Sesame Chicken Thighs

October 12, 2014


I have been all about the chicken thighs lately and you should be too! The boneless, skinless variety are a healthier option and take almost no time to cook. I know purists will argue that the bone and skin are all flavour but you can’t beat the speed and ease of this recipe. If you have the foresight to marinate a day ahead the flavours have more time to develop, but even 30 minutes is usually enough time for the sweet sesame marinade to absorb. You can always hike up the flavour by making a little extra sauce and pouring it on top.

About my relationship with chicken thighs…

I make chicken thighs a lot but I am not yet sick of them and neither is Graham (I know this because he requests them all the time!). I think it is natural to attach yourself to an ingredient or family of ingredients.There is a lot of comfort in repetition, and the satisfying feeling of really getting to know something – let’s call it intimacy. This intimate understanding allows you to perfect your preparation and expand your creative reach. When I have chicken thighs in front of me I feel relaxed and let myself be inspired by whatever other ingredients I have handy – some leftover wine in the fridge, fresh herbs that are going off, and of course my enormous stash of condiments.The key is not to become anxious about all the other great recipes and ideas you should be testing out. This is a particular challenge for me in cooking and life… for example I find it VERY difficult to re-read books (even my favourites) because I think of all the other great books left to be read. However, I am learning to relish reading those great books again and recreating my rock solid recipes – I guess the crazier life gets the more you enjoy the calm of intimacy.

I recently re-read one of my favourite books “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and in this book Milan Kundera describes the German expression “einmal ist keinmal” or roughly translated “once is never”. Essentially if an experience (or delicious dish) happens only once, it may as well never have happened at all. I will refrain from describing the ontological conclusions that ensue, but I think it works for this context.

I was not expecting the chicken thighs to be so thought provoking… If you made it this far please continue reading for the very simple and delicious recipe 🙂

Makes 4-6 Servings


  • 8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs sunflower oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 garlic gloves finely minced or crushed
  • 1 tbs crushed ginger (or two if you want more of a gingery taste)
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 tbs chopped cilantro
  • 2 green onions minced
  • As much siracha as makes you happy


  1. Combine sesame oil, sunflower oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds in a zip lock bag or bowl.
  2. Add chicken and marinate for 24 hours or as long as you have (if marinated less than 30 minutes I advise whipping up a little more marinade and making a sauce to pour on top – should be served warm and garlic and ginger need some time to cook)
  3. Grill chicken on medium-high heat on BBQ or grill pan, about 5 minutes on each side or until you have nice grill marks. They cook very quickly so be mindful not to overcook!
  4. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro, green onion and siracha. Also add more sesame seeds and marinade if you want to up the flavour.


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