Baked Sesame Chicken

My New Year’s Resolution was to publish a blog post at least 3 days a week. FAIL. But hey, I’m here today & I have a pretty easy dinner to share. If you know me through the blog or in real life, you know that I have three kids that keep me running constantly from one end of the county to the other with all their extracurriculars. Who has time to plan & execute elaborate meals? Not me. However, I still want to cook decent meals for my family, so quick & easy is where it’s at. Who’s with me?

Baked Sesame Chicken

I love Asian inspired food, as does my oldest daughter. I like making it at home because I can make it so much healthier than take-out. Plus, we have one local Chinese place…and it wasn’t very good the one time I’ve been. This Baked Sesame Chicken is fairly simple to make, just takes a few ingredients, and is baked instead of fried – which makes this a healthier (and less messy…I hate frying) option.

Baked Sesame Chicken

Baked Sesame Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (this was 8 thighs for me)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the ginger, garlic, soy, water, oil and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer.
  4. Place chicken in a baking dish and pour sauce over chicken.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, turn chicken, then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken has cooked through.
  6. *OPTIONAL: once chicken is done, you can baste with sauce and broil for a few minutes to give it a darker color and help caramelize the sauce. You can also thicken the sauce by adding cornstarch per directions on box and heating in a sauce pan.
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Recipe adapted from Friday is Cake Night

Even though I would have liked a nice thick sauce to add at the end, I didn’t want to use the sauce that the chicken cooked in because it contains so much chicken fat (thighs are fatty), but it is certainly an option (just thicken with cornstarch). I think next time I may reserve some of the sauce, thicken it, and baste it on, under the broiler at the very end. That would give it a sticky sauce, kind of like my Slow Cooked Sticky Chicken. The chicken has a good flavor & is good with rice or sesame noodles. We also had egg rolls, which I normally make from scratch, but these were super convenient!

What’s your favorite Chinese food? I want to try some other dishes at home. This Bourbon Chicken is one of my favorites!

 

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Bourbon Chicken

This is called Bourbon Chicken, but I made a few small changes in the recipe, and it tasted just like General Tso’s Chicken to me. Since I’ve never actually ordered Bourbon Chicken, I left the name, b/c who knows, maybe they taste the same.  Whatever you want to call it, you can also call it delicious!  This was SO good, and the closest I have come to restaurant flavor at home.  The best part…it’s not FRIED!
I prepared mine in my cast iron skillet, but I think it could be made in any frying pan.

 Bourbon (or General Tso’s!) Chicken 

adapted from Bigoven.com – my changes are in italics
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts – cut into bite size chunks
1 T. olive oil
3/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar & Stevia blend
2 T. ketchup
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
Notes: I mixed my brown sugar with Stevia in the Raw to decrease the sugar a little, but you can use all brown sugar if desired. I also used orange juice instead of apple (b/c that’s what I had on hand), and I used fresh ginger and rice wine vinegar since I had them. You could use ground ginger and apple cider vinegar as per original recipe instead. Also, this is spicy so adjust the red pepper accordingly. I used a generous 3/4 tsp and thought it was delicious, but it was too hot for the rest of the fam. (I left some plain cooked chicken out for the kids.)
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  
  • Add red pepper flakes and stir for about 30 seconds.  
  • Add chicken and cook until lightly browned.  
  • Remove chicken from pan and add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved.  
  • Add chicken back into pan with sauce and bring to a hard boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered.
I served mine over brown rice, with green onions and sesame seeds. If you like Chinese food, I would recommend giving this a try!