Baked Sweet Chili Chicken is tender, sweet and spicy chicken thighs baked to juicy perfection. Serve them on a bed of rice with a side of steamed veggies for a quick and easy weeknight meal!
So I think I’ve forgotten everything I learned as a Girl Scout—like being prepared. Case in point. I had marinated some chicken thighs in a deliciously sweet and spicy sauce overnight. When I got home from work, I couldn’t wait to start cooking, excited that I had thought ahead and dinner would be a cinch. As I prepared the Baked Sweet Chili Chicken, my mouth watered in anticipation of devouring the yummy Asian-inspired dish because I’m pretty much a sucker for any meal with an Asian flair. And it was super easy to make. My night, I thought, couldn’t get any better.
Then I lovingly arranged the meal on my plate, spooning the veggies and saucy chicken atop the bed of rice and adding a sprinkle of green onions. Voila! A success for sure. Then I went to take a picture and…I got the dreaded “NO SD CARD INSERTED” message. I checked and my SD card was in my camera. After taking it out and putting it back in, turning the camera off, taking the battery out and putting it back in like a hundred thousand zillion times, no dice. My SD card was dead, along with any of the pictures I had taken on it. I frantically searched my camera bag for another SD card. Surely I was prepared and would have a backup one on hand, right? WRONG. #EpicFail
So friends, these pictures are from the ol’ iPhone. I had to share my Baked Sweet Chili Chicken recipe somehow and I wasn’t going to let a little lack of an SD card stop me. Once you taste this easier-than-pie (much easier, in fact, cause I suck at making pies) chicken dish, you’ll see why I couldn’t wait. First, it uses chicken thighs, which IMO are way better and juicier than breasts. Then there’s the marinade/sauce. Yowza! It imparts such a unique flavor. I’d say it’s a cross between a curry and ginger sauce. Because it’s infused with cinnamon and anise from the Chinese Five Spice Blend, it even has a bit of Moroccan flair to it. It’s slightly sweet with just a little kick from the sweet chili sauce. I could describe it all day, but the truth is, you just gotta try it for yourself. And, when you can whip it up in 30 minutes flat, what’s stopping you?
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp cold water
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 green onions, sliced
- Hot, cooked rice (optional)
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- ⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ⅓ cup sweet chili sauce
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- Zest and juice of one orange
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- In a medium bowl, stir together all marinade ingredients until well combined. Pour into a large ziploc bag. Cut 2-3 slits into each chicken thigh. Add chicken thighs to marinade and marinate for 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place chicken thighs on sheet, reserving marinade.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature of thighs reaches 160 degrees F (71 degrees C). Slice thighs into strips and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until fully incorporated. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the marinade to a rolling boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and toss to coat with sauce. Serve on a bed of rice and sprinkle with green onions.