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Easy Sesame Baked Chicken

Cook Time:
50 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Sesame chicken is a deliciously indulgent dish. Here, the takeout classic gets lightened up by skipping the breading and frying. The sauce doubles as a marinade and glaze to add maximum flavor and sticky sweetness, while baking the chicken gives it a crispy finish.


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 (5-pound) skin-on whole chicken, cut up, breasts split
  • vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds


For the marinade:


In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, ginger, lemon juice and zest, garlic and red pepper flakes.


Pour half of the marinade into a resealable plastic bag. Place the chicken parts in the bag, press out as much air as possible and seal. Marinate the chicken at room temperature for 2 hours.


Meanwhile, put the remaining marinade in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon nicely, about 5 minutes. Remove the glaze from the heat and set aside.

For the chicken:


Place a baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 375 F and allow the pan to heat in the oven.


Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place on the baking sheet and brush the chicken all over with the vegetable oil.


Remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven and quickly place the chicken parts on the sheet, skin-side down. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes.


Remove the baking sheet, flip the chicken and brush with the reserved marinade. Sprinkle the sesame seeds liberally over the top. Return to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and registers 165 F on a meat thermometer, about 15 minutes more.