This Asian Chicken is a family favorite that will elevate the traditional takeout dinner with a healthy and flavorful alternative!
There comes a time for every household when the craving for takeout Chinese food dominates the previously healthy dinner plan. The warm and sweet/savory flavors of lo-mein, sesame chicken, and sauteed veggies are too enticing to pass up, especially on a busy weeknight. Sometimes, however, the takeout option is not the healthiest option, as it often comes fraught with chemicals, MSG, and other unhealthy food additives. If you would like to maintain a healthy lifestyle but don’t want to sacrifice the flavors of takeout Chinese food, look no further than this recipe for Asian Chicken Thighs.
This meal combines savory/sweet flavors, protein, and nutritious veggies to appease your takeout craving in a healthy and simple way! You can personalize it to suit your and your family’s preferences, and the cleanup is minimal.
Is Asian Chicken Good for you?
This Asian Chicken Thighs recipe is as tasty as it is healthy! Each ingredient boasts health benefits in addition to its incredible flavor. The star of the show is the chicken, which adds protein and packs essential nutrients, like iron and zinc. As well, chicken thighs are considered dark meat, which contains more nutrients than its white counterpart. The garlic in the meal reduces blood pressure, lowers the risk of heart disease, and provides antioxidants. Finally, the pak choy (also known as “bok choy” or “pok choi”) protects against illness, reduces inflammation, and improves heart health. The sauce has no chemicals, with its flavor coming naturally from its ingredients: garlic, ginger, and honey.
- 2 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 2 bunches pak choi, cut horizontally
- ¼ tsp white sesame, toasted
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, chopped
- 1 cup cooked rice (optional)
- Clean the chicken thighs and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
- In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger. Mix well until combined. Place the chicken thighs in the marinade and combine well until evenly coated.
- Heat a skillet on MEDIUM-HIGH. Add the marinated chicken thighs. Sear the thighs for 3 minutes on each side until cooked. Set the chicken thighs aside and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Bring a small bowl with salted water to a boil and steam the pak choi for 2 minutes until soft.
- Serve the steamed pak choi with the roasted chicken thighs and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.
Tips & Tricks
Substitutions: Replace honey with maple syrup to bring more sweetness and stickiness to the marinade. You can also replace it with brown sugar.
Garlic: If you love garlic, feel free to add more to this dish or replace it with garlic powder. Garlic will give these chicken thighs loads of flavor! If you want even more garlic flavor, pair the chicken and bok choy with healthy garlic mashed cauliflower potatoes. As it is made with cauliflower, it is also a keto-friendly option.
Gluten-Free: You can make this recipe gluten-free by replacing the soy sauce with tamari sauce (a soy sauce alternative that is wheat-free and gluten-free).
Keto-Friendly: The easiest way to make this recipe keto friendly is to remove the white rice. Alternatively, you can replace it with cauliflower rice. Riced cauliflower is low-carb, and a great alternative to traditional white rice.
You can replace the chicken thighs with chicken breast if you prefer. Chicken thighs are more tender and don’t dry out as fast as chicken breast. As chicken breasts are usually thicker than chicken thighs, be sure to cook the breast longer or cut it into smaller pieces.
Marinating the chicken thighs boosts the flavor of this dish substantially, but it is not a necessity. Instead of marinating the chicken ahead of time, you can also create the sauce at the time you prepare the dish and pour it over the finished chicken. This will add the same flavor profile, with reduced preparation.
No one wants rubbery chicken. The key to tender chicken every time is all about the temperature. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken cooks to an internal temperature of 165°F. Removing the chicken before it overcooks will ensure the proper moisture and texture of the chicken.
How To Store Asian Chicken Thighs
Let the chicken thighs cool completely. Place them in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the chicken thighs. Place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe resealable bag. They should last for up to 3 months.
Before reheating, let the chicken thaw in the fridge overnight. You can reheat them in the microwave or in a pan. If you have already coated the chicken in the marinade, it could turn mushy if frozen then thawed. Ideally, you would set aside the chicken you want to store before adding the marinade. You would then store the chicken and sauce separately then add together when you’re ready to reheat.
Asian Chicken Recipe (with Pak Choi)
- 2 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- 2 bunches pak choi cut horizontally
- ¼ tsp white sesame toasted
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tsp ginger chopped
- 1 cup cooked rice optional
Clean the chicken thighs and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger. Mix well until combined. Place the chicken thighs in the marinade and combine well until evenly coated.
Heat a skillet on medium-high. Add the marinated chicken thighs. Sear the thighs for 3 minutes on each side until cooked. Set the chicken thighs aside and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Bring a small bowl with salted water to a boil and steam the pak choi for 2 minutes until soft.
Serve the steamed pak choi with the roasted chicken thighs and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.