Julia Turshen’s Sticky Chicken

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julia turshen sticky chicken recipe1
Melina Hammer/Simply Julia

Fact: Julia Turshen is a brilliant cookbook author. (Exhibit A: Her genius sheet-pan stuffing trick.) So of course we were excited to get our hands on her latest title, Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food. First up is this lighting fast 25-minute recipe for sticky chicken.

“During the first few days of being together,” Turshen writes, “Grace and I ended up on a spontaneous road trip that included dinner at a friend-of-a-friend’s-mom’s house (got that?). She served what she called Sticky Chicken, small pieces of chicken coated with a very glossy glaze. Based on Chinese stir-frying traditions, it’s such a flavorful dish that comes together quickly thanks to a host of pantry ingredients.”

It’s versatile, too. Says Turshen: “Serve this one with rice or noodles or steamed bok choy or broccoli or roasted sweet potatoes or stir-fried snap peas…the list goes on.”

From the book Simply Julia by Julia Turshen. Copyright © 2021 by Julia Turshen. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.


2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

¼ cup (60ml) ketchup

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce (such as sambal), or your favorite hot sauce (optional)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons canola oil (or other neutral oil such as vegetable), plus more as needed

1½ pounds (680g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a small bowl, add the water and cornstarch and stir well to combine. Stir in the ketchup, honey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce (if using) and garlic. Reserve the sauce.

2. Add the canola oil to a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add half of the chicken to the pan and season generously with salt and pepper (about ½ teaspoon of each) and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat the process with the rest of the chicken, adding another tablespoon or so of oil to the pan if necessary.

3. Return the first batch of chicken to the skillet along with the reserved sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and coats the chicken, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
  • 343 calories

  • 12g fat

  • 19g carbs

  • 40g protein

  • 16g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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