Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Salty, Spicy, Sweet and Sticky Asian Chicken


Salty soy sauce, sweet brown sugar and spicy garlic chili paste combine to make one of the easiest Asian inspired marinades you can imagine. This is such a simple recipe, I've made it several times over the past year. My middle son cheers every single time I make this chicken.

A while back, I accidentally picked up a jar of garlic chili paste while grocery shopping. I was looking for my favorite chili paste, Sambal Oelek and this one looked similar enough that in a moment of distraction I picked up the wrong one. I enjoyed the slightly different flavor of this one. The garlic gives the dish a different layer of heat without actually being spicy. (If you can't locate garlic chili paste, just add minced garlic to plain chili paste. It works great both ways.)

You can adjust the chili paste as desired, to determine how spicy the finished chicken will be. For my kids, I used 4 tablespoons and it was perfect. The sugar balances it out and there was hardly any heat, with plenty of flavor. My middle son enjoyed this so much; he ate four drumsticks the first time I made this!

COOK'S NOTE: Drumsticks are our favorite for this recipe, although it works great with other cuts of chicken as well. I have also used boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts with success. Simply adjust the cooking time as necessary. Thighs and breasts will take about half as long to cook as bone-in pieces, maybe slightly longer than that, depending on thickness.

Salty, Spicy, Sweet and Sticky Asian Chicken
Yield: 6-8 servings
Click here for printable recipe

4 lbs chicken, this is about 16 drumsticks
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
4-6 tablespoons garlic chili paste or a chili paste like Sambal Oelek plus 2 cloves minced garlic

Combine the soy sauce, sugar and chili paste in a large measuring cup or bowl and whisk to combine. Pour HALF the marinade in a separate container and refrigerate until needed, this will be the glaze on the chicken. Place the chicken in a gallon size ziploc bag or airtight container. Cover with the remaining marinade and seal. Place in the refrigerator, turning bag ever hour or two until ready to cook. Marinate for 4 - 6 hours.

30 - 60 minutes before you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and place it on the counter to come closer to room temperature.

OVEN BROILING DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to broil. Place the chicken pieces on a foil lined baking sheet, discard all the marinade that has touched the chicken. Broil the chicken for 10 minutes. Place the clean reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil for at least 1 minute. Reduce to a low simmer while the chicken cooks.

Remove the chicken from the oven, turn pieces over and lightly baste with the marinade. Return the chicken to the oven and cook another 5 - 8 minutes until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Serve the chicken with rice, with the slightly reduced marinade sauce either drizzled over the chicken or on the side. Enjoy!

STOVE-TOP DIRECTIONS: Warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place the chicken pieces in the skillet skin side down, discard all the marinade that has touched the chicken. Cover the chicken with a lid and allow it to cook without touching it for about 10 minutes. Place the clean reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil for at least 1 minute and then reduce to a low simmer while the chicken cooks.

Turn the chicken over. The skin should be super crispy and deeply browned. If it is not, increase the heat and let it cook a couple more minutes before turning it. Turn the chicken and let the other side brown for another 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Serve the chicken with rice, with the slightly reduced marinade sauce either drizzled over the chicken or on the side. Enjoy!



(originally published 9/27/2012 - recipe and photographs updated 3/4/2014)

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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bites
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30 comments:

  1. Wow those look good. And so simple!

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  2. Oh how I love recipes like this one. Simple. Delicious. What more do you need???

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  3. These must be finger licking good! I can just see your boys with sweet sauce around their mouths - and you too for that matter! You know one day all the neighborhood kids will want to stay and have dinner at your house! You'll be (if not already) the Kool-Aid mom!

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  4. This sure looks yummy! Finger licking good!

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  5. You get the most appetizing warm inviting glazes on your meats, and I love how simple this is, I wonder if it would work on salmon.

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    1. You read my mind, Sue. I'm planning to try this with salmon in a couple of weeks. If you do try it, let me know how it works!

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  6. I have a feeling that my husband and I would really love this chicken!!!

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  7. Yum, love when a mistake at the grocery store turns into a new idea!

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  8. oh this marinade sounds fantastic! love the flavors
    mary x

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  9. i wish i can grap one of the drumstick from the pc screen, it look absolutely delicious!

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  10. Looks great Mary. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  11. You are right, simple and delicious! Kind of like a spicy terriyaki sauce.

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  12. I love the simple ingredients, yet they pack punch and glaze the chicken with a lovely color.

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  13. I can't find chilli paste in my grocery store, do you know if there is there something else that I can substitute?

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    1. Chili paste is not the easiest condiment to locate, but it is almost always found on the top shelves of the Asian sections at Fry's, Safeway, Super Target and Wal-Mart. It probably goes without saying that you would more easily find it at an Asian market, but if you really can not locate it, Sriracha sauce might work, although I have not tried it in this recipe. Although, if you are having trouble locating Sambal Oelek in your area, Sriracha might be as difficult to find.

      From Cook's Thesaurus:
      Asian chile paste = a blend of hot chile peppers, garlic, oil, and salt that's commonly used in Asian cuisine. Substitutes: hot sauce OR harissa OR crushed red pepper flakes (to taste; start with 1/4 as much) OR dried red chili peppers.

      I think that crushed red pepper with garlic and possibly hot sauce added in might be the closest option. As far as amounts, it would definitely be a taste and see kind of substitution.

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  14. Just made these and they were delicious! Great recipe

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  15. Your pictures are so scrumptious.

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  16. Making it for dinner tonight and it is currently marinating :-) Excited!

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  17. I am planning to put sliced chicken breasts on skewers to grill for a potluck tomorrow night. Do you think this sauce will due okay on the grill? It sounds wonderful!

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    1. This chicken works great on the grill. Enjoy!

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  18. Sounds like a good recipe for wings

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  19. I am making this recipe tonight. Hope it turns out as yummy as it looks in the picture. I used Thai sweet chilli sauce. Will let you know how it turns out.

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  20. Yummy i just love spicy chicken, and always looking for fresh ideas...

    Simon

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  21. Linking over from Rachel Cooks... Loved reading your interview. And love your blog. (My son and husband love all things spicy and chili paste is a staple in our home) Looking so forward to connecting through social media and being a regular reader here.

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  22. Love the simplicity of this dish, I bet this would be good with wings as well.

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  23. You don't tell us how long to broil the chicken before taking it out, turning over and basting it.

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    Replies
    1. thank you! I can't wait to make them.

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  24. Would love this on thighs or breasts as well!! :)

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  25. I seriously can't stop drooling - this reminds me of the chicken my mom used to make every week!

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