Chicken wings, a game day classic, are something I like the taste of but do not like to serve because I do not like to see a bunch of people milling around collecting little piles of bones on their plates! So I wanted to make something wing-like but boneless. I like to call them Wingless Wings.
It seemed like boneless skinless chicken thighs would be ideal for something like this because of their ability to retain moisture, but there is one drawback. They're quite irregular in shape, very flat in places, so they really don't make very attractive or even remotely uniform pieces.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts can be cut into much more attractive bites, so that's what I recommend. Mr Delightful isn't a chicken wing man (or even a wingless wing man), so I served it to him on a bed of rice with a side of broccoli for dinner. He liked it!
Sesame Orange Chicken Bites - Wingless Wings
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) lower sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (0.5 fluid ounce/15 ml) honey
Finely grated zest and juice from 1 medium orange
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces/680 grams) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 36)
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Optional slurry of cornstarch to thicken sauce
Green onions for garnish
1 In 1.5-quart lidded bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, honey, orange zest and juice, shallot, fresh ginger, curry powder, sesame oil and cayenne pepper.
2 Add chicken pieces, coating well. Refrigerate, covered, and let marinate for 6 to 24 hours.
3 Preheat oven to 425F/220C/Gas7. Broiling would probably work well, but I didn't want to put my best half sheet pan under the broiler and my second-best was on duty elsewhere.
4 Remove chicken from marinade and pat thoroughly dry. Spread out the pieces on a foil- or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (a half sheet pan is perfect).
5 Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 20 minutes. (I use my Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer to spot check the bites to make sure they've hit the internal temperature of 165F/74C.)
Note: I did not toast the sesame seeds because I thought they would toast sufficiently in the oven. They didn't, so next time I will definitely toast my sesame seeds first.
6 Strain marinade into small saucepan. Bring to boil; boil gently for 10 minutes (very important to kill raw chicken germs!). Reduce heat and continue simmering a couple of minutes, stirring in an additional tablespoon of honey, if desired. Remove from heat, cover and let stand till chicken is done.
7 Reheat. Taste and adjust seasoning (I added just a pinch of cayenne). If it's not as thick as you'd like, dissolve a teaspoon of cornstarch in a minimal amount of water and stir it into the sauce a little at a time.
8 Place chicken bites on serving dish, pour on as much sauce as you'd like; serve the extra sauce in a bowl. Garnish with some finely sliced green onions.