One Skillet Sweet ‘n Salty Chicken Thighs

One Skillet Sweet 'n Salty Chicken Thighs | www.kiwiandbean.com

This. Chicken.

I don’t even know where to begin.

It has quickly become our new favourite chicken dinner recipe, narrowly edging out this One Pot Chicken Adobo. (Two pot chicken recipes need not apply, clearly.)

One Skillet Sweet 'n Salty Chicken Thighs | www.kiwiandbean.com

We eat a lot of chicken around here, as I’m sure many of you do. But it’s easy to get tired of the same old same old.

So I’m constantly innovating in the chicken department, and occasionally arriving at a recipe that turns into a family favourite.

This is one of those. Oh BOY is it ever. Sweet, sour and salty—a flavour combo few can resist. And dead easy. No onions to slice or garlic to chop (which is the “simple weeknight dinner” high watermark for me). You just brown the chicken, and dump in the glaze and let it reduce until it’s thick and syrupy. Wowza.

One Skillet Sweet 'n Salty Chicken Thighs | www.kiwiandbean.com

This recipe doubles or triples very easily, and you can pop the leftovers into the fridge for weekday sandwiches and salads. But if you go that route, resist the temptation to crowd the chicken thighs into one pan. Use multiple pans, or cook the chicken thighs in several batches to ensure they get the nice brown and crispy coating that makes them super delicious and irresistible.

Serve these guys with lots of veg. I like a big ‘ol salad, some cinnamony sweet potatoes, and a heaping pile of roasted asparagus and zucchini, kinda like this:

One Skillet Sweet 'n Salty Chicken Thighs | www.kiwiandbean.com One Skillet Sweet 'n Salty Chicken Thighs | www.kiwiandbean.com One Skillet Sweet 'n Salty Chicken Thighs | www.kiwiandbean.com

4.7 from 30 reviews
One Skillet Sweet 'n Salty Chicken Thighs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons tamari (see note below)
  • 1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I use avocado oil)
Instructions
  1. Combine the apple cider vinegar, tamari, maple syrup and ground pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken thighs dry. Season generously with salt.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
  4. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs. When they begin to turn brown and crispy (after about 3-4 minutes), flip them over and brown them on the other side.
  5. Pour over the maple syrup mixture and bring it to a boil.
  6. Turn down the heat slightly and let the maple syrup mixture boil and reduce, while you flip the chicken thighs every minute or so (to ensure they are completely coated in the glaze).
  7. When the chicken thighs are cooked through and the maple mixture is thick and syrupy, remove the chicken from the heat and serve immediately.
Notes
I use gluten free tamari in this recipe, and while I expect it would also work with soy sauce, I haven't tried it myself.

 

112 Responses to One Skillet Sweet ‘n Salty Chicken Thighs

  1. Kami August 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    I’m going to try this recipe tonight. Can you add any spice to it to maker spicer?

    • Sarah September 6, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

      You could definitely add some chili flakes or something like that to make it spicy! :-)

  2. Kami August 9, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    I’m going to try this recipe tonight. Can you add any spice to this recipe to make it spicer?

  3. Stephanie August 2, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

    I used coconut oil when cooking the chicken, and i had quite a bit of oil left in my pan. Should i empty the oil before pouring the maple syrup mixture over it? Thanks!

    • Sarah September 6, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

      I leave the oil in the pan. You could pour some out if you want to though.

  4. Stacey June 27, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    I do not have maple syrup. Can I substitute honey? Thank you!

    • Sarah July 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

      I’m sure it would work; would just be a different flavour. Enjoy!

  5. Chickens May 29, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    Ok really this is the bomb.com this is so good you have to be in a restaurant

  6. Chickens May 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    It’s so good kill me now #9000 stars

  7. Chickens May 29, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    I’m not joking I just tried this and I’m in love!!!its just that my mom put to much syrup :/

  8. Chickens May 29, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

    Sarah I like your picture it really cute and your so pretty.also your recipes are great!!!planning on making a restaurant or something big with food?

