Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is a sweet and savory, lick the plate clean kind of dish. Coming together in just 30 minutes and with a minimal line-up of ingredients, this simple, Asian-infused chicken is bound to be one of your family’s new go-to weeknight dinners!
For extra flavor and phenomenal texture, Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is made with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, pan-seared until golden and crispy, then baked underneath a sticky-sweet Brown Sugar Garlic Sauce. The results are savory-sweet, tender and juicy chicken you’ll continually obsess over with every single bite!
Serve this chicken with fluffy rice and perfectly steamed broccoli for a well-rounded dinner!
BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
- Chicken Thighs – Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe. For consistent results and extra flavor, steer clear of boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Oil – You can use canola oil or avocado oil for this recipe. You will only need a few tablespoons so no need to splurge on avocado oil if you don’t normally buy it.
- Garlic – You can’t have Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken without the garlic! Be sure to use fresh garlic for an extra bang of flavor. This recipe calls for 4 cloves. If you are sensitive to garlic, feel free to cut it back to just 2 or 3 cloves.
- Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar is best, but if you happen to already have dark brown sugar in your pantry, it can be used here!
- Teriyaki Sauce – Don’t attempt to sub in soy sauce for Teriyaki Sauce. While Soy Sauce is in Teriyaki Sauce, Teriyaki actually has a whole lot more going on flavor-wise. It is a reduction of dark soy sauce, mirin, and sugar
- Seasoning – Use Kosher salt and black pepper to season the chicken thighs. In addition to these spices, you’ll also need dried chives and cayenne pepper for the Brown Sugar Garlic Sauce. However, you can leave out the chives completely, if needed, and black pepper can be subbed in for the cayenne if you are worried about too much spice.
HOW TO MAKE BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN
- Prep First – Before you begin cooking, be sure to preheat the oven and have your casserole dish ready to go. Then, prepare the chicken by patting it dry with a paper towel and seasoning it with salt and pepper.
- Sear the Chicken – Before the chicken goes into the oven, it goes into the pan for a good sear. This will help to develop a crispy, golden crust and build mega flavor for your Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken. To do this, add oil to the pan and allow it to come to temperature. Then, sear the chicken skin-side down, flip and sear the other side.
- Make the Sauce – To make the sauce, you’ll spoon out the excess grease from the pan and sauté the garlic. Brown sugar, water, Teriyaki sauce, and seasoning go in. The mixture simmers until thick, sticky, and completely delicious, about 3-5 minutes. Watch your hands — the sauce will be scalding hot.
- Bake – The chicken and sauce go in a casserole dish and are then baked at 375° for 14-16 minutes. Then, allow the Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken to cool slightly, serve and enjoy!
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- 2 - 2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 3 tablespoon avocado or canola oil, separated
- 3 teaspoons Kosher salt, separated
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried chives
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 375° and have ready a greased 9x13" casserole dish. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Rub all over to evenly adhere.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pan over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Add the chicken to pan skin-side down and sear for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes, or until golden. Do not overcrowd the pan, and sear in batches if necessary. Flip the chicken and sear for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to the casserole dish.
Turn off the heat, and carefully using a spoon, remove all but a very thin layer of grease from the pan. Take care to wipe the sides of the pan clean if needed before returning to the heat.
Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add the sugar, water, Teriyaki sauce, dried chives, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Simmer until thick and sticky, 3-5 minutes.
Carefully pour or spoon the sauce evenly over the chicken and bake for 14-16 minutes (or until the chicken's internal temperature has reached 165°). Allow to cool slightly, serve and enjoy!