Tender pieces of chicken glazed in a thick, sweet, sour, and tangy sauce. Perfectly moist and juicy, Honey Lemon Ginger Glazed Chicken is a dish that’s sure to get everyone to the dinner table. Asian-inspired dishes like this are not complicated and are so much better than takeout!
A QUICK WEEKNIGHT FIX!
I’ve been preparing a lot of chicken dishes lately, like this Honey Lemon Ginger Glazed Chicken, for example. 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 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, 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 rice and 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.
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking the ingredients down into sections so that this recipe is more manageable.
- Chicken Breasts – you can use thigh meat too, but chicken breast is leaner.
- Garlic – There’s a lot of fresh garlic in this recipe!
- Ginger – Use fresh ginger. Scrape the peel off with the back of a teaspoon and grate the flesh with a box grater.
- Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce – If you use regular soy sauce, do not add the additional salt further down in the list of ingredients.
- Vinegar – Rice vinegar is best, but I have used plain white vinegar in a pinch.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
These three ingredients are optional, but I would highly recommend that you use them!
- Fresh Parsley always adds beautiful colour to a dish as well as freshness.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds will add a nuttiness and will certainly give your finished dish an Asian flair!
- Thai Red Chilies add spice and colour. These are raw and are not cooked into the dish. They are hot, so use them with caution if you are not a fan of spicy heat!
HOW TO TOAST SESAME SEEDS
The first thing you should do is toast your sesame seeds. How do you do that? It’s very simple! To be perfectly honest, this applies to any nuts or seeds, not just the seeds in this recipe. If you are not familiar with toasted nuts or seeds, then please try it just once. You will probably never revert to using untoasted in your cooking or baking again!
I have tried using non-stick frying pans for toasting, but nothing works as well as a stainless steel pan. You could use a cast iron pan, but since they get very hot and retain heat so well, it’s easier to burn the seeds. See the frying pan in this picture? That’s the exact one that I use all the time. I’m not suggesting you run out and buy this same cookware set, but I want you to see the pan – remember, do not use non-stick if possible. You’ll get better results will plain stainless steel.
So, unlike most cooking where you’re required to preheat first, you don’t want to apply that same rule to toasting seeds. Add the seeds to a cold pan. Place the pan on the burner and turn the heat on – no higher than medium and probably even less if using a gas burner.
Keep the seeds moving about. I use a rubber spatula. Once you start to smell that warm and toasty aromatic smell, pay close attention. The seeds will take on a slightly golden colour. Don’t let them get too dark. Once you’re satisfied, immediately remove them from the hot pan and transfer them to a dinner plate where they can be spread out to cool.
QUICK, EASY, AND FAST TO CLEAN UP TOO!
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 your choice, Dear Reader.
LET’S TALK GLAZE!
Without going fully into the browning stage for the chicken, you’ll cut the risk of overcooking the chicken. But, don’t worry about the chicken being undercooked. 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 (cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon low sodium 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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