Easy turmeric black pepper chicken with juicy tender chicken, crisp asparagus, and a rich black pepper sauce. Make this easy restaurant inspired dinner in just 30 minutes. It’s incredibly sticky, crispy, sweet, and perfect for a weeknight dinner.Jump to Recipe
I recently came across NYT Cooking’s recipe for turmeric black pepper chicken with asparagus recipe and I had never heard of it before. The recipe resembles an orange chicken but without the orange. The first thing that came to mind was black pepper chicken which I love to make but I never thought to add turmeric.
Cooking with turmeric is such a great idea because it can pack your meal with a spice that fights inflammation, keeps blood sugar levels stead, and can prevent or treat type 2 diabetes. More on that later. I’m so excited for you to try this incredible turmeric black pepper chicken recipe. It is similar but is different from the original recipe. It’s easy to make and I can’t wait for you to try this honey turmeric chicken.
- Why You’ll Love This Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- What You’ll Need to Make This Black Pepper Turmeric Chicken Recipe
- How to Make Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- Tips for Making The Best Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- What Happens When You Mix Turmeric and Black Pepper?
- What to Serve with Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- Storing Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- Other Must Try Chicken Recipes
- The Ultimate Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
Why You’ll Love This Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- The turmeric chicken, crispy asparagus, and sticky sweet black pepper sauce give you all you need in a meal. It’s balanced and is kid friendly. Have a picky eater in your home? Try this out.
- It’s perfect for the weeknight. The prep is extremely easy and you only need 30 minutes to put everything together. Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you, everything cooks very quickly once you get started.
- Don’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen after dinner to clean? Don’t worry about that. Everything is made in one skillet.
What You’ll Need to Make This Black Pepper Turmeric Chicken Recipe
Sesame oil and vegetable oil - the sesame oil adds so much flavor but it’s mixed with the vegetable oil so it’s not too overpowering. It infuses the chicken with so much flavor as it’s fried. If you don't have sesame oil that’s okay too, you can substitute vegetable oil.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into bite sized pieces. Using small pieces ensures the chicken cooks completely, quickly which makes it perfect for a weeknight meal. You can substitute skinless chicken thighs
Asparagus - chopped and seasoned with salt and pepper. You have the freedom to cook the asparagus until completely soft or keep crispy.
Turmeric Chicken Batter
Flour & Cornstarch - using both flour and cornstarch give the chicken a nice crisp as it’s fried
Turmeric - provides not only a beautiful yellow color but has so many benefits. It’s totally underrated in my opinion.
Garlic Powder & Salt
Black Pepper Sauce
Ginger and Garlic - these two go together so well and create a delicious flavor pairing. Fresh is best! Try not to use pre-minced garlic or ginger paste if you can.
Red pepper flake - for a little heat of course. If you’re sensitive to heat or have kids eating, omit this.
Cornstarch - to thicken the sauce as it cooks.
Honey - for sweetness, I usually opt for local honey for its benefits
Soy sauce - for even more added flavor
Water - to thin out the sauce and make it less potent
Rice vinegar - for added acidity and tanginess
Ground back pepper - I use course ground
How to Make Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- In a medium bowl or bag combine all the ingredients for the turmeric chicken batter including the flour, corn starch, turmeric, garlic powder, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the chicken breast pieces and seal the bag or container. Give it a good shake to coat the chicken in the batter.
- Add the sesame oil and vegetable oil to the skillet and heat oil over medium to medium high heat. Once heated add the chicken breast pieces. Keep the chicken from touching each other. You may have to cook the chicken in batches. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or until fully cooked and golden brown. Remove from heat.
- While the chicken is cooking combine all the ingredients for the black pepper sauce including the ginger, garlic, red pepper flake, cornstarch, honey, soy sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, and pepper. Stir together until well combined and set the honey mixture aside.
- Once the chicken is done and set aside. Rinse the skillet of all the pan drippings Add back over the heat and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the asparagus has reached the texture you’re looking for. I like mine a little crisp so I cook them for about 3 minutes. Once done remove from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the black pepper sauce and stir consistently over medium heat until the sauce thickens. This will be very quick. Once the honey mixture is thick remove from the heat and stir in the asparagus and chicken until covered in the sauce. Serve warm.
Tips for Making The Best Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
There are a few tips I have to make sure your turmeric chicken stir fry turns out perfectly. Avoid some of the mistakes I made when I was first preparing these.
- Make sure your skillet is ready for the chicken before adding. This recipes fries the chicken. Adding the chicken too soon or to a lukewarm pan is going to give you soggy oily chicken. Adding to hot oil for example will give the chicken the crisp it’s looking for and it will leave the inside nice and juicy. To make sure your oil is just right, add a flick of water. If it starts to bubble or pop, it’s a good sign your oil is hot enough.
- Cook the chicken in batches. Adding too many chicken to the pan at once not only cools off the oil all at once, it can also prevent your chicken from getting super crispy if they're all touching. For the best results fry in batches.
- Use a splatter screen. Any time I pan fry I use a splatter screen because I don’t want to have to clean up a big mess once I’m done cooking. Especially not on a busy weeknight. Splatter screens can be rinsed and thrown in the dish washer and make for a very easy clean up.
- As soon as you add the black pepper sauce ingredients to the hot skillet, stir constantly. The hotter your pan is the faster your sauce will thicken. If you thicken it too much you’ll need to add water. This is easy to do if you're not ready for it. The key here is to stir well and remove from the heat immediately when it turns into a thick sauce. Try avoid overcooking and making too thick because adding water will only dilute the flavor.
What Happens When You Mix Turmeric and Black Pepper?
You may not have known but turmeric and black pepper are a powerful combination. I have been on a little bit of a health kick lately and have been reading up on nutrition. From my reading, I’ve learned that turmeric and black pepper both have health benefits.
When the two spices are combined the benefits are way more potent. Together, they offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Plus they taste great too! It’s a win win
What to Serve with Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- White or seasoned rice
- Green Beans
Storing Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
Storing the turmeric black pepper chicken is easy. Let the turmeric black pepper chicken cool before storing. Store in an air tight container and refrigerate for up to a week. To reheat, place in the microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time. Stir and microwave again until fully reheated.
Other Must Try Chicken Recipes
The Ultimate Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lb chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- 6 oz asparagus
Turmeric Chicken Batter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Black Pepper Sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- Pinch of red pepper flake
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the chicken batter. Add the chicken breasts and toss to coat all the chicken pieces with the flour mixture. Set aside.
- In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium to medium high heat. Once heated add the chicken breasts and fry for about 3 minutes on each side. After the chicken is cooked, place on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- While the chicken is cooking combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- Once the chicken is done, rinse the skillet then add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the asparagus with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked to your desired tenderness. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat add the sauce and stir until it thickens. This should happen very quickly about 10-20 seconds. Once thick, remove from the heat immediately and add the chicken and asparagus and stir until the sauce covers the chicken and asparagus.