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Soy-Ginger Baked Chicken Thighs

5 from 5 votes

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A foolproof, hands-off recipe for tasty, juicy baked chicken thighs, in a sweet and salty ginger-soy sauce that has a touch of honey and butter.

A photo of an oval platter with golden-skinned baked chicken thighs topped with chopped scallion tops.

This dish delivers on so many levels. It’s a one-pan, slide-it-in-the-oven and walk-away kind of recipe (who doesn’t love that!)

And the combination of fresh ginger, soy sauce, lemon juice, honey and a little bit of butter make an intensely savory marinade and sauce you’re going to l-o-v-e.

This dish has very quickly become one of my family’s absolute favorite baked chicken thigh recipes — my son requested it 3 times last week! — right up there with my Baked Boneless Dijon Chicken Thighs.

Bake up some chicken thighs — there are so many ways to flavor them up!

It used to be that chicken breasts were the choice for everyday meals. But I’ve seen a big increase in requests for recipes that use chicken thighs and legs.

We all enjoy the convenience of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I feel they are the best part of the chicken.

That said, cooking chicken with the bone in AND skin on takes the experience of chicken up a few levels — giving you taste, juiciness and tenderness beyond compare!

I found the idea for this recipe in a beautiful cookbook, Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food to Cook at Home, which is full of creative simple dishes that have a fresh Asian flair.

It’s always a bonus when you find a recipe that makes you hungry, and you have all the ingredients on hand to make it.

Ingredients you need to make this recipe:

Image of uncooked chicken thighs on a baking tray, with soy sauce, ginger root, honey, scallions, cayenne pepper and shallots arranged alongside.
  • Chicken thighs: Skin-on, bone-in thighs, please!
  • Fresh ginger root: Tip: Scrape off the brown skin with the edge of a teaspoon (it works great!) before grating on a rasp grater.
  • Fresh lemon juice, from about one-half of a whole lemon.
  • Garlic clove
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Soy sauce, shoyu or tamari sauce will all work.
  • Shallots or red onion
  • Honey: Any variety of honey, whether liquid or creamy.
  • Butter or ghee: The butter adds that special something to this sauce, cutting through the salty flavors. It’s just a small amount, but you can omit it. There’s plenty of tasty fat from the chicken!

Prepping chicken thighs

This recipe is very easy to prep. These are the basic steps:

  • First, grate your ginger and whisk up the sauce in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, cayenne and soy sauce and whisk together:
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Choose a rimmed sheet pan or shallow baking dish that’s big enough to hold the chicken thighs in one layer and arrange the chicken thighs on it.
  • Tuck the shallots in between them, here and there. Pour the sauce over the chicken and turn with a pair of tongs so that both sides are coated.
  • The chicken can marinate in the sauce 1-2 days ahead. Add the thighs and the soy sauce mixture to a freezer bag and place in a large bowl to avoid spillage.
  • After baking 30 minutes, remove the sheet pan from the oven and carefully pour the pan juices into a saucepan. Add the honey and butter (if using) and bring to a simmer. Cook five minutes to reduce it by about one-third.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs and put the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes to crisp and caramelize the skin.
  • Sprinkle with sliced green onions tops and serve.
A photo of baked chicken thighs on a sheet pan, showing crisp golden skin and a spatula serving a portion.

Cooking time for baked chicken thighs

The cooking time for baked bone-in chicken thighs is a little bit longer than boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

The reason it’s different is because bones slow the transfer of heat within the meat, keeping it moist and at the same time creating that sensation called “tender to the bone.”

This is the cooking time I came up with while testing this recipe (keep in mind that larger or smaller chicken pieces and/or the way your oven heats might vary the time somewhat):

  • Chicken pieces that are approximately 8 ounces each, including the the bone and skin, will be juicy and crisp-skinned after 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees.
  • Pouring the honey and butter sauce over the chicken for the last 5 minutes creates a quick glaze — the sugar and fat caramelize the skin so deliciously! If it was added sooner it would burn before the chicken is cooked through.

What to serve with Soy-Ginger Baked Chicken Thighs

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Soy-Ginger Baked Chicken Thighs

Karen Tedesco
A foolproof, hands-off recipe for tasty baked chicken thighs, in a sweet and salty ginger-soy sauce that has a touch of honey and butter.
Print Pin
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Chicken
Cuisine Asian
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (1.35 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, (about 6 large thighs)
  • 2 shallots (or ½ red onion), peeled and cut into quarters
  • cup (80 ml) soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15 6) butter or ghee, optional
  • ¼ cup (30 g) chopped green onion tops

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Spray a rimmed baking sheet or shallow baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange the chicken in the pan and tuck the shallot quarters in and around them.
  • Whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, lemon juice, garlic and cayenne in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the thighs, turning them to coat both sides, then turn skin-side up. Chicken can marinate up to 24 hours ahead in the refrigerator before baking.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes, until the skin is puffed and golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven.
  • Carefully pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and stir in the honey and butter. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, until it reduces by a third (watch the pot and lower the heat slightly so it doesn't boil over).
  • Pour the reduced sauce over the chicken thighs and put them back in the oven to bake 5 more minutes.
  • Sprinkle the green onion over the chicken and serve.

Notes

  • The chicken can marinate in the sauce 1-2 days ahead. Add the thighs and the soy sauce mixture to a freezer bag and place in a large bowl to avoid spillage.
  • Freeze the uncooked chicken in the marinade up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.
  • This recipe makes about 6 servings of chicken (or more if your pieces are smaller). This serves our family of three perfectly. Double up the ingredients for the recipe, using two pans, for a larger gathering.
 
Recipe inspired by Ginger & Lemon Chicken in Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food to Cook at Home.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 914mg | Potassium: 549mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 347IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram!!

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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One Comment

  1. Liza Finkel says:

    5 stars
    These look so good – -my mouth is watering! Can’t wait to make them!