Rating: 4.5 stars
99 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 75
  • 4 star values: 13
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1

Brown sugar chicken baked in a sweet honey-garlic sauce develops a deliciously browned and crispy skin as it cooks in the oven. I love the crunchy chicken skin and brown sugar pan sauce that comes out of this.

Recipe Summary

35 mins
45 mins
10 mins
8 chicken thighs

This brown sugar chicken recipe gets top marks for its crisp, golden skin and delicious garlicky-sweet sauce. Home cook Jason's mouthwatering dish uses pantry-friendly ingredients like dried herbs and honey to create a sumptuous chicken dinner that will please all palates. Try garlic brown sugar chicken thighs for a rich, hearty meal that couldn't be easier to make. 

How to Make Brown Sugar Chicken 

Ready for a bite that's tender, sweet, savory, and crunchy all at once? You'll find the full recipe below with step-by-step instructions, but here's what you can expect when you make this top-rated recipe;

Start by searing seasoned chicken thighs in an oven-proof skillet until the skin is brown. Set chicken aside before cooking minced garlic, brown sugar, honey, and herbs in the pan drippings. Return chicken thighs to the skillet and oven roast until crispy skin forms and juices run clear. 

Boneless or Bone-In Thighs for Brown Sugar Chicken? 

Both boneless and bone-in chicken thighs are affordable, delicious options for oven-baked recipes, but bone-in wins for best taste. The marrow in the bones spreads to the meat during cooking, creating an unforgettably rich flavor. 

Boneless thighs are best for nights when time is of the essence — you'll still get the sweet, zesty flavor you want with a slightly shorter cook time. 

What to Serve With Brown Sugar Chicken

This bold oven-roasted chicken recipe works with just about anything. Try pairing garlic brown sugar chicken with a roasted vegetable side dish or earthy risotto to cut through the sweetness. A garlicky toast or tangy potato salad would also complement this dish well. 

How to Store Brown Sugar Chicken

Refrigerate leftover chicken in an airtight container to safely reheat and enjoy for up to four days.

Can I Freeze Brown Sugar Chicken? 

Leftover garlic brown sugar chicken can be safely frozen for up to three months — simply allow the chicken to come to room temperature before sealing it in a plastic freezer bag and squeezing out any air. Reheat in the oven or on the stovetop for best results. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

 "It's a great dinner party main course because it is seared and then finished in the oven, leaving time for preparing the sides and setting the table," shares home cook Suzy. "I used legs and wings as well." 

"My entire family loved it, including my picky 5-year-old," says reviewer lovelylaurie330. "Thank you for this delicious new recipe for my household!"

"My kids and husband (who judge every meal harshly as if I'm a chef) fought over the last pieces and sauce!" raves Carrie. "I used skinless, boneless breasts because that's what I had defrosted. They loved it!" 

Editorial contributions by Rai Mincey 


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  • Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear until brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate.

  • Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet, stirring to loosen any browned bits on the bottom. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in brown sugar, honey, oregano, thyme, and basil until well combined. Turn off the heat and return chicken to the skillet, skin-side down.

  • Roast in the preheated oven until chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 25 to 40 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

  • Drizzle pan sauce over chicken thighs when serving.


Bone-in chicken thighs take longer to cook than boneless. Be sure to check with an instant-read thermometer to see when yours are done.

Nutrition Facts

264 calories; protein 19.3g; carbohydrates 9.5g; fat 16.2g; cholesterol 82.5mg; sodium 86.5mg. Full Nutrition