Win friends and influence people with Crispy Sesame Chicken Nibbles! Just kidding.
(Sorry, I had a very long day at work.)
Seriously, though, I defy you to serve these at a party and not have them almost immediately gobbled up. These little bits have two of the qualities that I love in a dish: They’re ridiculously easy to make—and they don’t look it at all.
They’re also really versatile. You can serve them with a bunch of different dipping sauces. Whisk together a little soy sauce, rice vinegar, with a squirt of sriracha and a few sliced scallions for an Asian-style sauce. Or whip up some grainy mustard with a little honey and some garlic.
They could be an appetizer for four, or a dinner for two with a big salad and some nice crusty bread. Pop two or three in a toasted bulky roll with a piece of cheese for a yummy, filling sandwich. You could pack them in a bento lunch for someone who’s been very, very good.
You could even run a bamboo skewer through each piece before cooking to make them ultimately portable at a cocktail party.
You get the picture. On to the Nibbles!
Crispy Sesame Chicken Nibbles
1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders
1 Tbls. garlic powder
3/4 cup sesame seeds
spray canola oil
Put a non-stick double-burner grill pan (or a really big non-stick frying pan) on the stove. Spray lightly with canola oil.
Start with about a pound and a half of chicken tenders.
Give each one the once over to be sure they’re about the same thickness. This will help ensure they’re all done at the same time.
If one is substantially thicker, slip it between two sheets of wax paper and give it a few whacks with a rolling pin to thin it out a little.
Put the chicken in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Toss in the garlic powder, then add the sesame seeds.
Seal the bag (check the seal twice!) and shake the bag around a bunch to evenly coat the chicken with sesame seeds and garlic.
When you’re done, each chicken tender should be totally coated with sesame seeds. They should look about like this:
Preheat your pan for a minute or two on medium-high heat to get it good and hot.
When your pan is ready, add the chicken. Space out the tenders, being careful not to knock too many seeds off.
Sprinkle the tops of the chicken tenders with salt to taste. Let them cook, untouched, for about 3-5 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown nicely.
Not touching them or moving them around is important, because you want the sesame seeds to fuse to the chicken and form a nice crust.
When you can start to see that the chicken is becoming opaque on the bottom edges, flip each piece over with a set of tongs. (Just grab a hold of the end and flip quickly.)
The bottoms of the chicken should look about like this:
Lower the heat to medium or medium-low (depending on how thick your chicken is and if you’re making any smoke at this point).
Cook until the other side has developed a matching golden crust and the chicken is cooked through.
Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.