I’d planned to serve Honey-Garlic Chicken for dinner last night, but we had an unexpected guest who is severely diabetic. What to do?

The boneless, skinless chicken breasts were fine for a diabetic diet, and I had plenty of vegetables to serve on the side. The problem was the sugar content of my gorgeous honey-garlic sauce, a recipe that I got a few years back straight from a local beekeeper:

Honey-Garlic Sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch

Cook the garlic slowly in butter until tender but not browned. Add broth, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Whisk in the cornstarch. Heat to almost boiling, stirring constantly until the sauce is slightly thickened.

That’s my usual recipe, but not quite what I did last night.

And when my friend tested his blood sugar levels two hours after the meal, everything was just fine — so I’ve learned something useful, and now feel more confident that a few small changes can make almost any recipe suitable for a sugar-controlled diet.

To make Honey-Garlic Chicken for a Diabetic:

First, I cut the honey in half and added a tablespoonful of Splenda (non-sugar sweetener). The honey I did use was a dark honey, the same amount of sugar as the ordinary white clover honey but with a lot more flavour.

I also ut out the brown sugar completely, used strong turkey broth (leftover from the holiday turkey!) instead of chicken for extra taste, and cut the cornstarch in half — heating it for a few minutes longer made the suace just as thick and luxurious as the original recipe.

Normally, I’d cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and mix it into the sauce, then serve it over rice. But rice is a carbohydrate, which turns into sugar in the digestive system. So the chicken stayed in larger pieces, and the rice went on the side.

I did simmer the chicken in the sauce, after cooking it on both sides in a little butter, but then I poured off the sauce and served it on the side in a gravy boat — that way, portion control was easier. My diabetic friend took a small spoonful and drizzled it over his chicken and rice, able to enjoy the taste without completely blowing his low-sugar diet!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Josie

    Thank you

  2. domestika

    I’ve come to the conclusion that we’d all be a lot healthier if we managed to eat the way diabetics have to do!

  3. Mitch

    I’m not diabetic, but they say it is the most preventable disease. I need to think about looking for more of these kinds of recipes.
    I do make turkey soup every time we have turkey: maybe I can set aside some of the broth.

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