Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs

My Glazed Pork Chops recipe has been viral for several years because it’s ridiculously easy, super tasty, and the sweet and spicy glaze helps keep the pork chops nice and moist. While I’ve often told people that the glaze works just as well on chicken, I had yet to showcase that particular combo on the blog. Until now. And honestly, I might even like these Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs better than the pork chops because they’re inherently even more tender and juicy, which means they reheat well and are absolutely perfect for meal prep. ;)

These Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs pair well with: Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (shown), Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli, steamed green beans (shown), roasted or mashed sweet potatoes, or potato salad.

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs

These Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs are moist, tender, and have huge flavor with very little effort. Perfect for fast weeknight dinners! Budgetbytes.com

Can I Make Them Less Spicy?

Yep, if you want just a little heat, reduce the cayenne pepper to 1/4 tsp. If you want a completely non-spicy version, leave the cayenne pepper out and swap the regular paprika for smoked paprika to add complexity.

Can I Use Chicken Breast?

Yes, BUT you will need to use boneless breasts and pound the meat out to an even 1/2-inch thickness so they cook quickly. Otherwise the glaze will overcook and burn before your chicken breast cooks through.

Can I Use Bone-In Thighs?

I don’t suggest bone-in thighs for this recipe because they take much longer to cook and a longer cook time will likely cause the glaze to burn. This recipe cooks quick and needs a quick-cooking meat to match.

These Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs are moist, tender, and have huge flavor with very little effort. Perfect for fast weeknight dinners! Budgetbytes.com
4.78 from 9 votes
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Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs

These Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs are moist, tender, and have huge flavor with very little effort. Perfect for fast weeknight dinners! 

Keyword Dinner, easy, gluten free, Quick
Total Cost $4.83 recipe / $1.21 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4-5 pieces) $4.49

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). 

  2. Place the chicken thighs on a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the chicken, coating both sides liberally.

  3. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the coated chicken and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and the brown sugar has turned into a deep brown glaze. Serve hot.

These Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs are moist, tender, and have huge flavor with very little effort. Perfect for fast weeknight dinners! Budgetbytes.com

Step by Step Photos

Sweet and Spicy Glaze Seasoning

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). 

Coat Chicken Thighs with Sweet and Spicy Glaze Seasoning

Pat 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the chicken, coating both sides liberally.

Cook Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs

Heat a large skillet (large enough to fit all the meat in a single layer) over medium. Once hot, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the chicken and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through and the brown sugar has turned into a deep brown glaze.

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs finished

Cooking time can vary with the side of your chicken thighs, type of cookware, or even the nuances of your range. So, watch the chicken closely, spin the skillet if your burner has hot spots, and make sure the heat isn’t too high or the glaze will burn before the chicken cooks through. 

These Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs are moist, tender, and have huge flavor with very little effort. Perfect for fast weeknight dinners! Budgetbytes.com

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Thighs – making “meat and potatoes” a little more exciting. ;)