This recipe combines my three favorite things. It’s fast, it’s cheap and it’s delicious. And easy. I know that’s four but I don’t have time for semantics. I’m in a rush here! (I’m not really, but one of the best things about this recipe is that, other than mixing the sauce ingredients together and throwing in the chicken, there’s really not much else to do. That’s why it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner). Bung it in the oven, throw on some rice and by the time you’ve opened a bottle of wine and cycled through your Netflix options, dinner is ready.
You may not be familiar with gochujang, which is basically Korean chili paste. It has a wonderfully complex spicy-savory-sweet-salty flavor that adds a lot of depth to the sauce. If you’ve ever had Korean barbecue or dishes like bibimbap, then you’ve had gochujang. Depending on where you live, you might have a little trouble finding it, but you can order it online and it’s definitely worth seeking out. You can always substitute sriracha or other hot sauce instead, if you don’t have any.
Serve it with white or brown rice and this Quick Pickled Cucumber and Avocado Salad.
- If you’re using chicken breasts instead of thighs, begin checking them after 25 minutes and be careful not to overcook them.
- These would be great marinated overnight but don’t use too much ginger. It breaks down protein and can make them mushy.
- An 8″x8″ baking dish is perfect for this amount of chicken. If you use too large a dish, you run the risk of the sauce burning. If it’s too small, the chicken won’t cook evenly.
- I got the idea to foil-line the dish from Table for Two, and it definitely helps with clean-up. Great, great tip.
- 1½ - 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs*
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil (like canola or grape seed)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (about a 1 inch piece)
- 2 teaspoons gochujang (Korean chili paste). You could substitute sriracha or other hot sauce if you can’t find it).
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)
- Scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line an 8x8" oven-proof pan with 2 layers of foil. (this will help you with cleanup. The honey gets super sticky).
- In large bowl, whisk together oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, and gochujang. Add the chicken and toss to coat well. (you can leave the chicken in the marinade for several hours, or up to overnight, refrigerated).
- Place the chicken and all the marinade into the foil-lined pan and arrange the chicken loosely into a single layer.
- Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the tops are not getting too dark. If they are, cover lightly with foil and continue baking until chicken is cooked all the way through. (if you want a darker top, place the pan 6 inches from the heat source and broil for the last 2-4 minutes of the cooking time. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn).
- Remove from oven and transfer chicken to a plate and cover lightly with foil to keep warm. Pour the liquid into a small saucepan and skim the fat off the top if necessary. In a small bowl, add the cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir until dissolved. Bring the sauce to a low boil and add the cornstarch slurry, a little at a time until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Pour some sauce over the chicken and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.
- *If using chicken breasts, begin checking them after 25 minutes, to keep them from overcooking.