Stir-fried and sticky: that was the appeal of the “Chicken with Lee Kum Kee Plum Sauce,” when I saw it on Angie’s Recipes. This dish has the look and feel of Chinese takeout, but it was easy enough to replicate in my own kitchen. The crunchy chicken was perfect with the “Plum Sauce,” from All Recipes -- I chose to make my own sauce rather than use a convenient jar. We had fun with this easy-to-eat meal.

You’ll notice the recipe uses metric measurements. I mathematically converted the amounts, as well as multiplied the recipe by four. Here’s the recipe that I followed:

Chicken with Plum Sauce

28 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/3 tsp. salt
.8 tsp. vegetable bouillon
8.4 oz. cornstarch
2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
4 tsp. sesame seeds

4 tsp. garlic
8 Tbsp. plum sauce
.52 cup water
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. white vinegar
.8 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cornstarch

Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4-inch dices, marinate with the salt and vegetable bouillon and set aside for 15 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and baking soda, add in the eggs and some water to make a thick batter.

Heat up a frying pan with enough oil until hot. Dip the diced chicken into the batter. Shake off the extra batter and deep-fry the chicken for 2 minutes. Scoop out and drain. Return the chicken to the frying pan and deep-fry until very crispy.

For the sauce, fill another big skillet with a little oil, add in the garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the remaining sauce ingredients to this skillet. Add the twice-fried chicken to the sauce skillet and stir until the chicken is completely coated with the sauce. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the sesame seeds over.

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First, I made my own plum sauce. I suppose if I could have easily located a jar of the stuff, I would have used that. But I don’t regret making my own. It was easy. I simply combined a whole jar of organic plum fruit spread with all the other ingredients and boiled them. I used brown rice vinegar and only 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes. I then used my whole amount for this chicken recipe, even though my converted recipe asks for only 8 Tbsp. of plum sauce. I felt confident enough to “eyeball” the sauce, as I imagine a Chinese takeout kitchen might do. To my sauce skillet I added the garlic, water, sugar, white vinegar, salt, and cornstarch -- making my sauce all the more sweet and tangy and sticky.

Now, back to my chicken pieces. I fried my battered pieces in grapeseed oil for 5 minutes, then scooped them out of the pan and drained them. I then fried the pieces for a second time, for 6 minutes. What a great crunch! Here’s the secret to the wonderful texture of Chinese takeout: cornstarch and lots of frying! Once you douse your crispy chicken pieces with the magnificent sticky sauce, everyone will gobble this up.

And to placate my need to see something green on our plates, I also made the “Baked Zucchini Chips,” from All Recipes. How simple, how lovely. My young child munched on these as if they were snack chips. There was enough love in my child’s heart for both the chicken and the zucchini!

Plum Spread (9 oz.) = $2.82
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (28 oz.) = $8.73
Zucchini (2) = $1.82

RECIPES: if you like Chinese takeout, thrill yourself with your own version; and always delight in a baked vegetable
a Chinese stir-fry is quick; zucchini chips can be eaten after less than 30 minutes of prep and cooking
TASTES: the crunch of chicken pieces is coated by sticky sweet plum jam that’s enhanced by a kick of garlic, onion, red pepper, and ginger; zucchini wins when gently coated in breadcrumbs and parmesan

Ready for some more food fun, next time I want to cook the “Fish-A-Leekie Pie,” from (more metric conversions!), along with “Maple-Roasted Vegetables,” from See my meal when you come back to my site on Friday, October 22.