  9. Chickens May 29, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

    Defently delish and yummy!!!!!!!

  10. Sarah May 28, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    I don’t usually leave comments but this chicken is amazing and my kids request it at least once a week, and there’s rarely left overs. It’s delicious and easy to make – and it’s different so it doesn’t get boring ! I’m going to go make some right now :)

  11. Natalie May 18, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

    Great recipe! My husband’s first comment was “this is a keeper”. It was so good, I had to come make a comment. I’m scrapping/licking the stickiness out of the pan with my fingernail right now. I did sub coconut aminos for the tamari. I also added sesame seeds at the end. I served with a cabbage, carrot, snow pea, onion, garlic stir fry. Really delicious!

  12. Cathy Smart May 2, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    Great recipeeast to follow

    • Cathy Smart May 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

      Great recipe, easy to follow

    • Sarah May 3, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

      So glad to hear it, Cathy. Thanks for leaving your feedback!

  13. Aria April 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    Hi- my chicken REALLY stuck to the pan- I used the right amount of oil…any idea what I did wrong? thanks!

    • Sarah May 1, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

      Darn, not sure what could have gone wrong. What kind of pan did you use? I use a stainless steel skillet and I’ve never had an issue. You do have to be a bit patient about letting the chicken get brown before you flip it over. And perhaps when flipping it, use a metal spatula and get right under the chicken (almost scraping it up off the bottom of the pan).

  14. Pandoraflora April 25, 2016 at 4:41 am #

    I love dark colored food, and the moment i see the picture of this recipe, i know i am going to try it! Will give you the feed back, thanks a lot for the sharing!

    Pandoraflora.com
    https://www.pandoraflora.com

    • Sarah April 25, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

      Yay for dark coloured food!

  15. Janie April 19, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    We tried this a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it.

    Do you think this recipe could work on the grill? We grill outside most of the year and I love keeping the mess out of the kitchen. Think I’m going to try it tonight.

    • Sarah April 25, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

      Hi Janie — You wouldn’t get as much sauce or caramelization on the grill but I’m sure it would still be delish!

  16. Becky April 6, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

    This is the third time I have made this for my family and they love it. The only differences I made was while the chicken was browning I Carmelized some onions in the pan at the same time as the chicken and I used coconut aminos and honey. Awesome thanks for posting this recipe :)

    • Sarah April 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

      Oh wow I love the addition of caramelized onions! Great idea!

  17. Cass April 5, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    Excellent recipe. I used soy and tripled the sauce recipe. Happy family. Thank you!

    • Sarah April 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

      Glad your family enjoyed it Cass!

  18. Jeanene March 31, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    Can you have 4 brest instead of all thighs….

    • Sarah March 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      Hi Jeanene — I’ve never tried it so I can’t say for sure. The flavour will definitely be different, but I expect it will still taste pretty good :-).

  19. Jeanene March 31, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    Could you use 4 breast and 4 thighs..I don’t like darkmeatf

  20. Mayra March 30, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    Should tge recipe read cups vs teaspoons of maple? Doesn’t seem like enough for 8 thighs.

    • Sarah March 30, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

      Hi Mayra — 1 1/2 TABLEspoons. It’s not much but it does the trick. Trust me :-).

  21. Mayra March 30, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    1 1/2 teaspoons does not seem enough for 8 thighs. Should the recipe read 1 1/2 cups of maple syrup?

  22. Nancy Gibson March 26, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

    I am out of tamari I have used peanut butter in past as a substitute. I bought some Jiff peanut powder and I will try that. Can’t wait to make this. Right up my alley! Yummm

    • Elise March 31, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

      PB is not a substitute for tamari… maybe you are thinking of tahini(sesame paste)? Tamari is very similar to soy sauce.

  23. debbie March 25, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    can you freeze any left overs?

    • Nancy Gibson March 26, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

      Sure! Freeze it if your lucky enough to have left overs…lol

  24. Natalie March 24, 2016 at 12:57 am #

    I made this and it was amazing! My husband wants me to make it again tomorrow! I used 2 1/2 tbs of white wine in sub of the vinegar and used soy sauce. It was delicious!

