Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Tangy Honey Glaze

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, these chicken thighs are delicious, family-friendly, and incredibly easy to prepare.

Inspired by one of the most popular Cooking Light chicken recipes, these chicken thighs are delicious, family-friendly (they’re not too spicy), and incredibly easy to prepare. The chicken is seasoned with garlic, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika and then broiled with a sweet and tangy honey glaze. The side dish is a Quinoa Salad with Peaches, Arugula & Pickled Red Onions from Bon Appétit — it’s wonderful with the chicken and so pretty too!

What you’ll need to make Spicy Chicken Thighs
ingredients

Before we get started, a few words about the chicken. It’s important to use skinless, boneless thighs as opposed to chicken breasts. They stand up better to the bold seasonings, are more flavorful and won’t dry out. Just be sure to trim off most of the fat so that they are pleasant to eat. I like to use kitchen shears as opposed to a knife; it’s much easier.

trimming-chicken

How to make Spicy Chicken Thighs

To begin, combine the trimmed chicken thighs with the olive oil and spices and mix until evenly coated.

chicken-tossed-with-spices

Arrange the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean-up, and broil for five minutes on each side.

ready-to-broil

Meanwhile, combine the honey and cider vinegar in a small bowl to make the glaze.

glaze

Brush the cooked chicken with half the glaze, then broil for one minute. Flip the chicken over, brush with the remaining glaze, and broil for a few minutes more until chicken is nicely caramelized.

brushing-on-glaze

Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining cider vinegar and serve. Enjoy!

Spicy-Chicken-Thighs

Notes:

– As the recipe was originally written in Cooking Light, I found it much too sweet. I increased the vinegar by a lot to get the right balance. I also added a bit of olive oil, more salt and some smoked paprika for a little smokiness (you can check out the original recipe here).

– You might be wondering how this recipe would work on the grill. I’d stick to broiling, as the pan collects the sauce, which would get lost on the grill.

– For young kids, use only 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or none at all).

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Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Tangy Honey Glaze

Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, these chicken thighs are delicious, family-friendly, and incredibly easy to prepare.

Servings: 4-6
Cook Time: 12 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

For the Honey-Vinegar Glaze

  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided

Instructions

  1. Set an oven rack in the top position and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the chicken thighs on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Prepare the glaze by combining the honey with 2 teaspoons of the vinegar in a small bowl; stir well.
  4. Broil the chicken for 5 minutes on each side (for a total of 10 minutes). Remove the chicken from the oven and brush half of the glaze on the chicken; broil for 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn over; brush the chicken with the remaining honey mixture and broil for 1-2 minutes more, until the chicken is nicely browned. Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle it with the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Transfer the chicken and pan juices to a platter and serve.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 thighs
  • Calories: 321
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Sugar: 26g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Sodium: 900mg
  • Cholesterol: 130mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • RE: Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Tangy Honey Glaze

    Greetings Jenn,
    This recipe was out of this world scrumptious! Since we didn’t have the cayenne pepper, I substituted 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes and skipped the extra cider vinegar at the end. Wow!
    This is the third recipe of yours that I’ve tried and all have been extraordinary! I love everything culinary!
    Stay safe and take care.

    • — Emmay on February 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have been making this chicken a few times a month for the last year and a half and it is one of the simplest, quickest and most affordable dishes to make. It’s a great weekday dinner option if you are tired from work and need to make something quick. Chicken thighs are so underrated but they are so much juicier and more affordable than chicken breast. Also using a broiler is genius! I now use my broiler all the time, even for chicken kebabs since I live in Ottawa and it’s snowing most of the year so using the BBQ is out of the question.

    • — Catherine on February 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was super easy and quick to make and turned out delicious. As always, the seasoning was spot on. Definitely a repeat for quick dinner

    • — Elena on February 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another fabulous recipe!
    I was nervous about the tang of the vinegar so went easy but next time I’ll use the full amount. It was a perfect addition.

    I used bone-in, skin-on thighs. Roasted at 425* as suggested, brushed one side with glaze, broiled, repeated with the other side.
    Thank you!

    • — Anita on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of my favorite recipes. It is really quick and easy and so flavorful. We like it spicy so I use the full amount of cayenne. Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe!

    • — Janet on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe…I usually double it because my family devoured this tasty chicken the first time I made it! I bake it at 425 degrees for 30min; glaze it and finish under broiler each side for about a min until caramelized. Yum!

    • — Jill on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my absolute go to chicken recipe! My husband asks me to make it all the time too! It is so quick, easy and delicious. Perfect for a weeknight or when entertaining!

