I’ve decided that this season is all about unexpected flavors.
Lately I’ve been playing around with different spices and have really enjoyed a few new and somewhat random combinations. A lot of this has been inspired by my RawSpiceBar subscription (which is fun because I’m getting introduced to so many different spices from around the world), in addition to just playing around in my kitchen.
This week, I decided to take spices traditionally associated with sweet foods (hello cinnamon!) and find a way to make them take on savory flavors.
The result? This Pumpkin Spice Sesame Chicken which combines pumpkin pie spice with sesame oil for a slightly sweet and savory combination. Let’s just say this might be my new favorite way to enjoy chicken…
Since pumpkin pie spice is predominately cinnamon (and cinnamon can be overpowering in a dish if too much is added), I used a 1:1 ratio of pumpkin pie spice along with smoked paprika and chipotle chili powder to even out the balance of sweet and savory. We also get a bit of sweetness from honey and coconut aminos, which is balanced out by the strong and savory flavors of the sesame oil.
I love adding this chicken on top of a simple green salad, but I’ve also been pairing it with this cilantro lime cauliflower rice for a hearty and easy weeknight meal.
What spices are you enjoying at the moment? Leave a comment below!
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders
- Add pumpkin pie spice, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, sesame oil, coconut aminos, honey, and sea salt to a small bowl and mix well.
- Add the chicken to a glass baking dish (or container of choice) and pour the marinade over. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes - 1 hour, flipping the chicken halfway through so it marinates evenly.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the chicken as well as the excess marinade. Let cook for 3 minutes, then flip chicken and continue cooking for another 7 - 8 minutes. The marinade should simmer and reduce (if it starts to burn, lower the heat) and the chicken should be cooked to at least 165 degrees F.
- Once chicken is fully cooked, remove pan from heat and serve, topping with the excess sauce.