Tender pieces of chicken glazed in a thick, sweet, sour, tangy, perfectly moist and juicy sauce; Honey Lemon Ginger Glazed Chicken is a dish that’s sure to get everyone to the dinner table.
I’ve been preparing a lot of chicken dishes lately, and it’s because it’s an easy dinner for me to prepare after work. Since John.e and McKenna are vegetarians, I often prepare dinners for the both of them and forget about my own dinner preferences. Since chicken is so easy to prepare, it has become almost a weeknight regular feature.
For them, it’s usually some variety of brown rice, steamed broccoli, an easy pasta, or a vegetarian casserole. Oftentimes, I’ll make sandwiches or grilled cheese. Very seldom do I make salads, because to be perfectly honest, I have no desire to wash and cut seven or eight different vegetables after a long day at work.
I try to stay away from the rice and the pasta, so usually, I end up with chicken or tuna. Even though I love a good tuna salad, I’d much prefer a sauce-covered chicken much like this Honey Lemon Ginger Glazed Chicken.
And, if you’re cooking dinner after work on a weeknight, you want a dinner that’s fast and easy to clean up too, not only delicious and satisfying. This dish is all of those things. Using only a skillet and a small mixing bowl, you can create this wonderfully tasty chicken dish that’s a perfect main to a simple side salad or some steamed veggies. Maybe even some of that brown rice that I cooked for John.e and McKenna!
I want to take just a moment before you get to the recipe to point something out. You might not be able to see it in the pictures, but the actual chicken, before adding the sauce, is very light in colour. I cooked the chicken in a large skillet – to avoid overcrowding the pan – and just cooked it carefully on all sides. I purposely did not brown the chicken. If you’d prefer to brown your chicken, you can certainly do that before you move on to the sauce portion of the recipe.
I’m from the school of thought that believes that overcooked chicken breast is dry and inedible. So, for me personally, I will gladly forego the deep, brown, caramelized colour in exchange for moist flavourful chicken. It’s you choice, Dear Reader.
Without going full on into the browning stage for the chicken, you’ll cut the risk of overcooking the chicken. But, don’t worry about the chicken being under cooked. It will certainly get a blast of heat again when we add the chicken to the sauce, and over high heat, turn that sauce into a sticky, deep caramel coloured glaze. Trust me; you’ll see!
It’s important to remember to remove the chicken from the pan before adding the sauce. If you add the sauce while the chicken is still in the pan, the chicken will most certainly be way overcooked and will feel like a piece of rubber in your mouth.
When you add the sauce to the pan, it’s important to increase the heat to high. You want that sauce to be scalding hot and bubbling thick. Once the sauce has thickened to the point that it resembles the consistency of cold maple syrup, add the chicken and keep the heat high.
Stir the chicken into the sauce and try to keep the chicken in a single layer in the skillet. The chicken will grab onto that sauce and soak it up. The chicken may look like it’s burning, but it isn’t. It’s the sweetness in the sauce that is caramelizing from the hot pan. Just keep moving the chicken around until all sides have been properly glazed and caramelized. Now, you’re ready to eat!
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Honey Lemon Ginger Glazed Chicken
- 4 whole chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh, chopped for garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- 1-2 whole Thai red chilies, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add a little olive oil and saute the chicken until cooked through. Keeping the chicken pieces in a single layer and not overcrowding the pan is a great way to cook the chicken quickly and evenly. This should take about 5-7 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper.
- While the chicken is cooking, whisk together all other ingredients until well combined.
- Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet, turn the heat to high, and whisk sauce while cooking until thickened. (The sauce should thicken to the consistency of cold maple syrup.)
- Add the chicken back to the skillet and stir to combine and coat with the sauce. Keeping the heat high, and the chicken in a single layer – at least as much as possible – stir the chicken, cooking on all sides. The sauce will stick to the chicken and caramelize. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from skillet to serving plate. Garnish with sesame seeds, and freshly sliced Thai chilies. (Optional) Serve immediately.
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