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Asian Chicken Thighs

The thick, tangy sauce makes this dish one of my favorite Asian chicken recipes. Serve the chicken over long grain rice or with ramen noodle slaw. —Dave Farrington, Midwest City, Oklahoma
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 50 min.
  • Makes
    5 servings


  • 5 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 bone-in chicken thighs (about 1-3/4 pounds), skin removed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Sliced green onions
  • Hot cooked rice, optional


  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook until golden brown, 8-10 minutes on each side. In a small bowl, whisk water, brown sugar, orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, pepper flakes and five-spice powder. Pour over chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until chicken is tender, 30-35 minutes, turning chicken occasionally.
  • In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with green onions. If desired, serve with rice.
    Freeze option: Cool chicken. Freeze in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat slowly in a covered skillet until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165°, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary.
Nutrition Facts
1 chicken thigh (calculated without rice): 292 calories, 14g fat (3g saturated fat), 87mg cholesterol, 396mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 0 fiber), 25g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 fat.

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  • Mitchell
    Feb 18, 2021

    Deeeelicious! A little too sweet for my wife's diabetes.. So next Im going to cut back on the sugar. And my granddaughter found it too spicy. Think I'll leave out the red chillies next time. But every one cleaned their plates.

  • Julie
    Feb 16, 2021

    This was amazing! I will definitely make this again.

  • Mary
    Jan 27, 2021

    I made this recipe last night. It was delicious and I will make this again. The sauce is so tasty that I will try it on pork chops next. I used Swerve 0 calorie brown sugar to make this lower carb. i used rice wine vinegar instead of white vinegar and I reduced red pepper flakes to 1/4 tsp which is just enough heat for me. I finally got to use my Chinese five spice! Great recipe!

  • Ethan
    Jan 18, 2021

    I replaced the white vinegar with rice vinegar and left out the red pepper flakes. It was easy to make and will be a regular in my home menu. I think it would pair well with a ginger lime rice or something with bright flavors like that.

  • Margaret
    Jan 8, 2021

    This recipe has become a family favorite and pairs well with sous vide cooking. The chicken thighs can be sous vide cooked for 1.5 hours at 165. They are then easily browned in a skillet, removed and the sauce added. Once the sauce comes to a boil, add the cornstarch/water mix and once the sauce thickens, put the chicken back in and serve. Cuts down on the final prep time. Love it!

  • AvidcookGAtoCA
    Jan 8, 2021

    I have made this several times and shocked I haven't previously reviewed. I make it exactly as written which is quite unusual for me. Bone in skinless thighs are perfect for this recipe , and I highly recommend sticking to that. A close second is boneless, skinless thighs. I do not recommend chicken breasts because the texture is not a moist. Volunteer Food Editor

  • Cub
    Oct 14, 2020

    I made this for my wife and I per recipe. Served over rice and with stir fried vegetables. It was great, and easy to make.

  • Holly
    Aug 22, 2020

    This is one of the best chicken recipes I have ever made...The balance of flavors was perfect - tangy, sweet, salty, and slightly spicy. I browned my chicken and put it in a freezer bag with the sauce so that the only thing I had to do was simmer the ingredients in a pan. Such an easy, delicious meal. This will be a new go-to meal for me.

  • kathy
    Aug 4, 2020

    Easy to make and my family LOVED it. Best combination you could wish for.

  • Denise
    Jul 6, 2020

    This is my FAVORITE chicken recipe ever! I don't typically even like chicken but this recipe I make quite often, a new staple in our family. Even my teen son LOVES the tangy- sweet perfectly balanced flavor.! A definite must try once- you'll be hooked!