Sweet Chili Chicken is a dish prepared with a homemade sweet and spicy sauce, and tossed with red and green bell peppers. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and finish with toasted sesame seeds for best results.
We spend way too much money on take out food. It’s true and it’s shameful. How many times have I expressed my love of cooking? Yet, most days, it’s just easier to order Uber Eats! But, do you know what, Dear Reader? Uber Eats is not available in the countryside!
When we decided to buy a house in the boonies, we didn’t really consider everything thoroughly. Obviously, we didn’t put much thought into the fact that food delivery would be out of the question. But, there were other things we didn’t think of either.
The fact that the closest grocery store in a neighbouring town closes at 6 pm every day, for example. Not just the grocery store; everything closes early. And some things, like the post office, closes for lunch. We are certainly not used to that in the city. Now, we simply must prepare homemade versions of our favourite take out menu items.
WHICH CHOICE OF CHICKEN WORKS BEST?
For this Sweet Chili Chicken recipe, I would highly recommend boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I love working with chicken thighs. No matter what cooking method I throw at them, they always come out tender and moist. I’m also a fan of dark meat. I think it’s more flavourful. So, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are the way to go in my opinion.
You can certainly use breast meat for this recipe too. Because breast meat tends to cook faster than dark meat, you’ll want to ensure that the breast meat is cut into one inch chunks.
Breast meat can dry out rather quickly, especially if you’re planning to immerse it into hot oil. Using a larger piece of the breast meat will ensure that it doesn’t become over done and too dry. There’s nothing worse than dry breast meat!
Unlike chicken breast, you can cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into smaller pieces. They don’t have to be perfectly even. My rule of thumb is as follows: fry the thigh meat until golden brown. It’s really that simple.
The sauce that the fried chicken is tossed in is very delicious. It’s thick and sweet and spicy at all the same time. You’re going to love it. And, it’s so easy to prepare too! You can find the recipe for my homemade sauce here: Sweet Heat Chili Sauce
It all starts with lots of dried red chili flakes, lots of garlic, and vinegar too. If you’ve never experienced the taste of the familiar Thai Sweet Heat Chili Sauce, you’ve been missing out! It’s really not too spicy at all. The sweetness from the sugar helps to mask the heat and creates a wonderful balance.
If you don’t want to make your own sauce, you can buy it from the store. Just use a jar of sauce like this or some other brand that you might prefer. To be completely honest though, the homemade version is so much better. You will get more for your money and you can keep the leftovers in the fridge for weeks!
BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now that the chicken has been fried and the sweet chili sauce has been made, it’s time to finish up the recipe. Add the bell peppers to the pan with one teaspoon of oil. On medium-high heat, cook until the peppers are heated through – about 3-5 minutes.
Next, add in the sauce and stir into the pepper mixture. Once the sauce starts to bubble slightly, reduce the heat and add in the chicken. Toss well to coat and re-heat.
Lastly, sprinkle in the sesame seeds. Now, it’s all done and ready to serve. I can’t think of anything better to serve Spicy Chili Chicken with than a big bowl of rice and my homemade spring rolls. It’s a perfect meal! And, you didn’t need to call Uber Eats at all!
Sweet Chili Chicken
For the Chicken:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- oil for frying
For the Sauce:
- 1 whole green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 whole red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups sweet chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Place the prepared chicken into a large bowl. Pour over the beaten egg and toss well to coat. Set aside.
- In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, onion powder, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Add the chicken mixture to the cornstarch mixture and toss well to coat. It will be sticky and gluey. Do not be tempted to add more cornstarch. Just toss very well. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, add enough oil so that there are two inches of oil in the pan. Preheat the oil to 350 degrees F.
- Once the oil is hot, add the chicken one piece at a time to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the skillet. Fry the pieces in batches until golden brown – about 3-4 minutes.
- Once the chicken is fried, remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Next, add the oil and peppers to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the peppers are heated through – about 3-5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and add the sauce. Stir to combine.
- Once the sauce begins to bubble, add in the chicken and toss to combine. Plate and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.