Are there days when you just want to change how you usually prepare your chicken dishes without running a “fowl”? Then you’ve come to the right place – I’ll share here my best sauces for chicken. You’ll love them!
You don’t have to change your cooking style – whether you like chicken fried, broiled; bone-in or fillet – these easy to prepare sauces will liven ho-hum chicken meals. This will even help you spruce up leftovers, including those chicken wings that somehow survived the previous feast.
Don’t settle for bottled and store-bought preparations. Just as there are endless ways to enjoy chicken, tastes also vary tremendously.
Don’t be intimidated – it’s not that hard! To help you make wonders with your chicken dishes, I have compiled the best and easiest sauce options for chicken.
Best Barbecue Sauce for Chicken
The easiest to make and with delicious results. We have a couple of options here, so let’s check them out!
Classic BBQ Sauce
This sauce staple is great for grilling, stewing, or as a dip.
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp vinegar of choice
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
Simply mix the ingredients together and stir them well until the sauce is ready. Enjoy!
No Ketchup Barbecue Sauce
Sauté one finely chopped onion in olive oil. When they become translucent, add around 300-400 grams of finely chopped tomatoes and some grated garlic.
Season with salt and black pepper and allow it to simmer for a few minutes until it comes to a low boil. Add brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce to taste.
At this point, you can put in your chicken pieces to broil or bake. If you want to convert it to a smooth sauce for brushing, puree with a stick blender.
To adjust consistency and color, you can add water or tomato paste/sauce gradually.
Best Citrus sauces for Chicken
Citrus and chicken are not a mix that everyone loves, but it’s one you have to at least try a few times to see what side you’re on. And with my recommended sauces below, I think you’ll be on the “I love them!” side.
This tangy option pairs well with fried cone-in chicken pieces, breaded chicken fillets and livens up boiled skinless chicken pieces.
Just pop these in a saucepan:
- 1 cup orange juice (preferable freshly squeezed)
- Zest from one orange
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp dried ginger or a small slice of fresh ginger
- ½ cup sugar
- Garlic powder, chilli flakes to taste
Bring the mixture to a slow boil and then make a cornstarch slurry to thicken.
Lemon/Lime or Pineapple Sauce
Just follow the above procedure and change the orange for your citrus or fruit of choice.
Lime and Ginger Sauce
A unique thing about this sauce is that it is used both as the marinade and the sauce. Talk about flavoring the chicken up!
Here’s how to prepare this delight:
1. Mix in a bowl or container zest of 1 lime, ¼ cup lime juice, 1 chopped medium onion, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 thumb-sized piece of minced fresh ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp of Chinese 5-spice powder.
2. Marinate your chicken pieces for at least an hour.
3. Remove chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Then you can either brown, grill or bake them.
4. Place the remaining marinade in a pan and add a chicken cube or several spoons of chicken broth. If you are browning the chicken, use the same pan. Bring it to a quick simmer on high heat. Thicken with a cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch: 1 tbsp cold water).
5. Turn off the heat when the desired consistency is achieved then add a splash of sesame oil and if you want, some chopped cilantro. Season the sauce to taste and enjoy!
Honey Mustard Sauce for chicken
This easy-peasy sauce is perfect for chicken tenders/fingers/nuggets, a dip for wings, slather on chicken burgers, and even pairs perfectly with chicken cordon bleu.
Just whisk the following ingredients until smooth and emulsified:
- ¼ cup mustard of your choice
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tbsp vinegar of choice
- ¼ teaspoon pepper of choice (cayenne or black pepper are the best)
- ¼ mayonnaise or olive oil (depending on what you prefer!)
Pesto Sauce for Chicken
This Italian classic is perfect for chicken skillet meals, as part of a sauce for pasta with chicken, or simply as a dip to breaded or fried chicken pieces. If you have all the ingredients just pop into a mixer or food processor the following:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry
- 3 tbsp pine nuts (if unavailable you can substitute with other nuts or peeled and roasted sunflower seeds)
- 3 peeled garlic cloves
- 1/3 grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pulse until ingredients combine roughly, adding gradually around 1/3 cup of olive oil in a slow stream until the pesto becomes well emulsified.
