Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Sticky Tender Asian Chicken Thighs smothered in a sweet and spicy Asian-inspired sauce. Juicy, tender, and loaded with flavor, this easy chicken thighs recipe is ready in less than an hour and is made with pantry staples!

I love juicy chicken thighs with crispy chicken skin! Try my Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs for a sweet and tangy meal, or fire up the grill and throw on my Grilled Curry Mango Chicken!

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs in a pan, garnished with parsley

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Why has it taken me so long to make chicken thighs?! I’ve actually never prepared them before and almost always reach for chicken breasts when at the grocery store. I decided to give them a try and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

The great thing about chicken thighs is that they have a bit more fat than chicken breast which means juicier chicken. They are also harder to dry out than chicken breast making them virtually foolproof. And if you choose bone-in (like me) it adds a lot more flavor.

I brown the chicken in a super hot pan before it goes in the oven. This gives it a nice caramelization and crispiness on the outside. I did end up with some grease in my pan (because of the skin). Drain the oil out of the pan or dab it with a paper towel to get the excess oil out.  You can use skinless chicken thighs to combat this. I personally prefer the skin as the crispiness gives this recipe an amazing texture.

The chicken gets coated in a sticky Asian-style sauce. Sweet with a hint of spice. The sauce is made with soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, Sriracha, ginger, and light brown sugar.

This dish comes together in about 45 minutes and most of the ingredients are pantry staples! Perfect for busy families like mine.

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs in a pan, garnished with parsley

Key Ingredients for Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

  • Bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs: I love using bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs in this recipe. The skin gets crispy on the outside and the bone helps it to stay juicy on the inside. This recipe can be made with boneless chicken thighs or breasts. Just shorten the cooking time.
  • Ginger: I prefer to use fresh grated ginger however ground ginger can be substituted in a pinch.
  • Garlic: I always have to have garlic, and it’s also a key ingredient in Asian cuisine!
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce: If you do not have low sodium soy sauce you can substitute regular soy sauce with a little water so it’s not too salty. You can also substitute coconut aminos for a gluten-free version, although you may want to skip the sugar as coconut aminos tend to be naturally sweet!
  • Light brown sugar: Adds a nice sweetness to the sauce. Honey can also be substituted.
  • Sweet chili sauce: Adds sweetness and tang to the sauce. This sauce can be found in the International Isle in the grocery store.
  • Rice wine vinegar: Gives the sauce the perfect amount of acidity. I find rice wine vinegar works best in this recipe. I do not recommend substituting any other kinds of vinegar.
  • Sriracha: This is added for a little kick of heat. If you don’t want the spice just omit it.

close up of Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs in a white dish, garnished with parsley and sesame seeds

How to make Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Prepare the oven and skillet: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add oil to a large skillet and heat it over high heat.

Season the chicken: Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

seasoning the chicken thighs on a white chopping board

Cook the chicken: Once the pan is nice and hot add in the chicken skin side down. Cook until the outside is crisp and caramelized, 3-4 minutes on each side.

add chicken thighs skin down to a hot pan

Mix the stick sauce ingredients: Meanwhile whisk together, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, Sriracha, ginger, brown sugar, vinegar, and garlic.

mixing sticky Asian sauce in a clear bowl

Add together and bake! Add it to the pan with the chicken and turn off the heat. Place in the oven and cook until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. This takes about 25-30 minutes.

add sauce to thighs in pan

Serve: Serve Sticky Asian Thighs while hot with sesame seeds and parsley for garnish, if desired.

sticky Asian chicken thighs in white dish with parsley

Tips for Success

  • Make sure the pan is hot before adding the chicken, skin side down. This is how the skin gets crispy.
  • Cook the skin until crispy before adding the sauce. If the skin isn’t crispy, the sauce will keep it soggy, even when it bakes in the oven.
  • If you don’t like heat omit the sriracha sauce entirely. This is useful if you have kids that don’t like hot spices. They can still enjoy sticky Asian chicken thighs without the heat!
  • If you’d like extra heat add a little more sriracha! You can add a tablespoon or even two without overpowering the other flavors.
  • Check the chicken before eating. Sometimes thicker chicken thighs take longer to cook through, so either check it with a meat thermometer (it should read 165°F if they’re cooked through) or cut a little by the bone and see if it’s still pink.

Storage and Reheating Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

To reheat, bake in the oven as before for 20 minutes, or heat in the microwave until hot. The skin may not be as crispy if you reheat the thighs in the microwave.

Freeze: Store cooked Asian Chicken Thighs in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating as above.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs? Yes! Reduce the cooking time as chicken breasts cook quicker, and also over-cook easier. Check the chicken after 20 minutes instead of 25-30. You could also use wings or drumsticks.
  • I can’t have gluten. What can I use instead of low sodium soy sauce? Either low sodium gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos are great substitutions if you need these Asian Chicken Thighs to be gluten-free.
  • Can I use something else instead of sugar? Honey goes really well with this recipe if you’d rather not use brown sugar!

What Can I serve with Sticky Asian Thighs?

Here are some of my favorite side dishes to go with this recipe:

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs in a pan, garnished with parsley

Here are more delicious chicken recipes to try!

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Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

4.93 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Sticky Tender Asian Chicken Thighs smothered in a sweet and spicy Asian inspired sauce. Juicy, tender and loaded with flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 chicken thighs bone in and skin on
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • sesame seeds for garnish if desired
  • parsley for garnish if desired

Instructions

Images:
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add oil to a large skillet and heat on high heat.
    Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  • Once the pan is nice and hot add in the chicken skin side down. Cook until the outside is crisp and caramelized, 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Meanwhile whisk together, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, Sriracha, ginger, brown sugar, vinegar and garlic.
  • Add the sauce to the pan with the chicken and turn off the heat.
    Place in the oven and cook until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. This takes about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve while hot with sesame seeds and parsley for garnish, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 317 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 658mg29%
Potassium 253mg7%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 88IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: chicken, Easy Weeknight Dinner, Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

 

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Comments - page 2/6

  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter

    These look so incredible, Kelley! Love the sticky sweet and spicy sauce!

  • Diane stoneback

    I love your recipe and have made it using thighs. Now I need to try it with drumsticks and breasts for fussy friends. Any idea of cooking time for the legs and breasts?

  • Hi Diane,

    I am so happy you love this recipe. It should actually be around the same cooking time for the legs and breasts if they are still together. They may take 5 or 10 more minutes. I would just check after 30 with a thermometer and take it out when it reaches 165.

    I hope this helps! Thanks!

    Kelley

  • Olivia

    This recipe was a hit with my household everyone loved it I used thighs and legs I did not have sweet chili sauce so I opted out for three additional tablespoons of Siracha as well as 2 additional teaspoons of brown sugar along with 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar skipped parsley and sesame seeds

  • Victoria

    These are delicious! I subbed a small bit of hoison for the sweet chili sauce and upped the amount of sriracha. The thighs are so juicy and flavorful!

  • Michele

    Made these tonight and O M G! That sauce is such an amazing combination of sweet and savory I can’t even describe. Everyone loved. This recipe=KEEPER! Thank you so much for sharing!