We can all agree that boneless skinless chicken breast is a bit boring. One way to spruce it up, however, is cutting it into small pieces for chicken bites.
The smaller pieces create more surface area to absorb flavor from sauces and seasonings, as well as the browning from contact with the cooking surface via the Maillard reaction. This alleviates the need for marinating or brining the chicken breast and helps prevent overcooking. The days of dry, chewy chicken are over.
In this recipe I’ll show you how to make chicken breast bites with a sweet chili pan sauce and a side of chili crisp cucumber salad. And by the end, you’ll be able to use the techniques to make all kinds of chicken bites.
How to Cook Chicken Bites
Hot, fast, and in a big pan. This recipe makes a big batch, using two pounds of chicken breast cooked in two batches to avoid overcrowding. A 12″ cast iron skillet works perfectly. Make sure the pan and the oil are both hot before the chicken goes in to avoid any sticking.
As for chicken prep, you want to cut the chicken breast into small pieces, about 3/4″ to 1″ each.
You are after a golden brown color on the chicken bites before flipping and completely cooking through. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a bowl and repeat for the second pound of chicken breast.
Sweet Chili Glaze
Since the chicken bites in this recipe aren’t seasoned before cooking, all the flavor will come from the sauce. If you’re using a different sauce, you may want to season the chicken bites first.
To glaze the chicken bites, you’ll want to wipe the pan dry to remove any excess oil, as that will prevent the sauce from sticking to the chicken.
Once the sauce hits the pan, it will thicken quickly. Once a spatula leaves a trail across the bottom of the pan, you can remove from the heat and toss the chicken bites in the pan with the sauce. Depending on your pan, this should take between thirty seconds to two minutes.
Garnish the chicken with toasted sesame seeds and black sesame seeds, and they’re ready to serve.
Alternative Flavor Ideas
I’ve used the BBQ seasoning from my slow cooker chicken thighs to make barbecue chicken fried rice with Japanese BBQ sauce. And the sauces from my firecracker chicken meatballs or chili garlic ground chicken and broccoli would also work great for glazing your chicken bites.
Chili Cucumber Crunch
It’s a blend of sliced cucumber and radish tossed in chili crisp, tahini, and cilantro. The original version included a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, but I wanted a little more acidity with lime juice.
If you wanted to reduce the fat, you could go with something like the gochugaru cucumber kimchi from my Korean ground turkey bowls.
Other Vegetable Pairings
And if you wanted to pair a different vegetable with your chicken bites, I like brussels sprouts or cruciferous veggies. You can air fry them and toss in the sauce after like in my air fryer chicken and brussels sprouts recipe, or pan roast first like the broccoli in my honey sriracha ground chicken and broccoli.
Serving Your Sweet Chili Chicken Breast Bites
Basmati rice is a perfect pairing for these sweet chili chicken bites, and a 50/50 blend of basmati and cauliflower rice is perfect for keeping the carbs in check. A little extra chili crisp, chopped cilantro, and lime juice are the only other things you’ll need.
If you have leftovers, I like to toss them into a hot pan for a minute or two. Check out my leftover pork tenderloin fried cauliflower rice or brisket fried rice recipes for examples of how to do leftovers right.
Okay, you should be ready to take a bite out of this recipe. Have a question I forgot to cover? Leave it in the comments below. Otherwise, enjoy your sweet chili chicken bites. Be sure to come back and let me know how they turned out in a recipe review!
- 2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 3/4" to 1" pieces
- 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil, divided
For the Sauce
- 1/2 cup (120g) Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
For the Cucumber Crunch
- 1 large Seedless Cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
- 6 Red Radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Crisp or Chili Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Tahini
- 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 handful Cilantro, chopped
- Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add half the chicken pieces (1 pound) to the skillet, spacing out as much as possible. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.
- Transfer to a clean bowl and repeat with the second pound of chicken. Once the second pound is cooked, transfer it to the bowl with the first and set aside.
- Carefully wipe away any excess oil in the pan and add the sauce to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring until it thickens. Turn off the heat and add the chicken pieces to the sauce. Toss to coat. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or your starch of choice.
- For the cucumber crunch, mix the chili oil, tahini, lime juice, and cilantro together in a large bowl. Add the sliced cucumber and radishes, tossing everything together.
Nutrition facts below are for the chicken bites only.
The entire batch of cucumber crunch has 430 calories, 9g protein, 24g carbs, and 33g fat.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 7 Serving Size: 4 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 5gCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 30g