A tasty, customizable recipe that makes a simple week-night dinner
By Rebecca Peterson, Humour Editor
4–6 chicken thighs (skin and bone-in preferred, but not mandatory)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic paste (or more, if you’re a fan of garlic!)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2–3 pinches Chinese five-spice
3 dashes of Sriracha sauce (or more, depending on desired spice)
Toasted sesame seeds to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F, and prepare a sheet pan by lining it with tinfoil and spraying it with cooking oil. This keeps the chicken from sticking to the pan, and makes clean up afterwards much easier.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Honestly, the measurements I listed are estimates—I generally decide proportions as I go, estimating how much I’ll need to make for the amount of chicken I have, and which flavours I want to bring out the most. My best advice is not to overdo it on the sesame oil. It’s extremely potent, and too much can leave a very bitter taste on the tongue. It’s more of a flavouring agent than an oil, so if you find yourself needing a thinner consistency in the sauce, I’d suggest adding in a little bit of olive oil, instead of more sesame.
Arrange the chicken thighs on the pan (biggest on the outside, smallest in the middle) and use a pastry brush to brush the sauce over the chicken skin.
Place the chicken in the oven for 40–50 mins—though I’d start checking it around the 30 minute mark just in case. Every oven is different, and some run hotter or cooler than others. Your chicken is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F or, if you don’t own a meat thermometer, they are ready when the juices run clear when the chicken is cut into.
Remove from the oven, garnish with toasted sesame seeds, and serve!
I really love East Asian flavours—sesame, five-spice, the saltiness of fish sauce and the heat of different chilies and spices. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to a lot of East Asian ingredients, specifically soy and peanuts. Soy sauce and peanut oil feature heavily in many East Asian recipes, so because of this I’ve had to come up with my own recipes to mimic, as best I can, the flavours I’m craving from food I can’t eat.
I love this recipe for Sriracha chicken because it’s easy to make, and easy to adjust different ingredient portions for the cook’s individual palate. Not a fan of too much spice? Dial down the Sriracha, and you’ll still have a nice kick while getting to appreciate the five-spice flavour, the savoury garlic, and the nutty sesame oil.