But okay, I hear you – if you have bottled pesto – that will also do!
White Wine Garlic Sauce
This perfect pair for roasted, braised, or grilled chicken. Just brown some garlic in a pan, add a handful of shallots, chicken broth plus a splash of any dry white wine.
Place a sprig of fresh thyme to render flavor and remove once the sauce boils. This can be served on the side or together with your chicken pieces in the same bowl.
Savory Sauce with Red Wine
This sauce is great for braising chicken pieces – whether fillets or bone-in.
Simply heat some garlic (they can be minced or whole-crushed) in a skillet with the oil of your choice.
Place chicken pieces and brown for several minutes on both sides to render the chicken juices onto the sauce.
Remove chicken pieces and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. In the pan, places a few tablespoons of dry red wine.
You can sweeten the sauce with some sugar or honey to taste. Place seasoned chicken back in the skillet and cover.
Baste the chicken from time to time with the sauce and to create that lovely color on your pieces.
Brandy-Infused Mushroom Cream Sauce
This is the perfect comfort food for those cold days and the best addition to browned chicken. Prepare about ½ cup of brandy and follow these steps:
- In the same skillet or pan that you have browned your chicken pieces, sauté some mushrooms (preferably Portobello) in butter. Remove mushroom from the pan.
- Add minced garlic and a splash of brandy. When the garlic cooks a bit, add the rest of the brandy to deglaze the pan and pick up the yummy goodness from the chicken and mushrooms.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of honey or brown sugar. When dissolved, add ½ cup of heavy bream, season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine all the ingredients well. Keep the sauce on a low boil. Then you can return the mushrooms and chicken pieces to simmer for a few minutes before serving.
Southeast Asian Soy Braised Chicken Sauce
This dish is a one pot-wonder where you get the sauce and cooked chicken in one go after stewing chicken pieces.
In a pot, just fry some garlic and onions (the more the merrier). When they start to become fragrant, drop a bay leaf and some salt and pepper to eke out the flavors. In this spice mix, brown your chicken pieces.
With all the pieces in the same pot, pour in ½ cup of soy sauce, ½ cup of vinegar together with a few peppercorns. Add water so that the pieces are just covered enough.
Pop the cover on and leave it to stew on the stove. After 20 minutes, the sauce will have reduced. You can continue cooking until desired tenderness is reached.
he beauty of this is it is even better served the next day when the flavors seep – a great idea if you are preparing meals in advance.
Easy Tahini Sauce for Chicken
If you have that bottle of tahini and you don’t know what else to do with it, here’s a yummy (and easy) way to make a delicious sauce for grilled or roasted chicken.
Place the following in a food processor:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup tahini
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
Blend until the mixture emulsifies. Add some cumin and some freshly chopped parsley leaves. Enjoy!
Lebanese Toum (Tomeya) – Garlic Sauce
This sauce can be used also as a marinade for chicken. It keeps well in the fridge when stored in an airtight container (1 month) so don’t hesitate to make a bigger batch. It needs only 4 ingredients and a food processor.
You will need:
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup ice-cold water
- 1 cup garlic, split or crushed
- 3 cups of neutral oil – sunflower or canola
Simply pulse the garlic and salt until minced finely, scraping the sides in between. Gradually add the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a paste.
Once it becomes light and fluffy, drizzle the oil in alternating with the remaining lemon juice until well incorporated. That’s it!
Pleasing the Palate for Chicken
As we mentioned, chicken can be enjoyed in countless ways. You can please your crowd with these easy-to-create sauces.
Don’t hesitate to tweak them to taste or experiment with substitute ingredients to suit your taste. Most of the things you need are readily available in your pantry.