Honey + Sriracha Chicken Thighs

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It took me a few tries to get this recipe for honey and sriracha chicken just right. I’ll be honest – the first time I tried it, it was downright bad. We each took about two bites of the chicken before tossing it and ordering take-out.   I loved the flavor of the sauce though, and I was determined to make it work. In the end, I’m glad that I persevered because this chicken is delicious and easy enough for even the most hectic weeknight.

This recipe is sort of like roast chicken meets buffalo wings… with an Asian twist. The sticky-sweet sauce has a good kick to it, the skin is nice and crisp (and beautifully charred in some places), and the meat itself is moist and flavorful.

The entire feel of the dish can be changed by simply swapping out the sides: wild rice pilaf and sauteed green beans give it a homey elegance; baked waffle fries make it a more casual, fun meal.

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Throughout my attempts to perfect this recipe, I discovered a few things that really make a big difference.

First, whatever you do, don’t attempt to get a head start on your week by letting the chicken marinate overnight. Because the sauce is so acidic, it will do crazy things to the texture of the chicken, leaving the meat sort of gelatinous and preventing the skin from crisping up the way it should. If that seems too crazy to be true, just think about the effect that acid has on fish when you make ceviche. Believe me, it’s not worth the extra few minutes that you’ll save at dinnertime.

My multiple attempts at perfecting this recipe also reinforced my belief that it’s definitely worth spending a few extra dollars on natural or organic chicken whenever you’re working with skin and bone. Natural and organic chicken tends to be leaner, and since it doesn’t take as long for all of the fat to render out, the skin will crisp up faster. As an added bonus, the meat itself seems to be darker and more flavorful – when I made these with conventional thighs, the meat was almost pure white and they tasted like flabby fat. (Conventional is fine when you’re using something like boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but if you’re making legs, thighs, or a whole chicken I really do think organic tastes the best.)

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Honey + Sriracha Chicken Thighs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These sweet and spicy chicken thighs are like a cross between roast chicken and hot wings. For the best results, use organic or all-natural chicken.
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 bone-in Chicken Thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • ¼ cup Sriracha
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • ½ Lime, juiced (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger
Preparation
  1. Heat oven to 425*F. Arrange the chicken thighs skin-side up on a baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining ingredients in a small pan set over medium-high heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until reduced to a thin glaze – a spoon dragged through the sauce should leave a trail in its wake.
  3. Spoon the reduced sauce onto the chicken thighs, covering the skin generously. Return to the oven and cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until the skin is crisp and begins to char and the juices run clear when the thighs are cut into with a knife.
  4. Remove from the oven and tent with foil; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

Comments

  1. would love the recipe for these but I don’t see it here with the write-up.

    The pictures look great!!

  2. Angela Vlachos Ruth says:

    So, where’s the recipe? looks amazing and I just bought some local honey and have a great spice woman at the Sunday Market who has everything you ever ask us to get!

    • Lauren Keating says:

      There appears to have been a technical glitch… not sure where the recipe went! I’ll fix it when I get home later tonight. (Luckily I keep hard copies of them all!)

  3. Holy Cow this recipe is spot on!! I made it for dinner tonight, and it was amazing!

  4. I made this a few nights ago with a healthy fried rice. WOW! My whole family ate it up and I was upset I didn’t cook extra! Fantastic recipe!

  5. I made this a few nights ago with a healthy fried rice. WOW! My whole family ate it up and I was upset I didn’t cook extra! Fantastic recipe!

  6. I made this a few nights ago with a healthy fried rice. WOW! My whole family ate it up and I was upset I didn’t cook extra! Fantastic recipe!

  7. These look great! I think you need to update the cook time, though. You have 15 minutes listed right now, but according to your recipe, it should be closer to 30-35 minutes.

  8. Lauren,
    Yum!
    I’m saving this for when I have something other than ground chicken and BSCB (which is what I’ve got today).

    I bet it’d be great on a roast chicken, too!

  9. I tried this tonight, and it was amazing! This is the best glazed chicken I’ve ever made. I’ll definitely be making it again! Thank you!

    • Lauren Keating says:

      Thank you for the report back! I’m always happy to know when my recipes work out well for people. I’m glad you enjoyed it! :)

  10. Sam Reimer says:

    I cooked this for dinner, but it came out very dry (I am a college student, so I may have screwed something up). Any suggestions? Tasted great though!

    • Don’t blame being a student – recipes can go wrong for anyone! I’ve never had a problem with thighs being dry (they’re a pretty juicy cut) but there are a few things that come to mind. Dryness usually comes from being overcooked, so yours may have been a little smaller than the ones I used (mine were about 1/2 pound each). My other thought is that your oven might run a little hot – especially if you’re in a dorm or are renting a place with older appliances. If that’s the case, you might want to try them at 400* next time, and keep an eye on them because they might be done a little sooner.

      I hope that helps!

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  12. Chicken thighs are da best.

  13. christina says:

    do you have nutritional information for this recipe? I found it by searching “healthy chicken thigh recipes,” so I was hoping to have some calorie, fat, sodium detail.

    thanks – it looks delicious!

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