Photography and styling by Melina Hammer.
During the first few days of being together, Grace and I ended up on a spontaneous road trip that included dinner at a friend-of-a-friend’s-mom’s house (got that?). She served what she called Sticky Chicken, small pieces of chicken coated with a very glossy glaze. Based on Chinese stir-frying traditions, it’s such a flavorful dish that comes together quickly thanks to a host of pantry ingredients. Each time I make it, I’m taken back to those very early, exciting days of our relationship when it felt like a light switch I didn’t know about got flipped on, like everything finally made so much sense.
- Place the water and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Stir in the ketchup, honey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce (if using), and garlic. Reserve the sauce.
- Place the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add half of the chicken to the pan and season generously with salt and pepper (about ½ teaspoon of each) and cook, stirring now and then, until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat the process, adding another tablespoon or so of oil to the pan if necessary, with the rest of the chicken.
- Return the first batch of chicken to the skillet along with the reserved sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring now and then, until the sauce is thick and coats the chicken, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Excerpted from Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food by Julia Turshen. Harper Wave, 2021. Photography and styling by Melina Hammer.
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