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 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
- 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
- 2 tablespoonfuls of minced garlic or 1/4 teaspoon powdered, (or both if you like garlic!)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoonfuls toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup Dr Pepper, (not sugar free)
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- Add the sesame oil to a saute pan and heat it until it ripples.
- Saute garlic, onion, and pepper for 5 minutes or so. Just until soft. Don't saute garlic powder.
- Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer until it reduces, about 10 minutes or so.
- Cool the sauce.
- 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.
- Marinate overnight.
To Bake in the Oven
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Spray a glass casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, or oil generously.
- Place chicken in dish. Discard used marinade.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Brush chicken with the remaining marinade.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 160F. Brush with the marinade often.
- Let stand about five minutes before serving.
- You can forgo the overnight marinating.
- Place the sauce and the chicken in a slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
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
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 delicious!
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