Sticky Chicken Recipe
“Sticky Chicken” is the MVP of the Make Now & Eat Later diet. This chicken serves as the main protein source for both lunch and dinner.
I admit it is a bit of an exaggeration to suggest that you will never want to eat another chicken (or beef or pork or seafood) recipe in your life. However, I think I can safely say that this chicken recipe holds up to some serious repeat eating. Just how much?
According to my calculations, my boyfriend Kosuke has eaten 1,040 meals of sticky chicken. And counting! He started making it in the spring of 2014.
We never seem to get tired of this chicken. Together we have eaten almost 1500 meals of sticky chicken.
The current iteration of the MN&EL diet started in September 2015 and uses this chicken at both lunch and dinner. Before that, I was cooking a variety of protein dishes and vegetables, which I would designate as either “lunch” foods or “dinner” foods. Then last year, I decided to cook my way through my new Japanese salad cookbook, in order to prepare for the Japanese vegetable sommelier license exam. Since I knew I would already be making many new recipes each week, I wanted to simplify the protein option.
And what better choice than “Sticky Chicken”!!
Kosuke was already the master of making this recipe (although he claims he is still perfecting his technique!!). Ha. I will not point out that he has made the recipe over 100 times. Honestly what is left to perfect? Also and more importantly, he was still enjoying this chicken years later, which was a major plus for a recipe we planned to eat twice a day for months and months and months. And it is really easy to make.
Super easy! This is all you need (plus chicken of course).
This recipe is perfect for the MN&EL diet.
It requires very few “special ingredients.” We can use whatever we normally have in our cupboards.
It tastes good cold, hot, or even room temperature (which is great if you are packing a lunch and don’t have access to a microwave).
It has a wonderful flavor of its own but it doesn’t compete with the salads. Since it is cooked in a soy sauce based marinade, it actually goes well with the Japanese flavors in the veggie side salads.
It is super quick to prepare!
Another plus for me is that eating this chicken twice a day reminds me of being a kid. My mom cut the original “Sticky Chicken” recipe from the newspaper back when I was in elementary school. She used to make it during the summer with bone-in chicken drumsticks, and my fingers would get all sticky eating the chicken (hence the name, I suppose). So yummy!!
I tried to find the original recipe online to credit the author but could not. So I want to be sure to say that this recipe is definitely not mine! Instead, I give my sincere thanks to the recipe’s creator. Whoever you are, did you imagine that your single recipe would feed two people for life?
Now without further ado, here is the last chicken recipe you will ever need.
Sticky Chicken Recipe
Note: Kosuke and I make about 20 servings of chicken per week, assuming that one piece of chicken = 1 serving. It is a somewhat crazy looking amount of chicken, and I would recommend buying a large Pyrex pan (or two) if you plan to cook this much. Of course, feel free to scale back the amount of chicken if you like.
1 cup of soy sauce
½ cup packed brown sugar
juice from 1 orange
about 1.5-2” chunk of fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
4-5 tablespoons of fresh garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
20 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or whatever cut you prefer)
Arrange the chicken in a foil-lined glass baking dish. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Cook for about 1 hour at 375 degrees (flipping the chicken halfway through).
Eat warm. Or if you are storing it for the MN&EL diet, let cool in the sauce and then transfer to a container.
A few handy tools to have. Kosuke swears by his garlic crusher (the silver tool in the front). Click over to “Listen in here” and you can hear him playing with his garlic crusher for the first time!
What to do with all the sauce?
The sauce alone is quite scrumptious!
My former roommate, who was studying to be a chef, loved this sauce. We saved it for him every week. He had jars and jars of it by the end. You can cook other meats in it, or simmer it and use for sauce or dressing. You can also just throw it away, since you’ll be making another big batch the following week anyway!