These sticky Thai chicken thighs are the perfect weeknight dinner. Ready in just 30 minutes, full of delicious Thai flavor and better than takeout!
If I had to pick one food genre (ethnicity? I can’t figure out quite the right word here but you get the point) to live off the rest of my life, it’d be Thai.
I realize that’s a bold statement and it’s weird to me that I can pick it so decisively because when I’m inevitably asked the “what’s your favorite food/recipe?” question once people find out I have a food blog, I never have a good response.
How anyone can have a ONE favorite meal is beyond me, but I can definitely pick a whole cuisine.
And that’s Thai because the flavors are just the best.
Thai cuisine has noodles for those starchy pasta cravings, fresh bright flavors thanks to ginger, lemongrass and cilantro, comfort in the form of creamy coconut milk and still plenty of meat and seafood, like these Thai chicken thighs.
It’s a relatively healthy cuisine but one that still leaves you satisfied.
Here’s the one problem with loving Thai so much:
The closest Thai place is like 25 minutes away from me.
So when takeout becomes pointless, because if you have to spend almost an hour going back and forth to the restaurant to pick it up, you might as well just eat there, you learn how to make Thai stuff at home.
I realize this sticky Thai chicken isn’t actually a real Thai dish.
You’re not gonna find it on any Thai menu, but it combines pretty much all my favorite things about the cuisine (minus those delicious Pad Thai noodles) into one simple chicken dish complete with crispy chicken skin and a finger licking sticky sauce (just like in this slow cooker honey garlic chicken recipe and these maple miso chicken drumsticks).
WHAT’S IN THAI CHICKEN THIGHS?
Quintessential Thai ingredients make up the sauce for these sticky Thai chicken thighs:
- chili lemongrass dipping sauce (or sweet Thai chili sauce)
- reduced sodium soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- fresh ginger
- lemongrass paste (I use Gourmet Garden brand)
- lime juice
HOW TO MAKE THE STICKY THAI SAUCE:
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and whisk together.
HOW TO MAKE THE THAI CHICKEN:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and season the chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper.
Place an ovenproof heavy bottomed skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil to the skillet.
Once the coconut oil is melted, place the chicken thighs skin side down into the skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip the thighs and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes.
Pour the sauce into the skillet coating both sides of the chicken in it. Arrange the chicken skin side up in the skillet and place in the oven to finish cooking, about 15 more minutes until skin starts to turn golden brown and crispy.
Garnish the chicken before serving with fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts for an extra Thai kick.
WHAT DOES THAI CHICKEN TASTE LIKE?
This Thai basil cashew chicken skillet is a close runner up to this Thai chicken recipe but the lemongrass flavored sticky sauce of this recipe wins me over.
It’s sweet and tangy (thanks to some lime juice and rice vinegar) with a hint of spice and the best part is there is plenty of extra sauce in the bottom of the pan to spoon over the sticky white rice I suggest you serve it with.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH STICKY THAI CHICKEN THIGHS
When you can make the best Thai chicken in just 30 minutes start to finish, there’s really no reason for takeout anyway.
Love this Sticky Thai Chicken recipe?
More Thai inspired recipes:
Sticky Thai Chicken
For the sauce
- 1/2 cup chili lemongrass dipping sauce or sweet Thai chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Nakano original seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste I use Gourmet Garden brand
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 large clove garlic minced
For the chicken
- 4 bone-in skin on chicken thighs (about 2 – 2 1/2 pounds total)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- chopped peanuts for garnish
- Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and whisk together, set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place an ovenproof heavy bottomed skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat.
- Add the coconut oil to the skillet.
- Once melted, place the chicken thighs skin side down into the skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
- Flip the thighs, cook for another 2 minutes.
- Pour the sauce into the skillet coating both sides of the chicken in it. Arrange the chicken skin side up in the skillet and place in the oven to finish cooking, about 15 more minutes until skin starts to turn golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from oven, garnish with cilantro and peanuts and serve with cooked rice.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
*This post is sponsored by Nakano as part of my ongoing brand ambassadorship with them. All opinions, content and photography are my own.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.