Ditch the deep-fryer and whip up a takeout-inspired recipe for Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken made with just a few simple ingredients.
It doesn’t get much better than homemade chicken nuggets tossed in a sweet, garlicky sesame soy sauce. But what if I told you that you could achieve that extra-crispy chicken nugget crunch sans any deep-frying?
It is indeed possible, all thanks to simply swapping the fryer for the oven!
Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken has become an instant family favorite around our house. The boys love the combo of the bite-size nuggets and the oh-so-addicting sesame sauce that’s both sweet and tangy in every bite, and I love that it’s on my dinner table (both literally and figuratively) in less than 40 minutes!
The real secret to the one-two punch of crunchy and juicy chicken is that this recipe is made with chicken thighs, rather than chicken breasts.
I’m a big believer in chicken thighs being super underrated in the poultry department. That being said, you can 100% make this recipe with chicken breast nuggets if you prefer white meat to dark meat.
As the chicken bakes, you’ll have just enough time to whip up the sesame chicken sauce, which is a flavor-packed combo of soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar. A little cornstarch slurry gives it that essential syrupy consistency in mere minutes.
All that’s left to do is toss together the DIY nuggets and sticky-sweet sauce for the ultimate Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken!
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For the chicken:
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
For the sauce:
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch, mixed with 2 Tablespoons water
- Sesame seeds, for serving
Make the chicken:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it generously with cooking spray.
- Trim any fat from the chicken thighs and cut them into 1-inch pieces.
- Add the flour and salt to a sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag, press out any air then seal the bag shut. Shake the bag until the chicken pieces are coated on all sides.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs.
- Add the breadcrumbs to a second shallow dish.
- Remove each piece of chicken from the bag and shake off any excess flour. Dip the chicken in the eggs, shake off any excess, then dip it in the breadcrumbs, pressing to coat the chicken on all sides. Repeat the coating process with all of the chicken pieces, arranging them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray then bake them for 10 minutes. Flip each chicken piece once then continue baking until cooked through and crispy, an additional 5 to 10 minutes. While the chicken is baking, make the sauce.
Make the sauce:
- In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, add the vegetable oil and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and brown sugar. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil then whisk in the cornstarch mixture and boil until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and add it to a large bowl. Drizzle the sauce on top and toss to combine. Garnish the chicken with sesame seeds and serve.
Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.