Unpredictability may spice up a marriage, sure--but predictability can be comforting without being boring. For instance, when my husband and I go out to eat, we can predict with a pretty high degree of accuracy what each other will order. If we're out for Asian food he'll go for spicy and garlicky--and I'm going to want sticky chicken with sesame seeds.
The unpredictable part is that it turns out I can make sticky chicken we'll both love at home (it's so easy!). This EatingWell recipe for Oven-Barbecued Asian Chicken is everything we're looking for. The sauce has fresh ginger and plenty of garlic and just enough hot sauce to satisfy my husband, and the hour it spends on the chicken in the oven turns it into the rich, savory, sticky glaze I'm hungry for. I also like how simple this recipe is to put together (cheaper than going out for dinner, for sure) and what a great option it is for entertaining--it doubles easily and looks impressive on a platter.
Oven-Barbecued Asian Chicken
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Makes: 4 servings
Active time: 20 minutes | Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
To make ahead: Prepare through Step 2; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.
Cost per serving: under $2.50
This Asian "barbecued" chicken made in a casserole dish is truly finger-licking good! You can make this with 2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 12 ounces each) instead of thighs and drumsticks, if you prefer. Remove the skin and cut each chicken breast in half on the diagonal to get 4 portions about equal in weight. Serve with sautéed chard and whole-grain rice pilaf.
1 bunch scallions
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Asian hot sauce, such as Sriracha, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (see Tips)
4 bone-in chicken thighs (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds total), skin removed, trimmed
4 chicken drumsticks (1-1 1/4 pounds total), skin removed, trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (see Tips)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or similar-size) baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Thinly slice 1/4 cup scallion greens; set aside. Mince the whites. Whisk the scallion whites, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, hot sauce and five-spice powder in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken in an even layer in the prepared baking dish, meatier-side down. Pour any remaining sauce from the bowl over the chicken.
3. Bake, turning once halfway so the meatier side is up, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part without touching bone registers 165°F, about 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and top with any remaining sauce from the baking dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and the reserved scallion greens.
Per serving: 361 calories; 16 g fat (4 g sat, 6 g mono); 144 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 4 g added sugars; 42 g protein; 1 g fiber; 547 mg sodium; 473 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Zinc (30% daily value), Iron (16% dv).
Chinese five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Look for it in the spice section of the supermarket or with other Asian ingredients.
Sesame seeds can be purchased already toasted. Look for them near other Asian ingredients. Or toast your own in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
By Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.
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