Honey Soy Baked Chicken is a good one for busy weeknights and lazy Sundays. Just mix up a simple honey-soy-garlic sauce, pour it over chicken and bake in the oven. Out comes a sweet, salty, sticky chicken dinner – just the sort of flavours everybody loves!
Quick-to-prepare baked chicken recipes like Balsamic Chicken, Honey Mustard Chicken and this sticky soy chicken are great back pocket recipes because they’re just made with pantry staples. Finger licking good!
Easy Baked Honey Soy Chicken
The best way to make Honey Soy Chicken is to marinate it for 24 – 48 hours, followed by constant basting while cooking on the stove or BBQ and serving it with a glossy honey soy garlic sauce. And here’s the recipe for how to make it that way – if you have the time!
This recipe is the baked version that’s effortless, with completely hands-off cooking. It’s ever-so slightly adapted from this Baked Sticky Honey Soy Sesame Chicken by Claire from Sprinkles and Sprouts, a fellow Australian food blogger.
The glaze is perfect. Strong in flavour, but there’s not an overwhelming amount of it – just enough to coat the chicken which is all you need. And it’s because the glaze has such great flavour that you don’t even need to marinate the chicken.
Just throw a handful of ingredients in a pan, bake it, and this is what you get:
What you need to make Baked Honey Soy Chicken
Here’s what you need to make this dish:
Chicken thighs – This recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on thighs so they can be in the oven for the 50 to 60 minutes required for the sauce to reduce down and caramelise.
It can also be made with drumsticks and chicken marylands without altering the recipe.
For boneless thighs and breasts, the chicken will be in the oven for substantially less time so I’d give the sauce a head start in the oven first to start reducing before adding the chicken.
Red onion – This is cut into wedges and used as the bed on which the chicken is baked. The onion adds an extra element of flavour into the sauce, much like the way so many savoury recipes start by sautéing onion.
Garlic – Flavour! We are a huge fan of garlic in (almost!) everything savoury!
Honey – This is the sweetness in the sauce which makes it a glaze that coats the chicken.
Soy sauce – This is the salt in the sauce. The recipe calls for all purpose soy sauce, but light soy sauce can be used too. DO NOT use dark soy sauce (flavour is far too intense) or sweet soy sauce like kecap manis (too sweet and too strong). See here for more on different soy sauces, and when you can interchange.
Cider vinegar – Essential to balance out the sweet and savoury.
Sesame oil – I adore sesame oil for the flavour it adds to anything it’s used in, whether a dressing (like this Asian Sesame Dressing) or into soups (like Hot & Sour Soup).
How to make Honey Soy Baked Chicken
Mix the sauce > pour over chicken > bake.
Anything else you need to know?? 😂 (Just joking!!)
Sauce – Mix the honey, soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil and pepper.
Line pan – Line a pan with both foil AND baking paper (parchment paper). This is a jammy glaze we have here, and if you just use baking paper, you’ll be suffering through a serious scrubbing session like I did!
Then spread the onion out in the pan.
Pour sauce over chicken – Top with chicken upside down (ie skin side down) and pour the sauce over. We start with the skin side down to get a bit of colour on the underside (because colour = flavour) otherwise the underside is just stewing in the sauce the whole time.
Bake 25 minutes – Bake the chicken for 25 minutes at 200°C / 390°F (180°C fan).
Turn and baste – Turn the chicken and spoon the pan juices over the chicken.
Bake 25 – 35 minutes – Bake for a further 25 to 35 minutes until the chicken is nicely browned. Hopefully, the sauce will be reduced down to a syrup and require no adjustment, but sometimes it will still be too thin. If it’s too thin, it’s an easy fix: remove chicken to a plate, pop pan back into oven. It will thicken quite quickly.
The reason it’s hard to say whether your sauce will be perfectly syrupy straight of the the oven is due to varying factors such as pan size (more space around chicken = faster reduction), juiciness of chicken (juicier = leaches more water = thins sauce more), if the chicken was frozen (tends to drop more water) and how evenly head circulates in the oven.
Squidge! Turn the chicken over and squidge the chicken skin into the syrupy sauce. And yes, “squidge” is a real word. See?
Baste – Spoon the sauce over the chicken to coat it more. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and something green if you want to pretty it up a touch (coriander/cilantro leaves, green onion, parsley, chives). And serve!
What to serve with Baked Honey Soy Chicken
In the photo above, the chicken is pictured with plain rice. Even though there’s not a ton of sauce, what you do have has a fairly intense flavour so a little goes a long way when mixed through rice.
Choose from: white rice, jasmine, basmati, brown rice or (just in case you’re doing the low carb thing) try cauliflower rice. Actually, this is a good one for cauliflower rice because the sauce flavour is quite strong so it will disguise any remnant of cauliflower flavour!
If you want to raise the bar, try it with a side of flavoured rice! Here are some options:
Love to know what you think if you try this chicken dish. And tell me what you served on the side! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
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Sticky Honey Soy Chicken – baked
- 1.2kg / 2.4lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR drumsticks (5 – 6 pieces) (Note 1)
- 1 red onion , peeled, cut into wedges
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or ordinary white vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Sesame seeds
- Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves (or other green things like green onion, parsley, chives)
- Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F (180°C fan).
- Line pan: Line a baking dish with foil then baking paper. The baking tray should fit the chicken comfortably, not too spaced apart (glaze will dry out), not too snug (glaze won't thicken enough). (Note 3)
- Glaze: Mix the Glaze ingredients together.
- Pour glaze over chicken: Place onion and chicken in the baking dish skin side down, then pour the Glaze over.
- Bake 50 – 60 minutes: Bake for 25 minutes, then turn and bake for a further 25 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is browned and the glaze is sticky. If the glaze is not syrupy, remove the chicken to a plate and put the pan back in for a few minutes (it will reduce quickly).
- Squidge/coat chicken – Turn chicken and squidge in the glaze, then also spoon it over.
- Serve! Serve with rice and steamed greens, sprinkled with sesame seeds and fresh cilantro/coriander leaves.
Recipe originally published in 2016. Update was long overdue with the addition of a new recipe video and most importantly, a Life of Dozer section!
More simple baked bone-in chicken thigh recipes
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