Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs

Having guests over tonight – and with a whole day to cook (what with it being Saturday and not having to go to work) I decided to cook something that takes a bit more time, but which also could be left alone in the oven to do its thing.  Out came the Le Creuset  pan and I decided to create slow cooked Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs.

Chicken thighs are not a cut of meat that I normally cook but one that I want to use more often.  Cheaper than chicken breasts (and tastier too) they’re a really delicious cut and I wanted to give them a go today.  I used boneless chicken thighs as that’s what I could get in the supermarket but you could always use the ones with the bone in, as cooking on the bone adds even more flavour.

Being extra inventive I decided to go with an Asian feel as it’s a cuisine I never normally cook.  I’m not a huge fan of it (Chinese takeaway that is – I love curries and thai and delicate spices, but the Chinese flavours have never really been my thing) and I wanted to create something that I would like in that genre.Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Refined Sugarfree, Paleo, Primal & Low Carb

To begin with I peeled and grated the fresh ginger (Top tip: ginger is easiest to peel with a teaspoon – there’s less wastage than when you use a knife!)  Then I crushed the garlic and chopped the chilli up into small pieces.  I used a medium sized, medium strength chilli but you could use more or less depending on the level of spice that you like.

I layered the chicken thighs in a dish and added the garlic, chilli and ginger to them.  Then I poured over the tamari and the honey.  (I use tamari as it’s a gluten-free version of soy sauce and I can tolerate the ingredients but if you are strict Paleo you can use coconut aminos which will provide a similar taste.  If you have no allergies feel free to use soy sauce!)

I massaged the marinade well into all of the chicken thighs and left them in the refrigerator to marinate for 3 hours, but you could leave it longer or shorter depending on your time constraints.

When you are ready to prepare the dish, you need to preheat the oven to 160C (320F).  I browned the chicken thighs in the Le Creuset pan with the olive oil (a couple of mins on each side) just to give them a bit of colour.  (You can skip this step if you’re pushed for time).  You could also brown them in a frying pan if your dish doesn’t go on the stove top.

Then I removed the chicken thighs from the dish, leaving behind the oil.  I sliced the red onions into rings and layered them in the bottom of the pan.  (If you fried your chicken thighs in a separate pan make sure to drizzle the oil over the onions for added flavour).

Place the chicken thighs on top of the onions pour over the stock and season well with salt and pepper.  (I used a bought chicken stock which has no gluten or nasties in it as I didn’t have any homemade, but you could make your own or use a stock cube if you have no problems with them).

I popped the pot into the oven and cooked for 45 mins with the lid on and then took the lid off for another 10 mins to get the top of the chicken crispy and caramelised.  Finally, just before serving I sliced the spring onions (scallions) up and sprinkled them over the top as a garnish.

These Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs served 3 of us, bearing in mind that two of them were hungry guys.  I feel like one chicken thigh was enough for me with the Kimchi Fried Cauliflower Rice on the side that I served it with, but you’d have to gauge your audience as to how hungry they might be.  I also cooked up some of my Crispy Roasted Kale to go with it, which tastes just like the Crispy Seaweed you get in Chinese Restaurants, without all of the MSG nastiness.

And so how was it?  Well it definitely made me realise that I don’t dislike all Chinese flavours.  It was salty and sweet, crispy and tender and absolutely delicious.  One to choose over the Chinese take-away anyday!  I really loved the ginger and honey flavours in it and it’s definitely a flavour combination I’m looking at replicating soon.  And the chicken thighs were great, less dry and much tastier than a chicken breast, they really worked well within this dish!

Print Recipe
Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs Yum
Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Refined Sugarfree, Paleo, Primal & Low Carb
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 60 mins
Passive Time 3 hours or more to marinate the chicken
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 60 mins
Passive Time 3 hours or more to marinate the chicken
Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs by Emma Eats & Explores - Grainfree, Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Refined Sugarfree, Paleo, Primal & Low Carb
Marinate the Chicken Thighs
  1. Peel and grate the ginger, peel and crush the garlic cloves and dice up the chilli into small pieces.
  2. Layer the chicken thighs in a dish and add the garlic, chilli and ginger.
  3. Drizzle over the tamari (or coconut aminos) and honey.
  4. Massage all ingredients into the chicken thighs and leave in the refrigerator to marinate for a few hours (longer or overnight is better!)
Cooking the dish
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C (320F).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan (I used the same one I would be cooking the dish in) and brown the chicken thighs for a couple of minutes on each side to colour them. (You can skip this step if you are in a hurry).
  3. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan. Peel and slice the red onions and layer in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place the chicken thighs on top of the onions and add the stock.
  5. Season well, add the lid and cook for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes to brown the top
  7. Slice up the spring onions (scallions) and sprinkle over the top as a garnish before serving.
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Allergy & Dietary Information for Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs

This Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs recipe is Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar Free & Dairy-Free.  It’s also suitable for Paleo, Low Carb, & Primal Diets.

See my Products Page for Ingredients & Bakeware that I recommend.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. This sounds really delicious and looks beautiful!

  2. Raia T. says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing it with us at AFT, I’m going to feature it at this week’s party. 🙂

  3. These sound and look delicious! I’ll definitely have to try it soon!

  4. Brittanylimberakis says:

    I love cooking with chicken thighs! I haven’t tried a Chinese recipe with them though so I may have to give this a go!

  5. confettiandbliss says:

    Ahhh….this sticky Chinese chicken dish looks so fantastic! And how fabulous that your gorgeous image stays in place on the left-hand side so it can be enjoyed while reading your post. Love it! 🙂

  6. Your post and photos have officially made me hungry! I definitely will be having this chicken on my dinner table next week!

  7. Chinese chicken thighs are my weakness! This recipe is a lot different from what I usually do, but it sounds so good!

  8. My boyfriend would love this and even thought I don’t personally eat meat, I’ll defiantly have to try this for him!

  9. Sylvie Hanes says:

    Anything that I can do in a pot or crockpot is great! Especially in the fall… makes things so easy, and nothing is better than walking into a house with a meal ready for eating! thanks for sharing

  10. kristen says:

    oh my gosh yum!!! I love asian food and chicken so this looks right up my alley!

  11. Lydia says:

    Just showed this to my eldest and she wants to try it next week. Thank you for the recipe

  12. confettiandbliss says:

    Emma, all of your recipes are so incredibly delicious! I am so excited about trying these savory sticky Chinese chicken thighs. I can almost taste the fabulous flavors just by looking at your beautiful food photography.

  13. Mila says:

    Your recipe looks amazing, but may I also say that your Le Crueset is BEAUTIFUL. I’ve never seen that blue.

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