These are easy, tasty, and pretty enough to serve if you have to whip up dinner for someone you want to impress. If you do cook this before putting the moves on that person, and you're successful, the chicken is at least partially responsible.
You can find chicken breast tenders already prepared at most supermarkets these days. As always, buy the best chicken you can afford.
We usually eat this with steamed jasmine rice and green beans cooked in a pan with garlic and dried chilli flakes.
This serves 2, and if you’re not too hungry (or trying to impress someone with your birdlike appetite) you'll have leftovers so that one of you can have it for lunch the next day.
12 ounces – 1 lb chicken breast tenders
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated (use a microplane grater if you can, it craps all over those old-fashioned porcelain ginger graters)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon kecap manis (Indonesian soy sauce, sometimes called “sweet soy sauce”)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (light)
small knob of butter (about ½ - 1 tablespoon)
olive or vegetable oil (about half a tablespoon)
freshly ground pepper
(See video below.) Season the chicken tenders with the salt and pepper. Add the grated ginger and mix well.
Chop the garlic.
Mix the honey, kecap manis, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
Heat a little oil and butter in a (preferably non-stick) pan. We’re using a mix of oil and butter as the oil keeps the butter from burning. Add the chicken tenders to the pan. Add the garlic to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the tenders are nicely browned on one side.
Turn the chicken over. Cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture. Turn chicken tenders over to coat with sauce. Cook for one minute. Turn over again. Serve hot.
When you measure out honey, half of it tends to get left in the spoon. It’s sticky stuff. To prevent this from happening, fill your clean measuring spoon with a flavorless oil (vegetable or canola), then tip that oil back into the oil bottle, leaving only a thin coating of oil on the spoon. Now measure out your honey. You’ll find it slides out of the spoon without leaving a trace. Measure the kecap manis in the same spoon. It is sticky too.
You can buy kecap manis in Asian grocers or in the Asian section of a well-stocked supermarket. It shouldn’t cost more than $3 - $5. The spelling of ketcap manis may vary as it’s translated phonetically, e.g. ketjap manis. Kecap is pronounced “ketchup”. It’s also identified as Indonesian soy sauce or sweet soy sauce and is a thick, black, sweet sauce that has a similar consistency to honey. A bottle lasts forever (well, we’ve never had one go bad on us) and makes a bunch of delicious things, so it’s a worthwhile addition to your pantry.