Savory and sweet amp up the richness of chicken in this Sesame Chicken Thighs recipe.
I remember the time I used to eat primarily chicken breasts. Somewhere in the mid-’90s, someone deemed white meat healthier and all of a sudden we were all eating dried, overcooked chicken it seems.
Not that there isn’t a way to cook white meat so it isn’t dry and not to say that white meat isn’t still amazing in its own ways, but somewhere around 2011 I definitely had a WHERE HAS DARK MEAT CHICKEN BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE moment. Yes, in all caps.
Since then, I’ve been experimenting with it in a myriad of ways (more of which are soon to come!) finding ways to play upon and enjoy the richness and depth of flavor that only dark meat offers. Bonus points also for this all-star protein: it’s almost impossible to overcook it or dry it out and it brings a host of B vitamins and other nutrients so we can wipe those 90s anxieties clean. Phew.
More time and energy, then, for us to invest in better products from the turn of the last century. Friends or The Office, anyone?
Grilled Sesame Chicken Origins
The flavors of sesame, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic highlight the flavors of chicken thigh meat in a way that is hallmark. The acid, salt, umami, and fat play together to create an umami experience that is complete in it itself but also goes so well with a number of sides. Garlic Spaghetti and roasted broccoli; on top of a rice bowl with some veggies and Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing; on top of lightly sweet sesame Asian noodles. The list goes on.
Sesame Chicken Thighs Cooking Notes:
- Feel free to sub in honey for the agave if you desire.
- Marinating time: these sesame chicken thighs can marinate in as little as 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. The longer you marinate, the better the flavor, but 30 minutes is more than enough for a flavorful weeknight dinner
- I used dried ginger and garlic for ease of preparation and to save time. Sub in 1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger or 1 diced garlic clove if you prefer to use fresh.
Other healthy and easy dinner recipes you might like:
- Sweet Chili Lime Chicken
- Sesame Ginger Veggies Over Quinoa
- Thai Salmon Panang Curry
- Lentil Bowl with Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Hash Brown Burgers
Savory and slightly sweet marinated and grilled chicken thighs. Will need to marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling, but can also marinate up to a day.
- ⅓ cup reduced sodium soy sauce; or liquid aminos if gluten-free
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 ⅓ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger, or 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, grated or diced
- ¼ teaspoon dried garlic, or 1 garlic clove, diced
- Large pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1.25 pounds chicken thighs
- Combine the soy sauce through sesame oil in a medium size bowl or large ziploc bag and whisk (or shake if in a bag) the mixture until everything is thoroughly combined to make the marinade. Add chicken and toss until covered. Marinate for 30 minutes up to 24 hours, turning every now and then.
- About 10 minutes before grilling, warm up your grill to medium-high heat and clean off the grates. Once preheated, remove chicken from the marinade and grill for about 8-10 minutes, turning every 3 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer bright pink and juices run clear.
- Serve immediately
Amount Per Serving Calories 329Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 181mgSodium 1004mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 35g