In this superb sheet pan recipe, tender juicy chicken thighs and crispy cabbage slices are roasted with a well balanced Asian sauce. The taste is savory, slightly sweet, tangy, and packed with umami. This meal is ready in just thirty minutes and the flavor is awesome! Naturally paleo and gluten-free.
Cabbage is one of those vegetables many people don’t find very exciting. I understand it can be pretty bland. But when roasted until nice and crispy and flavored with this easy Asian sauce, you’ll be amazed how delicious it can be. It also happens to be exceptionally good for your health.
Health Benefits of Cabbage
- It’s a cruciferous vegetable with lots of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation (7).
- Cabbage is especially high in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that boosts your immunity. It also helps produce collagen which is good for your skin, hair, bones and nails.
- It is rich in vitamin B6 and folate which are essential for many important processes in the body, including energy metabolism and the normal functioning of the nervous system.
- Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants, including sulfur compounds (2) that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
- Cabbage contains soluble fiber which helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by binding with cholesterol in the gut and keeping it from being absorbed into the blood.
- The insoluble fiber in cabbage helps keep the digestive system healthy by providing fuel for friendly bacteria and promoting regular bowel movements.
How to Make Asian Chicken with Crispy Cabbage
Start by making the Asian Sauce. Mix together gluten free tamari, maple syrup, mirin, rice wine vinegar, garlic powder and dark sesame oil. (No chopping required.)
I like to marinate the chicken for 30 minutes but even 15 minutes will be beneficial. It can stay in the marinade for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
Since the chicken takes longer than the cabbage and we only want to use one pan, start cooking the chicken in a foil pouch to prevent the juices from burning. Cook it for 15 minutes, longer if the thighs are large.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into half from top to bottom so the cabbage holds together. Cut one of the halves in half again so you have 2 quarters. Then cut ½ inch slices, keeping the layers together. Save the other half for next time. (It will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator)
Brush both sides of the cabbage slices with oil.
Once the chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, remove it from the aluminum tray and put directly onto the rimmed baking sheet. Pour the accumulated juices over the chicken.
Place the cabbage slices onto the pan around the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast 10 minutes and turn the cabbage. Roast another 10-20 minutes, until chicken is brown and and cabbage is getting crispy.
Pour the reserved marinade over the chicken and cabbage.
Roast until chicken is cooked through and the cabbage is caramelized about 5 minutes more.
Don’t add the sauce until the chicken and cabbage are almost done. The sauce will burn if cooked too long.
Remove from the oven and enjoy!
Ingredients and Substitutions
You can substitute boneless and skinless thighs or breasts. Just remember that boneless and skinless chicken will cook faster so you should skip the step of roasting them before adding the cabbage.
Mirin is traditional koji brewed rice cooking wine. Its taste is similar to sake, but has more sugar and a lower alcohol content. It’s a good item to have in your pantry if you like Japanese food. Look for one with no added sugar. Most health food stores carry it. If you don’t have any, use an additional teaspoon of rice wine vinegar and a teaspoon of maple syrup.
Coconut sugar can be used in place of maple syrup.
If you’re doing Whole30 replace the maple syrup with some diced apple. For keto leave out the sweetener, it will still taste good.
I used green cabbage but savoy cabbage is also good.
Toasted sesame oil gives the dish a rich umami taste. There is nothing to replace it. But if you don’t have it you can still make the recipe. It will still taste good.
I hope you enjoy this Asian Chicken with Crispy Cabbage. It’s easy to make, juicy and tender, has a balanced umami Asian sauce and is highly nutritious.
Please give this recipe a try and let us know what you think! Give it some stars or leave a comment. ♥
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In this superb sheet pan recipe, tender juicy chicken thighs and crispy cabbage slices are roasted with a well balanced Asian sauce.
- 2 tablespoons gluten free tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other mild flavored oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 chicken thighs, bone in skin on (1 ½ pounds)
- 1/2 medium head cabbage, thick outer leaves removed
- Celtic sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Mix the tamari, maple syrup, mirin, rice wine vinegar, oil, garlic powder and sesame oil together in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken.
- Add chicken and mix to coat both sides. Let sit 30 minutes to marinate.* Turning once.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Make a little tray with aluminum foil just large enough to hold the chicken.
- Place aluminum tray onto a rimmed baking sheet. You’re doing this to prevent the juices from the chicken from burning.
- Remove chicken from the marinade and place into the aluminum tray. Save the marinade.
- Roast 15 minutes.**
- While the chicken is cooking cut the cabbage into quarters from top to bottom, so the cabbage holds together. Cut 2 of the quarters into ½ inch slices, keeping the layers together.
- Brush both sides with oil.
- Remove the chicken from the aluminum tray and put directly onto the rimmed baking sheet pour the accumulated juices over the chicken.
- Place the cabbage slices onto the pan around the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Turn the oven down to 400 degrees
- Roast 10 minutes then flip the cabbage, so it browns evenly.
- Roast another 5-10 minutes, until chicken and cabbage are just about done.***
- Pour the reserved marinade over the chicken and cabbage.
- Roast until chicken is cooked through and nicely brown and the cabbage is caramelized about 5 minutes more. Keep an eye on it, the sauce will burn if cooked too long.
- Serve garnished with cilantro. (optional)
*You can let the chicken sit in the marinade for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
**If the thighs are big roast them more than 15 minutes before adding the cabbage.
***If the thighs and cabbage need more than 5 minutes to finish cooking, don’t pour the sauce over until they’re just about done.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Keywords: Asian chicken thighs