Honey Soy Marinated Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe

The real secret to what makes these honey soy marinated chicken thighs so tasty lies in the sauce. As developer Katie Rosenhouse informs us, "Marinating the chicken thighs for at least an hour provides tenderness and deep flavor," although the longer you're able to let them soak, the more flavorful they'll get. Once the chicken goes into the oven, she says, "The sugars in the marinade help the tops of the chicken thighs caramelize as they bake."

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Not only do you get tasty salty-sweet chicken, but not a drop of that marinade goes to waste, either. Rosenhouse thriftily makes use of the leftover marinade by cooking it on the stovetop, explaining that this will turn it into "a sticky, thick sauce that coats each thigh" and can help the sesame seed and chopped scallion garnish stick to the chicken. The resulting dish is something that she tells us is "absolutely delicious and amazingly easy to throw together."

Gather the ingredients for the honey soy marinated baked chicken thighs

To make this recipe, you'll need chicken thighs, plus soy sauce and honey for the marinade. Additional marinade ingredients include rice wine vinegar (cider vinegar can be substituted), sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper, while you'll also need sesame seeds and scallions for a garnish.

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Step 1: Make the marinade

In a large bowl, whisk to combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper.

Step 2: Cover the chicken with the marinade

Add chicken thighs and toss to coat.

Step 3: Marinate the chicken

Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Step 4: Put the chicken in a pan

Transfer chicken to an 8-inch baking dish. Cover with sauce. Let it stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.

Step 5: Heat up the oven

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Step 6: Bake the chicken

Bake chicken in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 F and the tops are caramelized.

Step 7: Put the chicken on a plate and the sauce in a pot

Transfer chicken to a serving dish and add the sauce to a small pot.

Step 8: Simmer the sauce until it thickens

Cook to reduce sauce over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes to until thickened and syrupy.

Step 9: Top the chicken with sauce

Pour sauce over chicken.

Step 10: Garnish the chicken before eating

Garnish chicken with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve hot and over rice.

Can I make any ingredient swaps in this honey soy marinated baked chicken thigh recipe?

If chicken thighs aren't your favorite part of the bird, there's no need to pass up this recipe as it could still be used for drumsticks or breasts and, as Rosenhouse tells us, "It's one of my favorite ways to make wings." You may need to adjust the cooking time, however, particularly if you're opting for boneless parts or ones that are substantially smaller or larger than thighs tend to be. If you'll be making chicken wings, Rosenhouse also says it's best to add the sauce toward the end of the cooking time since she points out that it "will thicken and caramelize in the oven, particularly if baked in a thin layer."

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You can substitute gluten-free tamari for soy sauce, although in this case, you might want to add a pinch more salt to the marinade. Rosenhouse says you can also substitute an equal amount of powdered ginger for the fresh stuff, although you may need to add a little extra since she explains that "powdered ginger is much less pungent than fresh ginger."

As for the suggested sides and garnishes, Rosenhouse notes that rice is optional as she feels "this chicken would be delicious served over noodles, potatoes, or any other simple side." She says you can also skip the sesame seeds if you prefer since they're mostly there to add color and a slightly nutty flavor she describes as "subtle."

What can I do with leftover honey soy marinated baked chicken thighs?

If you don't finish all of the chicken in one meal, the leftovers should be good in the fridge for 3 days and can also be frozen. While microwaving is always an option for reheating leftover chicken, Rosenhouse's preferred method starts with thawing the chicken in the refrigerator overnight (if it's frozen, that is). She then covers the leftovers with aluminum foil and bakes them at 350 until they register 165 F on a meat thermometer. This temperature reading ensures that the chicken is warm all the way through, but as it's already cooked there's no danger of foodborne illness if the thermometer fails to climb all the way up. As Rosenhouse points out, leftover cooked chicken is also quite tasty when eaten cold.

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Leftover honey soy marinated chicken can be put to use in other dishes, too, much in the same way that you'd use leftover rotisserie chicken. Rosenhouse tells us, "I love slicing up leftovers and using them in salads for a quick lunch option," while you could also use the leftover chicken to make chicken salad sandwiches. A few other options include adding it to macaroni and cheese or using it to fill burritos or enchiladas.

What should I serve with honey and soy marinated chicken thighs

Chicken cooked in a tasty honey soy marinade doesn't need very much to round it out, so you can keep the side dishes pretty simple. You'll want to soak up as much of the extra marinade as possible, so start by serving the chicken with rice. Follow a basic stovetop steamed white rice recipe or add a bit of nuttiness to the dish with steamed brown rice. Layer the chicken over the rice to ensure you catch every last bit of sticky honey soy sauce.

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A crunchy green vegetable stir-fry is another excellent sidekick to complete this meal. Toss broccoli or bok choy in a wok with sesame oil, taking the veggies off the heat after a short time to maintain a texture with some bite. Lightly charred snap peas or green beans work well too, providing a good dose of nutrients without detracting from the star player. As long as you keep the veggies simple, they'll benefit from the sweet and salty marinade as well. Finally, if you want to add a fresh component to your meal, try an easy cucumber salad with rice wine vinegar or a tangy Napa cabbage kimchi recipe.

Honey Soy Marinated Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe

5 (32 ratings)

The real secret to what makes these honey soy marinated chicken thighs so tasty lies in the sticky, ginger, and honey sauce.

Prep Time
1.25
hours
Cook Time
50
minutes
servings
3
Servings
chicken with rice
Total time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine (or apple cider) vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk to combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add chicken thighs and toss to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Transfer chicken to an 8-inch baking dish. Cover with sauce. Let it stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  6. Bake chicken in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 F and the tops are caramelized.
  7. Transfer chicken to a serving dish and add the sauce to a small pot.
  8. Cook to reduce sauce over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes to until thickened and syrupy.
  9. Pour sauce over chicken.
  10. Garnish chicken with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve hot and over rice.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 808
Total Fat 54.3 g
Saturated Fat 14.3 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 296.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 23.5 g
Sodium 1,126.8 mg
Protein 52.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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