Do you love a good umami but prefer not to send yourself into that inevitable post-Chinese-take-out-MSG-coma that you always go into because you just can’t say no to that
second third helping of General Tsao’s? I’ve created a recipe that allows you to indulge in the same meaty umami flavor with about an eighth of the calories, fat and sodium that your entree of sesame chicken would provide. I used chicken thighs to preserve the satisfaction factor and keep them moist, and then I covered them in a tangy but not too heavy marinade with just the right amount of spice. I baked, not fried, them, over regular frozen stir fry veggies with the reserved marinade, and for an extra burst of sweetness to balance out the spice, served with grilled pineapple over the top. (Besides, grilled fruit just looks pretty.)
This recipe also pairs well with my Thai Peanut Quinoa Fried “Rice,” slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats. Enjoy!
- 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (use low-sodium if desired)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- sesame seeds
- 2 tsp peanut oil
- 2 bags frozen stir fry or mixed vegetables
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- fresh pineapple rounds
- In a large casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, place stir fry mix and sprinkle with garlic powder. Drizzle with peanut oil and toss.
- Whisk together all remaining marinade ingredients (except chicken) in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
- Place chicken in a large zip-top bag. Pour in the marinade and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours, flipping once.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken over veggies in casserole dish and pour marinade over top. Sprinkle chicken with additional sesame seeds or green onion if desired.
- Bake for 40 minutes, basting with marinade every 10 min or so.
- Preheat broiler and broil on high for 6-8 more minutes until top of chicken is just charred! Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Optional: Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill pineapple slices for 3 minutes per side. Serve over chicken with Thai Peanut Quinoa Fried “Rice.”