Saturday, November 14, 2009

Recipe #14: Chicken Pot Stickers

For my husband's birthday last weekend, we took a trip to the Cheesecake Factory. I've actually only ever eaten there twice in my life but loved the food both times, so I was looking forward to it. We tried an appetizer that we've seen at restaurants and in stores, but never actually had -- chicken pot stickers. Oh my gosh, "amazing' doesn't quite do them justice.

So, since we can't make it to the Cheesecake Factory every weekend (maybe someday when we're rich, haha), I decided to make my own version. This isn't exactly the same. The "filling" in the CF version is JUST chicken. I added cabbage and green onions to give it a little more flavor because I knew my chicken would never taste like theirs! Enjoy! Please note -- wherever you see a (*) next to an ingredient or tool, there is a comment about it below the recipe. Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Stickers


2 green onions, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger*
wonton wrappers*
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage*
6 ounces plus two tablespoons soy sauce
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound chicken tenders*
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons sesame oil*
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups water

small skillet
small sauce pan
large non-stick pan
food processor

Heat small skillet over medium-high heat, add soy sauce and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

Cut chicken into one inch pieces. Place in mixing bowl and toss with flour until evenly coated. Add to heated pan, cook about 10 minutes (turning to cook evenly) until both sides are browned and crispy. Drain.

When chicken has cooled enough to handle, food process using shredding blade (Use chicken pieces and any "breading" that has come off while draining). Add shredded chicken to a mixing bowl and add minced green onions and shredded cabbage. Toss to combine, add tablespoon of sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce for flavor. Set aside.

For sauce:
In small saucepan, stir together soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and grated ginger. Heat over medium heat until bubbling. Allow to remain on stove for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.

Remove wonton wrappers from package one by one. Place 1 tablespoon of the chicken/cabbage/onion mixture in the center of each wonton. Use your fingers and water to wet all edges of the wonton. Fold the ends diagonally across from each other up towards the top. Press points together, fold the other two ends up and press. You will end up with small, square "packages" off filling. (You will cook these in two batches.)

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the large non-stick pan. When heated, slowly add wontons around the edge of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until the bottom of each wonton is slightly browned. When this has happened, CAREFULLY, SLOWLY add 1/2 cup water into the center of the pan. Add lid to pan, and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until wonton wrappers become translucent. (Repeat with second batch.)

Place some of the sauce on the plate ahead of placing the wontons, then add more over the top once the wontons are fully plated. Serve hot, garnish with chopped green onion.

-Ginger: If you're not a fan of ginger -- I normally am NOT at all, but when grated on a microplane, it becomes more like a paste and therefore tolerable -- you can completely leave it out. It does give a depth to the flavor of the sauce though, and this is a very, very small amount to add.

-Wonton Wrappers: I used Nasoya brand wrappers. They sell these wonton wrappers, but also eggroll wraps and tofu. You can generally find their products in the organic food section. I know the process above for folding them sounds difficult, but trust me, it's not. I have very little hand-eye coordination, and I managed! Also, When you're not using the wrappers -- in between folding wontons -- keep them covered with a damp towel, to keep them from drying out.

-Cabbage: I used red... truthfully, because I forgot to buy Napa cabbage at the store, and to me the taste is no different. If you only have the regular green variety, just use that. No need to make a trip to the store for that!

Just to clarify, when I say "chicken tenders," I mean "chicken tenderloins," the raw chicken -- generally the most expensive, because you're only getting the best sections of the white meat -- in the meat section of the grocery store. I am NOT talking about breaded chicken tenders.

-Sesame Oil: You might think you can do without it for this recipe, but I beg to differ. I had never in my life cooked with sesame oil until now. I had smelled it and tasted it, but never cooked with it myself. Trust me, it's worth the $5 for the 8-ounce bottle. If you've ever had a Chinese dish and thought that you could probably make it at home if not for that ONE unidentifiable ingredient... that ingredient is sesame oil. It is deep and nutty, and you only need a little to get a lot of flavor. It's worth it!


Amanda said...

Looks yummy! Our FAVORITE restaurant in Washington - The Silvercity Brewery - had THE most amazing pot stickers!

Kass said...

I don't cook, but 'good for you.' I just wanted to tell you I laughed til I cried when reading your fart story on 'sftc.' Thank you so much!

Bianca said...

Looks as good as the real deal at Cheesecake Factory to me!