Dr Pepper Sticky Chicken with a Bite

A sticky chicken recipe made a bit more complex with the addition of Dr Pepper and smoky chipotle sounds fabulous but when you have the option of using an oven or a slow cooker? Incredible.

sticky chicken recipe

Sticky chicken is a mouthwatering, often underused, method of making chicken that isn’t boring. It generally has catsup, sugar, and soy sauce as a base, and may be grilled, baked, or made in a slow cooker — there are benefits to each method.

  • Slow Cooker – Positive: Easy, meat stays moist. Negative: The sauce stays very liquid.
  • Grilled – Positive: Fast, sauce sticks to meat, has “grilled” flavor. Negative: Can be dry.
  • Baked – Positive: Relatively fast, sauce gets “sticky”. Negative: Can be dry.

I usually bake mine. I just like the way that the sauce finishes better. Here’s the recipe. Tips and chit-chat below.

Dr Pepper Sticky Chicken with a Bite
Cook time
Total time
Spicy baked sticky chicken recipe made unique with the great flavor of Dr Pepper. Marinating over night makes it butter tender and infused with flavor.
Serves: 6 - 8 servings
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup diced bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoonfuls of minced garlic or ¼ teaspoon powdered (or both if you like garlic!)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoonfuls toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup Dr Pepper (not sugar free)
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  1. Add the sesame oil to a saute pan and heat it until it ripples.
  2. Saute garlic, onion, and pepper for 5 minutes or so. Just until soft. Don't saute garlic powder.
  3. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer until it reduces, about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Cool the sauce.
  5. Put the chicken in a zipper storage bag and add 1 cup of the cooled sauce. Refrigerate the rest of the sauce in a tightly covered container.
  6. Marinate overnight.
To Bake in the Oven
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Spray a glass casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, or oil generously.
  3. Place chicken in dish. Discard used marinade.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Brush chicken with the remaining marinade.
  6. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 160F. Brush with the marinade often.
  7. Let stand about five minutes before serving.
Slow Cooker
  1. You can forgo the overnight marinating.
  2. Place the sauce and the chicken in a slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. Serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Carbs: 46.9 Calories: 509 Fat: 15.8

 Tips for Perfect Sticky Chicken

  • Using the less expensive boneless thighs will give more flavor to the dish.
  • Toasted sesame oil gives it a slightly smoky flavor. Use regular if you prefer.
  • You can seal the raw chicken and marinade in a freezer bag and cook it later. You’ll need to make more marinade though.
  • Don’ use an aluminum pan or aluminum foil  —  I think it gives a weird flavor to the chicken. Always use a glass casserole dish.
  • Squeeze the juice of one lime over the top before serving for an added burst of flavor.
  • Leftovers make great sandwich wraps!
  • Try a Riesling or an Unoaked Chardonnay with sticky chicken

Dr Pepper Sticky Chicken Close-up| restlesschipotle.com

I like to serve it with lemon butter Brussels sprouts and rice. A crunchy sourdough baguette works great, too. If you are doing dessert stick with something light like fresh grilled pineapple or other fresh fruit. One of the reasons I love this dish is it is so versatile and is great summer or winter. It’s just one of those no-brainer go to dishes for me, especially when I am craving Chinese chicken. I  know, this is a horribly Americanized version of Asian sticky chicken recipes but what can I say? It’s delicous!

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