my room. My plans for a stir-fry morphed into a simple baked dish with Japanese flavors while I helped to carry various table parts from the foyer to the dining room and library. The chicken marinated, then baked, as I held pieces of the table while Mr. Tess manned the tools to put the table back together.
This version of the recipe was so delicious that I had to make it a second time, as the recipe was written. I can recommend either version without exception!
Pan-Baked Honey and Pepper Sesame Chicken
based on a recipe from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
serves 4 to 5
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken
(thighs or breasts)
- 3 Tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
(sesame seeds were at the other house: used sesame paste)
- ¼ cup minced naganegi long onions, or green onions
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- fresh-ground black pepper
(about 2 teaspoons!)
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 to 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 10 ounces broccoli rabe, or other greens
Wash and dry the chicken. Oil a baking pan (large enough to contain the chicken in one layer). Combine the sesame paste, onions, garlic, soy sauce, honey, pepper, and sesame oil. Arrange the chicken, turning to coat each piece with the marinade. Let the chicken bathe in the sauce for half an hour. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with rice and broccoli rabe.