Monday, August 13, 2012

Mongolian Chicken and Caramel Bars

Yummy note:
Decisions, decisions... way too many wonderful recipes to choose from for this month's Secret Recipe Club assignment. My newest assignment for this month's SRC was a blog called Robin, Restored, formally known as Penny Pinching Provisions. Seriously, you must check out this blog and see all of the great ideas, meal plans, and recipes that Robin shares. Originally I thought I wanted to make something with zucchini as I had a few sitting on my kitchen counter just itching to be used. Instead, I stumbled on this caramel bar recipe as I was looking through Robin's zucchini posts! :) This one showed up below on the "you might also like" area and I decided it captured my sweet tooth instantly. Caramel bars with just a few ingredients, seriously, yummy. However, I couldn't stop with just one recipe though, I had to try out the Mongolian Chicken, as well! Wow, my husband thought we had take out as it was so good and it turned out beautifully. Not to mention fairly easy and affordable, too! I love that I had all the ingredients readily available to make this tasty main dish for a quick mid-week meal. I might just have to say that since I've been with the Secret Recipe Club, which is over a year now, I believe this is one of my favorites.

Mongolian Chicken 


For the Chicken:
1/3 cup canola oil
1 lb chicken, cut up into small pieces
¼ cup cornstarch

For the Sauce:
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ginger
2 tbsp garlic
½ cup soy sauce
¾ cup brown sugar

Optional: green onions, brown rice, and veggies

Prepare the chicken pieces and cut into smaller bite-sized like pieces. Place chicken into a plastic bag and toss in the cornstarch. Shake the chicken pieces in the cornstarch until they are completely coated. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. While these are resting, start up on the sauce for the chicken.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok and add in the ginger and garlic and sauté quickly.  Stir in soy sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside and reserve the sauce for later.

Clean the sauce out of the wok and heat up about a 1/3 cup of oil in the wok. Once it begins to heat up, add in your chicken and begin to sauté. Cook the chicken, probably about 5-7 minutes total, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Pour in the reserved sauce and simmer for a few minutes as the sauce thickens. Add in the chopped green onion to finish the dish. Remove from the heat and serve with rice. I paired it with a simple vegetable dish on the side as well, and it made for a well-rounded meal. 

...and now for dessert! 

Caramel Bars

I followed Robin's recipe and made just a few substitutions to suite our family's needs. For the butter, I used a soy margarine, and for the pecans, I used crushed pretzel chips! This was such a goey, salty, sweet, buttery, and delicious treat to enjoy. 

1/2 cup soy margarine
1 cup plus 2 tbps brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup of crushed pretzel chips

In a saucepan, melt margarine and brown sugar until dissolved over medium heat. Cool slightly and pour into a bowl with the egg and vanilla. Stir together and add in the flour and baking powder. Once combined, add in the crushed pretzel chips and pour into a prepared lightly greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the caramel bars start to crisp up. Wait until the bars are cooled and then cut to enjoy!


  1. That mongolian chicken is one of my favorites too!I'm so glad that you loved it as much as I do.

    I love your idea of adding crushed pretzels to the caramel bars. I love a little sweet and salty combination. I think I'll have to make those sometime soon.

    Check out my SRC post: Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan

  2. Hi Heather,
    This looks like an awesome meal with two great recipes. A great choice for the SRC, hope you are having a great day.
    Miz Helen
    Group B SRC

  3. That chicken looks easy and tasty! I'm printing that one out for later....

  4. They make mongolian veggie chicken in a Chinese restaurant near by. I always wanted to try to make it at home. Great sauce.
    Gluten Free A-Z Blog
    Chipotle brownies
    Group B SRC

  5. Both of these look awesome. I don't normally order Mongolian chicken, but you've made me want to try this recipe! And the bars look amazing

  6. two awesome picks! i make a similar dish with chicken/tofu that also has crushed red pepper, nice to know it will still turn out amazing if hubby and I aren't wanting the heat!

  7. Just made this tonight. We all loved it. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Your Mongolian chicken looks divine! I love the flavors going on in the sauce. The caramel bars rock!

  9. The chicken looks excellent. Did you find that the starch made it sticky in the pan?

    (the bars look great too!)

    1. The cornstarch didn't really make it sticky, but it did leave a bit of extra crumbly stuff in the bottom of the wok I used. However it wasn't sticky. Perhaps the oil needs to be fairly hot before placing chicken in the pan to avoid it sticking.