We've all had a week to recuperate from our stressful Thanksgiving feeding frenzy. Because of the pandemic situation, and with the reality that we wouldn't be feeding as many people as usual this year, most of us home cooks promised ourselves that we'd cut back on the number and size of dishes we'd be preparing. How did that work out for you? If your family is anything like mine, it probably didn't go as planned. After all, Thanksgiving is a holiday that excuses excessive cooking and eating.

Since we were only going to be feeding 5 people, my husband Corman and I decided that the main dish would be stuffed Cornish hens rather than a big turkey. And, with the intent of keeping the menu simple, we'd serve the hens with rice, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn on the cob and a side salad, followed by a dessert.

As we prepped the meal, Corman felt that potato salad would be a great addition. While we're at it, why not include Thai shrimp curry? And since we have lots of shrimp, why not add shrimp with butter and garlic sauce? As I watched the menu items increase dramatically, I wondered who was going to eat all this food!

The end result was that we ate lots of leftovers for several days. That gave me some time to decompress from the pressure of cooking meal after meal. But as the week wore on and the leftovers disappeared, the pressure to cook mounted.

Quick and tasty

On Sunday afternoon, my sons caught me reading on the couch in the living room. They were surprised I wasn't in the kitchen. "Hey, Pop, what's for dinner?" asked Keoni. "Yeah, Pop, we're tired of leftovers," chimed in Brian.

Realizing that my vacation from cooking was over, I looked up from my book and asked, "So, what would you like to have tonight?" Keoni thought for a moment and said, "How about your recipe for Chinese chicken – the one with the tasty glaze on it?" "Yeah, Pop, that would be great!" added Brian.

"Actually, that is perfect," I responded. "It's pretty quick to make, and it is tasty. Asian glazed chicken it is!"

If, like me, you're easing back into your cooking routine, give this recipe a try. I think your whole family will love it and it will take you less than 30 minutes to prepare. I found the recipe online and it was submitted by Alyssa Rivers.

Let me know how it goes!

Week 8: Sticky Asian Glazed Chicken

Ingredients

(Note: Typically, I use 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of chicken. When I do, I increase all the ingredients by 1 1/2 times the amounts listed above. You may have to cook the chicken in 2 or 3 batches.)

1 pound thinly sliced chicken breast or chicken thighs*

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. (Add more if you like it spicy!)

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Juice of one lime

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds**

1/4 cup thinly chopped green onions

Steps

1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken and salt and pepper. Cook chicken about 3 minutes on each side, making sure chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken to a plate.

2. In the same skillet whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic and lime juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until sauce thickens.

3. Add the chicken back to the sauce, coat each side with the sauce, and cook for another minute or so. Remove the pan from the stove.

4. Serve the chicken on rice and garnish with roasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

* I've never tried using beef with this recipe, but I bet it would be delicious. If you try it, let me know how you liked it.

** Freshly toasted sesame seeds intensify the delightful flavor of this dish. To toast the sesame seeds, place 1/2 cup of the seeds in a medium skillet and heat the seeds over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir or shake skillet every few seconds to prevent burning. Seeds are ready when they start to smoke. Remove from heat and immediately transfer to a plate to cool completely. You can store them in an airtight bag for a few months. We often add them to our nightly salads.

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