Sticky Baked Chicken Thighs is what you make when you need an unplanned, quick and easy recipe for boneless skinless chicken thighs. It’s incredibly simple, made with pantry staples and uses a highly effective method for cooking chicken thighs in the oven.
The sweet-savoury glaze tastes like your favourite country-style rub, and the sauce is so good for drizzling over everything on your plate!
Boneless skinless chicken thighs in the oven!
We all love chicken thighs that have been cooked so they’re beautifully caramelised on the surface – like with everybody’s favourite Garlic Chicken Thighs.
But we all have those days when we don’t want to deal with the spitting and splutter of chicken thighs in the pan.
And we all also have those days when we haven’t planned for a particular recipe for that pack of chicken thighs in the fridge.
Enter – Sticky Baked Chicken Thighs.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs cooked in the oven that practically look like they’ve been seared on the stove!
The glaze – pantry staples!
Made with basic pantry staples with plenty of substitutions possible, this country-style sauce is adapted from these Baked Pork Chops. It’s savoury and a bit sweet, with great layers of flavour. Here’s what we’re using:
- Worcestershire sauce – packs a ton of savouriness, plus you can give yourself a pat on the back for using it for something other than Bloody Mary’s ;
- Soy sauce – the “better than salt” way of adding salt to anything (more flavour);
- Ketchup – OR Aussie tomato sauce, BBQ sauce or other similar type sauces;
- Brown sugar – or honey or even maple syrup. Corn syrup, golden syrup or other such sweet things in liquid form should work just fine too;
- Garlic – because it makes everything better;
- Vinegar – because where we have sweet, we must balance with tang. Use apple cider vinegar if you have it, otherwise any other clear(ish) vinegar; and
- Oil – just makes the sauce a bit more interesting. You can skip it if you want.
Cooking boneless skinless chicken thighs in the oven
These baked chicken thighs are a mix, drizzle and bake job.
The key here is baking on a high heat to get nice caramelisation – I bake the thighs at 220C/425F.
For the best result, bake it for just over half the time, then finish with a broil/grill. This caramelises the surface really well, and this is my preferred method for baking chicken thighs.
What temperature should boneless chicken thighs be cooked too?
Boneless chicken thighs are cooked when the internal temperature is 75C/165F. However, because thighs are far more juicy than breast, they are more forgiving so don’t fret about exact cooking times.
Can this be made with chicken breast?
Yes, but the caramelisation isn’t as good. Directions in recipe notes!
Plenty of sauce for drizzling!
The other nice thing about this recipe is that there’s plenty of a lovely syrupy sauce to spoon over the chicken and everything else on your plate.
The sauce is the reason why I like to bake AND broil/grill chicken thighs. While you get better caramelisation by just broiling, you don’t get pan juices.
And for this quick meal, I want sauce because then it minimises the effort I have to go to for the sides! Mop all the sauce up with some crusty bread, or for something a little different, try this speedy Garlic Mashed White Beans (pictured below). ~ Nagi x
More quick Chicken Thigh recipes
These are all boneless chicken thigh recipes that don’t require any marinating time.
- Garlic Chicken Thighs – crispy surface, fabulous garlic flavour!
- Chicken Stroganoff – everything you love about Beef Stroganoff, but with chicken!
- One Pot Chinese Chicken and “Fried Rice” – it’s fried rice and Chinese chicken, all made in one pot!
- Honey Garlic Chicken – the 5 ingredient sauce is outrageously good!
- Oven Baked Chicken Breast – dry rubbed then baked, this recipe works 100% perfectly with thigh as well
Sticky Baked Chicken Thighs
Watch how to make it
Sticky Baked Chicken Thighs
Recipe video above. This is what you make it you’ve got boneless skinless chicken thighs and haven’t planned anything for dinner. You’ve probably got everything required for the glaze – and if you don’t, there’s plenty of sub options. Savoury and sweet, the sauce is great drizzled over everything!
- 700g / 1.4lb chicken thighs (, skinless boneless (5-7 pieces), Note 1)
Glaze (Note 2 for subs):
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tbsp brown sugar (, lightly packed)
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce (, all purpose or light (NOT dark))
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 clove garlics (, minced)
- Preheat oven to 220C/420F (standard) or 200C/390F (fan).
- Use a pan large enough to fit the thighs lying flat (not bunched up/folded)
Line pan with foil (you’ll thank me later), place thighs in pan.
Mix together Glaze. Spoon over about 2/3 of the Glaze on the surface of each (not underside), reserve rest.
- Bake 15 minutes, remove pan.
- Flick to grill/broiler on high, adjust shelf to be 20cm/8″ from heat source.
- Spoon pan juices over chicken. Then spoon/dab remaining Glaze onto chicken.
- Broil chicken for 8 to 10 minutes until surface is nicely caramelised.
- Remove and stand for a few minutes (uncovered) before serving with pan juices.
1. Chicken – If your thighs are teeny tiny (as sometimes they can be), reduce the oven cook time a bit.
And yes this can be made with breast instead but you won’t get the same caramelisation in the oven. Alternative is to broil/grill only – better caramelising. Directions:
- Cut each breast horizontally to form 2 steaks;
- Oven: Spoon ALL the sauce over one side. Bake for 18 minutes at 425F/220C, do not remove for basting, do not broil.
- Broil: Spoon bit of sauce on one side. Broil on high 3 minutes. Flip, spoon over remaining sauce. Broil 6-8 min, watch carefully to ensure it doesn’t burn too much.
2. Glaze – plenty of sub options here, this is a really flexible recipe:
- Ketchup – Aussie tomato sauce, BBQ sauce or other similar sauces
- Brown Sugar – white sugar, honey, maple syrup, or any other sweet thing in similar liquid form
- Soy Sauce – light or all purpose soy sauce, don’t use dark it will be too intense. Fish sauce would also work but reduce to 1 tbsp.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – sub with any clear(ish) plain vinegars eg plain white vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, champagne vinegar etc.
- Worcestershire sauce – add 1/4 tsp black pepper then add an extra dash of all the other ingredients. A sprinkle of onion and/or garlic powder on the chicken before coating in sauce would also help.
- Add ins – dash if your favourite hot sauce wouldn’t go astray! Pinch of herbs (mixed, oregano, thyme), cayenne pepper for heat, sprinkle of paprika for warmth, cumin or coriander for South-West edge.
- Foil – Sauce will caramelise on edges and adhere firmly to pan. Takes intense scrubbing to remove, so use foil. DO NOT use parchment paper (will catch fire under grill).
- No point putting glaze on underside, it doesn’t stay on. Underside gets flavoured because it ends up cooked in the sauce. Also want upper side exposed to heat the whole time for best caramelisation.
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