  25. Lisa March 7, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

    Our family loved this! So yummy and I love recipes with so few ingredients. Happy mom, happy fam.

    • Sarah March 8, 2016 at 8:41 am #

      Glad to hear your family enjoyed this, Lisa!

  26. Kate March 7, 2016 at 1:05 am #

    Woweee. I never comment on recipes but my family loves this one! It’s become a regular. We only sub soy for coconut amino.

    • Sarah March 7, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

      Hooray! Glad you guys like it!

  27. Brittany March 3, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    I was wondering how you do make your cinnamon sweet potatoes. I have some red skin potatoes and I wanted to pair it with this somehow

  28. Lynne March 2, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    Thank you! Made this for the first time tonight. Delicious! I made 12 chicken thighs hoping to have left-overs for lunch tomorrow, but there is only one thigh left! My picky son had 5 pieces! I had to use the substitutes of soy sauce and red wine vinegar as that’s all I had. I also added some sliced almonds for the last few minutes of cooking.

    • Sarah March 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

      Yum! Glad to hear everyone enjoyed these!!!

  29. Evelyn Goettner February 19, 2016 at 8:33 am #

    Great recipe! The 2nd time I made it I added a little fresh grated ginger and garlic and some orange zest and also garnished with some scallions. Delicious!

    • Sarah February 19, 2016 at 8:47 am #

      Oh wow, I love the sound of these add-ins!!

  30. Adriana February 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    Making these now and they smell delicious! I had bone in chicken thighs so just cut the bone out and took the skin off and they are cooking perfectly! Thanks for the easy recipe!

    • Sarah February 19, 2016 at 8:47 am #

      You are welcome! Hope it turns out delicious!

  31. Debbie February 9, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    going to try this in the oven with pork loin roast baby potatoes and carrots, hope the whole thing gets delicious and crispy

    • Sarah February 10, 2016 at 8:12 am #

      I hope so too! Let me know how it goes!

    • jenny February 12, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

      I have just come upon your good looking chicken recipe. I am curious what the green flakes are in the picture. Is it parsley or green onions? I didn’t see any ingredient that looks like that listed.

    • Sarah February 14, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

      Hi Jenny — just a bit of parsley to make it look pretty :-).

  32. Rachel February 1, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

    This recipe was a great inspiration for me tonight. I only had one of the three sauce ingredients on hand but pomegranate vinegar and Worcestershire sauce combined wonderfully with the maple syrup. I added a little orange zest at the end and everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah February 10, 2016 at 8:12 am #

      Nice substitutions! Thanks for sharing!

  33. Christina January 27, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    Hello-Has anyone ever tried this with turkey thighs? I would like to try it tonight but that’s all I have and I’m wondering if it would still be good. Also, would the cooking time change? Thank you :o)

    • Sarah February 10, 2016 at 8:12 am #

      Sorry a bit late here, but I imagine it would work with turkey thighs. You might have to up the cooking time a bit depending on the size of the thighs. Enjoy!

  34. Marilu January 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m going to try this tonight! How many chicken thighs is this recepie for?

    • Varda January 25, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

      hi,

      I don’t normally buy apple cider vinegar. Is it a mandatory part of the recipe?

    • Sarah February 10, 2016 at 8:11 am #

      The apple cider vinegar is an important ingredient — you could likely use a different kind of vinegar, though I haven’t tried it myself. Apple cider vinegar is a great staple to have in your cupboard — perfect for salad dressings, marinades, etc.

  35. Wendy January 21, 2016 at 12:01 am #

    Wowzers!!! This was amazing! I wanted to lick the pan! Thanks!!

    • Sarah January 21, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

      Glad you loved it, Wendy! Thanks for commenting to let me know :-).

  36. Elsie January 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    It came out so good, it remained the chicken they sale at food court at the mall, is a keeper.

    • Sarah January 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

      Excellent — glad you liked it!

