Saturday, February 6, 2010

Take Out, Take In - Part 2

Well, why not stay on the “fake Chinese food” tangent while we are here?  This Homemade Sesame Chicken recipe is super easy and super cheap, plus it makes a lot for leftovers!  It may not be exactly the same as takeout, but trust me, it is still delicious.  This was the first time I made this recipe, and it is from The Healthy College Cookbook (which is a fabulous cookbook, by the way – you should all get it!), but I did change it slightly.

For this recipe, I substituted chicken thighs for chicken breasts.  Although it wasn’t my idea, it was a tastier and cheaper alternative to chicken.  For instance, at my local grocery store, thighs are $2.99/pound as opposed to about $4.99/pound for breasts.  Yes, this does make the recipe slightly less healthy, but for me, it wasn’t too terrible to not justify the money and taste!

What you’ll need:
  • 4-5 boneless chicken thighs (or breasts, if you want to go healthy!)
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 4.5 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tbsp ground black pepper
How to make it:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and lay chicken in one layer in the dish.

2) Warm honey slightly in the microwave so that it can be easily poured but is not too hot.  Pour or brush evenly over chicken.

If you are a big honey fan, it never hurts to add more!  Try to get a little on the bottom as well, or turn the chicken over in the middle of baking.

3) Mix together garlic powder, sesame seeds, and pepper thoroughly.  Spread over chicken evenly.

When I made this recipe, I didn’t mix everything together well enough and didn’t get the same amount of seasoning throughout the whole dish!  A good idea is to put the ingredients in a plastic container or bag, close it, and shake it well.

4) Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  Serve over rice.

Recipe Review:

Although this recipe is a good start, it could use some adjustments.  The black pepper was overpowering at times, and there were way too many sesame seeds for my liking!  Also, I could have used some more “sweet” in my dish.  That being said, there was plenty of sauce to pour over my rice, and the use of chicken thighs really made a difference in the recipe.

Overall, if you are hoping for a sesame chicken recipe that tastes exactly like the real thing, you won’t get it here.  However, the “real thing” is also “really unhealthy” and costs much more than this homemade recipe.  I will probably make it again, but not for a little while (because I have so many leftovers still!).  Three stars.

For next time…
  • FEWER SESAME SEEDS!  I know it is called sesame chicken, but I felt like I had a mouthful of birdseed
  • To increase the sweetness of the dish, marinade the chicken in the honey for 15-20 minutes before putting it in the oven.  A little sugar might help, also
  • Add a little more garlic powder and lower the amount of pepper used.  A little salt couldn’t hurt, either

What do you think of this recipe?  What kind of chicken do you prefer – dark meat or white?


  1. I've always wanted to try making my own sesame chicken, but then would always give into temptation and just order it from a take out menu. Next time I'm reaching for the Nice Food menu, I'll remember this recipe!

  2. It really is a good alternative, but I will confess that I did order Number 1 Luck Sang last week. But it was the Superbowl, so I think it's justified!