This Sesame Chicken is a healthy spin on the classic take out dish that you can make in just 30 minutes, This is an easy to make meal that is perfect for weeknight dinner and sure to be a hit with the whole family. This Paleo Sesame Chicken is Whole30, Dairy Free, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS SESAME CHICKEN
- This healthy sesame chicken is a spin on the classic Chinese takeout dish that you can make in less time than it takes for the delivery to arrive (just 30 minutes).
- The sauce! It’s the perfect combination of spicy, sweet and tangy and it’s highly addictive.
- It’s healthier than any Sesame Chicken that you can order at your local Chinese restaurant. It also happens to be Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free and Dairy Free but you would never be able to tell!
- The whole family will love this one, even picky eaters!
HOW TO SERVE THIS SESAME CHICKEN
I like serving this chicken with cauliflower rice (or steamed rice) to absorb any of the excess sauce (because you won’t want any of that to go to waste!). I also like making a simple side of steamed broccoli for some added greens. There is no need to add any seasoning or sauce to the broccoli, the sesame chicken is the star of the show and the sauce will give everything else flavour too.
CAN I ADD SOME VEGGIES TO THIS SESAME CHICKEN?
I prefer to cook the veggies separately and serve them on the wide, but if you would prefer to add them in with the chicken you definitely can. Chopped onion, bell peppers or broccoli would all work well. Cook the veggies in a tablespoon of sesame oil until just tender and then set them aside on a plate before adding the chicken to the pan and cooking. Combine the chicken and veggies of choice in the sauce and ensure they are warmed through before serving.
SHOULD I USE CHICKEN BREASTS OR THIGHS?
It’s really up to you! I prefer using chicken thighs because I find that they have more flavour and remain moist when cooked, added bonus is they are cheaper than breasts. Chicken breasts are slightly lower in fat which means that they can dry out quickly if cooked too long.
WHY USE BAKING SODA?
Baking soda is my not so secret trick that I use in the majority of my Asian inspired recipes to tenderize the meat and give it an underlying flavour and texture that can be found in a lot of Chinese takeout dishes. I would leave the chicken to marinate in the baking soda for a maximum of 20 minutes. Don’t skip the baking soda marinade step, it really makes a big difference in the end flavour and texture of this sesame chicken.
WHAT DOES THE ARROWROOT DO?
In this recipe arrowroot starch is used to coat the chicken pieces and give them a nice crispiness when cooked. It is a starch made from the root of the arrowroot plant and is used in a lot of grain free diets such as Whole30 or Paleo. If you aren’t following a grain free diet then feel free to use cornstarch in place of arrowroot starch, it will result in the same crispy coating on the chicken.
HOW TO MAKE THIS SESAME CHICKEN SPECIFIC CARBOHYDRATE DIET LEGAL
Unfortunately arrowroot starch is not allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I would recommend skipping the starch coating and instead simply frying the chicken until golden in colour. I made a batch of this chicken without the coating and it tasted just as good, so you won’t be missing out by leaving it off.
CAN I MAKE THIS SESAME CHICKEN IN THE AIRFRYER?
You can! Make the sauce as instructed on the stove top. Leave the chicken to marinate for 10 minutes before dredging it in the arrowroot starch. Spray the bottom of the airfryer with avocado oil and then lay the pieces of chicken out evenly, ensuring that they do not touch (you will likely have to work in batches to cook them). Spray the chicken with avocado oil and cook for 8 minutes at 400º Fahrenheit. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Once all cooked toss in the sauce and serve.
CAN I MAKE THIS IN ADVANCE?
The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and quickly reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan with a splash of water. For the best crispy results I would only cook the chicken right before eating. To save time you can marinate and coat the chicken in the arrowroot coating up to 4 hours in advance. Place the coated chicken pieces on a sheet pan and keep store them covered in the fridge until ready to cook.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS?
Any sesame chicken leftovers will last for up to 4 days in the fridge. Unfortunately reheating them in the microwave will cause the crispy coating on the chicken to become mushy, instead I would recommend reheating them in a pan on the stovetop on medium high heat until warmed through. That being said I have been known to devour any leftovers cold, they are also delicious.
Other takeout fakeout recipes that you might enjoy…
- Black Pepper Chicken
- Moo Shu Pork
- Chicken Chow Mein
- Spicy Orange Chicken
- Thai Basil Beef
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Kung Pao Cauliflower
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
- 1.5 lbs chicken thighs or breasts cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp chopped ginger
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 tbsp honey (or 4 medjool dates for Whole30)
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 3/4 cup arrowroot starch (or cornstarch if not following a grain free diet)
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp chopped scallions
- In a bowl whisk together the coconut aminos, baking soda and apple cider vinegar and then add in the chunks of chicken and stir to ensure that they are all well coated in the liquid. Leave to rest for a few minutes while you prepare the sauce.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add in the chopped ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- In a bowl whisk together the honey, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, tomato paste, chili flakes and chicken stock. If using dates in place of honey it's best to add everything to a blender and blend until its liquid. Pour the sauce into the pan with the garlic and ginger mixture. Increase the heat to high and leave the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes until it has reduce by half and thickened.
- While the sauce is simmering, finish making the chicken. Add the arrowroot starch to a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken pieces in the arrowroot starch so that they are all well coated.
- Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet or wok on medium high heat. Working in batches add in the chicken (making sure not to overcrowd the pan) and cook for approximately 3 minutes per side until golden in colour. Once cooked set the chicken naside on a plate and continue cooking the remaining chicken adding more oil if needed.
- Once the chicken is all cooked, add it to the pan with the sauce, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and toss to ensure the chicken is all well coated. Garnish with chopped scallions before serving.