A sticky chicken recipe that's quick and easy to make for any weeknight. Crispy, tender chicken breast tossed in a Chinese-style sticky sauce and stir-fried with red bell peppers. This simple recipe is a quick family meal on a budget. All ingredients are from Aldi making this recipe perfect for any adding into any budget-friendly meal plan.
This sticky chicken recipe is a quick and easy recipe with no real effort involved. Basic pantry ingredients mixed into a sweet, sticky and mildly tangy sauce that gets tossed with your crispy chicken breast and served over some rice. You can use noodles instead of rice, but this chicken is made for fluffy white rice. A takeaway (fakeaway) dish that a fraction of the cost, much healthier and has way more flavour.
Weeknight Sticky Chicken
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- chicken breast (you can use chicken thigh to cut the cost of the recipe further)
- corn starch / corn flour- they are the same thing
- soy sauce (light or dark is fine. Dark has a stronger flavour)
- cider vinegar or use white wine vinegar (used instead of Chinese rice vinegar. Because Aldi only)
- red pepper
- a packet of oyster and spring onion sauce (optional, but it adds a real depth of flavour to the sauce that just isn't possible without it)
- basmati or white rice
- dry roasted peanuts
- spring onion
- coriander (I forgot to add the chopped coriander for the photos, but it is definitely worth remembering. It adds such a freshness)
Step by step directions (prep)
This recipe really is so quick and easy to make. It'll easily be on the table in 30 minutes or possibly less if you're quick at slicing peppers! Because this recipe is sauteed up like a stir fry I highly recommend that you start by prepping all your ingredients so that once you start cooking, it's all ready to go. It makes the whole experience much less stressful than trying to prep as you go.
- Start by cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can use breast (like this recipe) or you can use thigh. If you're using thigh you will need to reduce the cooking time a little as the pieces are usually smaller and thinner. See the notes for that.
- Put the corn starch in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Set the chicken aside while you stir the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. All you need to do for this Asian style sauce is add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Thinly slice the red pepper (you can use yellow or orange too, but the red is sweeter) I don't recommend using green, because they can be very bitter.
Step by step directions (cooking)
- Heat the olive oil or vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet. Toss the chicken in the cornflour. Once the oil is hot (it should shimmer and flow easily in the pan) add the chicken into the pan and brown on all sides until crispy. This should only take a few minutes, about 5.
- Add the red pepper into the pan and saute for about 3 more minutes. We're looking to soften the red pepper but to keep some bite in it, so that it's not going to turn too soft once we add the sauce.
- Pour the sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer. The sauce will start to thicken very quickly because of the corn starch in the pan from the chicken, as well as the honey thickening up. So do be careful that you don't over reduce the sauce. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened enough that it coats the chicken easily. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
Serving sticky chicken
Scoop heaps of steaming fluffy rice into bowls and spoon this saucy sticky chicken over top. Top it all off with dry roasted peanuts, sliced spring onions. lime wedges and chopped fresh coriander. All of these toppings are optional, but they all go a long way to making this feel like a takeaway meal, but a million times better.
Storing, freezing and reheating
This sticky chicken will keep really well in the fridge for up to three days. All you need to do is cool the chicken completely and store it in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. To reheat, it's best to use a pan on the stovetop to try and keep that crispiness in the chicken. You can absolutely use the microwave, just know that the chicken won't be crispy once reheated that way.
This chicken is absolutely freezable. It is best served when it's made, but we're also in the business of making dinners easy and this is a recipe that is such a family favourite. To do so use either an airtight container or a freezer bag, make sure you label with container or bag with what you're freezing and the date. To defrost, place in the fridge overnight or defrost in the microwave and reheat as above, either on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Find more easy chicken and more fakeaway recipes
Sticky Chicken Recipe
For the chicken
- 500 g (2 cups) boneless skinless chicken
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) corn starch or flour *See note 1
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) vegetable or olive oil
- 1 (1) red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- For the sauce
- 150 ml (⅗ cups) soy sauce
- 75 ml (⅓ cups) honey
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) white wine vinegar
- 1 (1) sachet oyster sauce, optional *See note 2
- 2 cloves (2 cloves) garlic
- 1- inch (1- inch) piece grated ginger
- For serving
- chopped peanuts
- sliced green onion
- To make the sauce
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl and set aside while you prep the chicken.
- For the chicken
- Toss the chopped chicken with the seasoned corn starch and set aside while you heat the oil in a skillet. Once the oil shimmers and is hot, add in the chicken and brown all over until crispy, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the thinly sliced bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour the sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Toss to coat the chicken and peppers and continue to simmer the sauce until thickened.
- Serve over fluffy rice and top with chopped peanuts and thinly sliced green onion.
- Note 1- You can skip the corn starch step, or even use flour. If you do skip this step the chicken won’t be as crispy, but it will still be amazingly delicious.
- Note 2- I absolutely love these little sachets of oyster sauce, they add so much depth to any Asian sauce that you make, without having to buy a big bottle of sauce that will take you ages to use. However, you can also skip this step. Yes, the recipe won’t have as much depth and flavour, but these recipes really are about fitting any budget and making it all work for you.
- Note 3- This nutrition label doesn't take into account the rice served alongside the chicken.
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