  37. Nicole January 6, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    This was a hit with my family! Will definitely make again!! So easy with big, tasty results!

    • Sarah January 13, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

      So glad to hear it! This dish is a fave in our house.

  38. Anisa December 22, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    I’m wondering if there are special considerations for bone-in chicken thighs (that’s what I have in the fridge and I’d really like to try this).

    • Sarah December 23, 2015 at 9:47 am #

      Hi Anisa — you could use bone-in chicken thighs, but the cooking time would be quite a bit longer. Wait until they are just about cooked through before adding the sauce ingredients.

  39. Reni December 14, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    I didn’t have maple syrup nor tamarin so I used honey and soy sauce but other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and it was DELICIOUS!!
    So easy to make and so good!
    A winner for sure!
    Oh, and I LOVE your blog and almost all of your recipes. Thank you for posting recipes and helping people like me to cook good foods.

    • Sarah December 23, 2015 at 9:50 am #

      Great to hear!! Thanks for your lovely feedback. Made my day :-).

    • WATERMELONCAT May 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

      Yum so good i want to have it everyday thanks I love your recipes defently delish

  40. Vivian November 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    This was YUMMM-E! I used low-sodium soy sauce, and even forgot the salt (oops), but it was so tasty. Hubby agreed. Thanks for something simple enough to be a weeknight option!

    • Vivian November 23, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

      Also, in agreement with another reviewer, it did take me longer to cook than the recipe stated. I started with the thighs folded rather than open, cooking each side, so that covered the first part of the cooking time the recipe specified. Then, I opened them up to get the “insides” cooked as well, so it added another few minutes to the cooking time. Also, any times for less oil splatter? Did I perhaps just use too much?

    • Sarah December 3, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

      Great feedback — thanks! As for the oil splatter, it’s sort of inevitable for this recipe. So I’m glad I didn’t spring for the marble countertops :-). You can get a splatter guard/screen –I’ve got one but to be honest I always forget about it.

    • Sarah December 3, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

      Glad to hear it Vivian! It’s one of our faves!

  41. Lora November 15, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    This was really good! I love how easy and quickly this comes together. I’ll admit the lack of chopping was a big draw for me. Very moist chicken with a terrific flavor. I ended up using butter instead of oil to brown the chicken and it turned out great. Will definitely make this often.

    • Sarah November 16, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it Lora! Yes, I love that it doesn’t require any chopping :-)

  42. Aaron November 8, 2015 at 5:15 am #

    Wasn’t the best I’ve had , but real good . I give it a 4

  43. Aaron November 8, 2015 at 5:13 am #

    The recipe was good. It took way longer than what you put to cook the chicken through. I give it a 4.

  44. Molly Lappe October 31, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    this recipe was posted on my birthday and i am 15 and i can’t wait to cook this!

  45. Ryan October 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    What about using honey instead of the maple syrup? This is cooking as we speak and i hope it’s as amazing as it sounds

    • Sarah October 7, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

      hope you enjoy it ryan! i imagine honey would probably work; it would just be a different flavour. report back and let me know!

  46. Joan September 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

    All I can say is WOW!! This is now a regular at my house.

    • Sarah September 9, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed these Joan! I actually just made them a couple of days ago and was reminded how easy and delicious they are. Yum!

  47. Jon August 21, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    This was absolutely amazing. My wife and I just made it tonight and we were shocked at the full flavor and the moistness of the chicken. we will definitely be keeping this in our rotation!

    • Sarah August 31, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      Great to hear, Jon! It’s in regular rotation at our house too :-).

  48. Ryan M. July 31, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

    i used coconut oil to fry the chicken in. Also used lo sodium soy sauce. Came out delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  49. ejs July 23, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    I made this tonight it was incredibly easy and delicious. I served it with Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower and broccoli. It will be a weekly addition to my meal plans. Thank you so much.

    • Sarah July 23, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

      So great to hear! And wow riced cauliflower sounds like a great side dish. Will have to give that a try!

