Baked Sweet Chile Chicken with Sesame

If there's anything in the world I adore, it's sweet chile with chicken. I'll have it any way I can! Much of those tender little nuggets of chicken encrusted in a crispy bread-crumb coating are fried before being dipped into their delicious sweet and spicy sauces - and while their being fried doesn't bother me so much, I understand the health risks when it comes to fried food and hence, turned my favorite ever fried food into a baked phenomenon. Yes - you don’t have to fry your chicken, and you also don’t have to dip it in preservative-laden sauces either. I’m giving you my prize recipe. You can now make the stuff you buy in jars right at home. 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup water 

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar 

  • 1/2 cup sugar 

  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, minced or grated

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced or crushed

  • 2 teaspoons hot chile pepper, minced 

  • 2 teaspoons ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoon corn flour or starch

  • Salt (as needed - i usually add 1 to 2 teaspoons to break the sweetness)

 

For the Chicken:

  • 600g chicken breasts, cubed

  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

  • Cooking spray

 

Method:

 

For the  Sauce:

  • Pour water and vinegar into a deep saucepan and bring to boil

  • Add sugar, ginger, garlic, chile, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce and sesame oil, and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes so the flavors infuse.

  • Add salt to taste (remember, just enough to break the sweetness).

  • Stir in corn flour or starch, and keep staring until slightly thickened - about a minute.

  • Remove saucepan from the store, and leave to cool. 

 

For the Chicken:

  • Spray a foil-lined baking tray with cooking spray, and pre-heat your oven to 200.C 

  • Season chicken cubes with salt and pepper, and then douse each cube into the breadcrumbs until completely coated.

  • Arrange your coated chicken cubes onto the baking tray, and pop them into the oven to cook for about 20 minutes.

  • Chicken cubes should be sizzling and golden brown when you take them out. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, and move to a deep bowl.

  • Pour your cooled sweet chile sauce over the chicken and with a metal spoon, stir to evenly cover all the cubes.

  • Serve warm sprinkled with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
     

Note: Any leftover sweet chile can be stored in an airtight container or jar in the fridge. It works perfectly as a dipping sauce or with noodles and stir fries. I personally make a jar and keep it handy.

 

For variety: You can substitute ingredients in the sauce if you wish — honey instead of sugar, preserved garlic instead of fresh, olive oil instead of sesame - it really is all about your preference. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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