This Oven Baked Honey Soy Sesame Chicken is one of those easy recipes that will have the whole family asking for seconds.
The chicken thighs are sticky, with saltiness from the soy sauce, a sweetness from the honey and a wonderful richness from the sesame oil.
There is no need to marinade the chicken plus everything is baked in one pot, creating one of those sauces that just begs to be spooned over rice. A delicious, simple dinner!
Hands up who loves no stress oven baked dinners? My hand is so high in the air! I am doing that thing school kids do where they stretch so high that their bottom almost leaves the seat! If I can put it in a roasting tin and stick it in the oven then I am happy, it means for 50 minutes I can supervise homework, clear the table of coloring equipment and various Lego models, fold washing or
just relax with a glass of wine – Ha who am I kidding.
Check out the table of contents below for questions and tricks to make this Honey Soy Sesame Chicken. Or to just jump straight to the recipe for the chicken, you can use the purple steaming pot button over to the left or the link in the box below. But after checking out the recipe come back up here and read the hints and tricks in the post, they help you to cook this dish perfectly, plus there are some drool worth pictures!
How to Make a Sticky Honey Soy Sesame Chicken
The recipe starts with a simple mixture of:
- Soy Sauce
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Sesame Oil
- Black Pepper
- Fennel Seeds (Optional - See below)
This combination mixes with the sliced onions to make a delicious sauce that cooks into the chicken and also serves as a sauce to pour over the finished dish.
Can I leave out the Fennel Seeds
You sure can. If fennel isn't your favorite flavor then just leave the fennel seeds out of your dish, it will still taste great. I love the slight Chinese anise flavor they give to the dish, but the other flavors in this Honey Soy Sesame Chicken give the dish bags of flavor.
Is this Honey Soy Sesame Chicken Saucy?
Yes! This recipe makes plenty of sauce, it thickens slightly in the oven, but it isn't a jammy thick sauce, it is perfect for pouring over the chicken and plenty of fluffy rice. And those onions!!! They melt and soften into the sauce! Making it even more delicious!
To get a Thick Sticky Jammy Glaze on your Chicken
If you prefer very little sauce, that is very sticky and jammy then once cooked, remove the chicken and place the dish of sauce back in the oven for 10 minutes, this will thicken the sauce up and give you more of a glaze you can spoon over the chicken.
Can I use any Onions?
You sure can! I specify red onions in the recipe, but you can use, red, white or brown onions for this recipe. I think even green onions would work with the flavors, but they wouldn't melt into the sauce in the same way.
Do you Marinade the Chicken?
No, the sauce has so much flavor that there is no need to marinade the chicken. In fact, I find that this can actually water down the flavor of the sauce as marinating can sometimes draw the moisture out of the chicken making the sauces watery.
Top Tip For Baking Sticky Chicken.
The honey in the sauce makes this dish messy on the cleanup! And no one wants to be scrubbing burnt on honey from their roasting/casserole dish.
Many recipes will suggest you line your dish with foil, this can be great for clean up, but it also means you have to be careful when plating up your Honey Soy Sesame Chicken. The foil can rip and stick to the bottom of the chicken….have you ever bitten down on foil? YUCK! (Especially if you have a brace!)
My top tip is to line your dish with foil and then line the foil with parchment paper.
This makes clean up easy and also stops foil sticking to your chicken…WINNER!
Also if you start with the chicken upside down in the dish, bake for 20 minutes and then turn over, it will soak up even more of the delicious honey soy sesame flavors and still be nicely caramelized on the top.
What Dish to use for Honey Soy Sesame Chicken?
This chicken needs to be cooked in a dish rather than on a tray. A tray means the sauce dries out too much and you aren't left with a nice rich sauce. You want to use an ovenproof dish where the chicken fits comfortably with a little space between them. This allows the sauce to evaporate and thicken but not dry out too much.
What Temperature to Bake Chicken Thighs at?
The chicken thighs want to be cooked at 400ºF/205ºC. This is gas mark 7.
If you have a fan assisted oven then reduce this to 380ºF/190ºC.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 400ºF/205ºC
The chicken will take 45 minutes in a 400ºF oven.
This leaves you with juicy chicken, a sticky slightly thickened sauce and meltingly tender onions.
What to serve with Honey Soy Sesame Chicken
If you love oven cooked dinners then check out my other favorite oven baked chicken recipes.
- Peri Peri Chicken
- Easy Garlic Chicken Parcels
- Baked Greek Chicken Thighs
- Rotisserie Style Chicken Pieces
- Dill Pickle Stuffed Chicken
- Baked Chicken Breast with Tomatoes
- See all Oven Baked Chicken Recipes
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Oven Baked Honey Soy Sesame Chicken Recipe
- 1 red onion
- 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- handful fresh cilantro/coriander
- Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/fan forced 200ºC/Gas mark 7
- Line a roasting tin with foil and then a sheet of cooking paper.
- Slice the onion into thick wedges.
- Separate the pieces and lay them in the bottom of the lined roasting dish.
- Lay the chicken pieces on top,smooth side down.
- In a small bowl mix together the honey, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil.
- Mix well until the honey dissolves.
- Crush or finely chop the garlic and add it to the honey mix.
- Stir in the pepper and fennel seeds.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and mix well until everything is well coated.
- Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn the chicken over. Roast for a further 25-30 minutes until caramelized.
- Remove from the oven and give the chicken a stir to ensure everything is covered in sticky sauce.
- Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and chopped cilantro/coriander and serve.