  50. Tate July 22, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    Really great looking dish however,… the herbs that were used aren’t in the recipe.

    • Sarah July 23, 2015 at 9:41 am #

      Hi Tate — you are correct; I added a little sprinkle of parsley to pretty it up for the photo :-). You could add that but it isn’t necessary.

  51. Ted July 12, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

    Made this tonight for my girlfriend, turned out amazing. Some of the best chicken I’ve ever had.

    • Sarah July 16, 2015 at 8:32 am #

      Excellent! So great to hear it Ted :-).

  52. Anne July 11, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    I have not finished cooking this yet…..a little disappointed. Most boneless skinless chicken thigh recipes instruct you to either leave them as they come out of the package, or to spread them out. To spread these out would have taken 2 skillets, so I went with the idea of leaving them as they came out of the package. They don’t get done……..I’ve cooked them and turned them four times the time given in this recipe. Finally covered them and am waiting for them to get done enough to put the glaze on and flip them to coat them in the glaze. After going through this hassle, hope they are good………. :( Will rate 2 until I taste them and if they are better than a “2”, I will rate again. Disappointed.

    • Sarah July 16, 2015 at 8:31 am #

      Oh no, Anne. Sorry you had trouble with this recipe. Perhaps the chicken thighs that I use are on the smaller side, as it doesn’t generally seem to matter how I put them into the pan. But a good note and next time I make them I will try to update the recipe. All the best.

  53. Melissa June 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    I paleo-ified this by subbing the Tamari with coconut aminos. I also used 4 chicken breasts and thus doubled the recipe. I served it with asparagus which was lightly baked with some avocado oil, splash of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper sprinkle. It was delicious!

    • Sarah June 29, 2015 at 8:48 am #

      Sounds great! Thanks for sharing.

    • Raj @ www.ThePrimalDesire.com November 2, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

      Melissa I was planning on doing the same. Glad you already confirmed this substitution was a win!

  54. Bryna Wechsler June 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    Delicious!!!!!

  55. Debra June 16, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    Definitely good. I used a little too much oil which changed the consistency of the syrup mixture. It still turned out very good.

    • Sarah June 17, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Glad to hear, Debra!

  56. Jared June 12, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    This looks absolutely delicious! I love one pan meals, less clean up! I’ll be trying this one.

  57. Shareba @ In Search Of Yummy-ness June 12, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    You can never have too many chicken recipes on hand. I can’t wait to try this, it looks delicious!

  58. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles June 11, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    D’lish! lovely little sauce (and the pepper adds so much too) – the boys and I had to hold back eating the full contents of the skillet before sitting down for dinner as a family. I think the most important instruction from my pov is to make sure the chicken is fully dry otherwise it won’t crisp up (ie: no half-hearted patting!) — was able to save under the broiler but next time I’ll take out the fan ;-). This one’s a keeper – thanks. Oh, in case helpful to anyone… I used 12 thighs and moved the measurements up to 2 Tbsp for first 3 ingredients and 1 tsp for pepper – it worked great. Also used soy sauce.

    • Sarah June 12, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      Glad you enjoyed! And yes, good point re. getting the chicken as dry as possible. Definitely important! Soggy chicken ain’t no good! Ha!

  59. Heather June 10, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    This looks fantastic! We do chicken here a lot as well. I will be trying this soon….and from the sound of it, will be adding it to my rotation!

  60. Celeste June 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    Wow this chicken looks incredible! We are soy free, so I’ll be trying this recipe with Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce instead of the tamari.

    • Chickens May 29, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

      I know!!and it tastes incredible too!

  61. Paula June 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    Holy Cow! This looks so good! I’m definitely making these ASAP!

  62. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine June 9, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Chicken is one of my favorite things to play up and make new crazy recipe with (which I am doing right now in the kitchen!) Haha! Although, I still have never cooked chicken thighs! Ah! I must! It’s on the list!

    • Sarah June 12, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      Chicken thighs are the best! So much more moist and flavourful than the breasts :-)

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