Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken
Okay, so I told you I was going to try and come up with more quick and easy Whole30® compliant recipes during this new round I’m currently doing myself.
So far, I have more or less kept my promise. Looks like I’ve got the “easy” part down pat… it’s the “quick” that’s apparently a bit harder for me to grasp.
I’ll have to work on that…
In the meantime, let’s at least enjoy some easy dishes. I think that this Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken is one of the easiest recipes I’ve shared so far, but I must admit that it does require a fair bit of time to cook. Plus, ideally, you want to let it marinate overnight, too. None of these things, however, will require that you spend “active” time in the kitchen.
The only things that this dish will ask of you is that you mix a bunch of simple ingredients together, get said ingredients to make friends with your chicken, send this happy party to spend the night in the fridge so they can get better acquainted, then let things heat up in the oven for just about an hour. That’s it. Then you’re ready to eat.
Not so bad, is it?
Okay, you’re probably gonna want to fix a side to go with that, but that doesn’t need to be complicated either. Steamed broccoli would work beautifully, but if you wanted to get a little fancier, this Ginger Sesame and Almond Broccoli would be stunningly perfect! That, or these Sauteed Zucchini and Mushrooms. Both come together in no time at all…
But let’s start by making the chicken…
In a large mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, mix some grainy mustard, date paste, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, Chinese 5 spice, ground ginger, garlic and crushed chili peppers. Now if you can add more or less chili peppers, depending on how much kick you want your chicken to have. If you prefer your chicken to remain totally mild and docile, you don’t even have to add any at all. You won’t hurt my feelings…
Now arrange the chicken thighs in a baking dish and pour the sauce all over them.
How long did this take you? I’m guessing not even 10 minutes… and that’s probably because you wasted 2 precious minutes trying to find the coconut aminos that was playing hide and seek and had found the perfect hiding spot all the way in the back of the cupboard, behind the gigantic jar of tahini paste! (true story!)
Now simply mix the sauce in with the chicken, making sure that it goes under and around every single piece of meat.
Cover with a plastic film and refrigerate overnight, if time permits. If not, you can go ahead and bake this right away, but it won’t be quite as tasty.
When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 350°F and bake it for 45 minutes, taking care to baste the meat with the sauce from time to time. Then, set the oven to broil and let the chicken get beautifully browned and caramelized on top, which should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Spoon some of that sauce over the thighs, garnish with a handful of sliced green onions and more of those crushed dried chilis, if you’re in the mood for some serious heat. Or not… it’s up to you.
Now get ready to enjoy some seriously moist, tender and juicy chicken. Oh, and did I mention tasty? Oh yeah, that too! Totally! This Sweet and Sour Chicken certainly explodes with flavor. It is very tangy, but its sourness is pleasantly toned down by the sweetness of the dates and nuttiness of the toasted sesame oil. While not typically Asian, this dish certainly has a bit of an Asian kick to it.
Come to think of it… it would be absolutely excellent served over a generous helping of Cauliflower Rice. Especially with all that delicious sauce…
Hey, if you have time, I say you should definitely make the cauli-rice. And the Ginger Sesame Almond Broccoli.
And then invite me for dinner!
Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken
- In a large mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, add all the ingredients except the chicken and whisk until well combined.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a baking dish and pour the sauce over them.
- Mix the sauce in with the chicken, making sure it goes under and around every single piece. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and bake the chicken for 45 minutes, basting the meat with the sauce from time to time. Then, set the oven to broil and let the chicken brown / caramelize for 8-10 minutes.
- Spoon sauce over the thighs, garnish with sliced green onions and more crushed dried chilis, if desired, and serve.