    • — Melissa Gardner on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • These chicken thighs were so juicy and tender I am making them again this week. Really easy and quick recipe

    • — Ian on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is so delicious. We made it two nights in a row. I paired it with the Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing. 😋

    • — jill griffin on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • My family loves this recipe. It’s really quick to make make and very flavourful!

    • — Emily on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Made this with bone in thighs. Takes a little longer cook but taste fabulous!

      • — Clarissa on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
    • RE: Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Tangy Honey Glaze

      Greetings Jen,
      This recipe was out of this world scrumptious! Since we didn’t have the cayenne pepper, I substituted 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes and skipped the extra cider vinegar at the end. Wow!
      This is the third recipe of yours that I’ve tried and all have been extraordinary! I love everything culinary!
      Stay safe and take care.

      • — Emmay on February 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • I generally feel like something that is quick and easy can’t also be amazing. But this chicken is juicy, super flavorful, kid-friendly, incredibly quick and easy, and uses ingredients that I have on-hand. It’s like a miracle food for any cook!

    • — Kristin on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Adore these chicken thighs! I bake them at 425 for 35 minutes as Jenn suggested in one of the questions below. They turn out fabulous every time!

    • — Nonie Caruthers on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These were so easy to make, really juicy and flavourful chicken that pairs well with nearly anything!

    • — Caroline on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Great recipe and a great meal! I am a novice cook and I am so happy I found this website. The instructions are easy to follow and the pictures help me as well! I only had skin-on, bone-in thighs, so I quickly learned how to remove the bone from YouTube. The chicken was so juicy and flavorful!
    I served this with the quinoa salad and my husband was so impressed! The salad paired perfect with the chicken. Delicious!

    • — Lina V on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I needed a quick easy recipe to use up some chicken thighs from a previous meal. I have never broiled my dinner before and I admit I was skeptical. Boy, was I wrong! So good! This recipe is going to replace the meal I had originally bought the chicken thighs for. LOL The whole family loved it. Thanks for a great meal!

    • — Julia M. on January 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can these be made with bone-in thighs? If so, what modifications do I need? Thank you

    • — Mary on January 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I haven’t tried this with bone-in thighs. I think they may just need a few extra minutes in the oven. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe last night, and it was delicious served it with sautéed sweet onion, red/orange bell pepper slices and mashed potatoes.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • — Howie on January 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wowza! Great recipe and easy! I nervously made this recipe for first time for guests, and it came out a crowd pleaser! I followed the recipe as is except I did marinate chicken overnight. Tasty, moist and delicious! Another great one!

    • — Runner girl on November 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Our family loves this recipe! I like to let the chicken sit in the spices in the fridge all day and then it cooks up so quickly at meal time. Only thing I do is differently is use about 1/2 the amount of honey recommended. Served with salad and roasted potatoes made in the air fryer, it’s such a delicious and quick weeknight meal.

      • — Marina on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • This chicken *smacks*, can’t believe i have lived my life this long without it….

    • — Amanda Ogden on November 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • I was also a little hesitant to broil these chicken thighs but after reading the reviews I decided to try it. Pleasantly surprised and very well received. Another great recipe…thank you Jenn.
    I made the carrots roasted with thyme as suggested along with some rice and air fried cauliflower. A huge hit!

    • — Naz Sicherman on November 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • This recipe is soooo good! It’s so simple and easy to throw together on a weeknight but packed with flavor. I have made it 3 or 4 times now and it’s a crowd pleaser. I added a little chili garlic sauce to the honey/vinegar mix last time – the recipe is easily customized. If you’re worried about broiling , don’t be! As long as you keep an eye on the chicken you can avoid any burning and broiling really lets the sauce caramelize and keeps the chicken so juicy. I personally like to serve it with broccoli and rice and next time I will double the sauce because it’s really that tasty 🙂

    • — Kasia on November 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • Jen,

    I have made this chicken recipe many times. Love!

    What is the salad pictured here? Is the recipe on the site?

    • — Jason Stoner on October 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! That’s a Bon Appetit salad. You can check it out here.

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’ve always been terrified of using the broiler, but recipes on this website have tended to work for me, so I took a deep breath and tried it. Wow. The chicken came out tender and juicy, right at 170 F. I used the times in the recipe (5 min, turn, 5 min, brush, 1 min, turn and brush, 2 min), with a sheet pan on the top rack, with the broiler at the default of 500 F.

    I’ll definitely be doing this again, and now that I have this technique figured out, I can experiment with other flavors too. I think the glaze is a nice touch but is not strictly necessary for a good simple meal.

    • — Impressed on September 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • As with Jenn’s other recipes, this dish is the perfect intersection of great tasting, easy to make, and easy to clean up.

    This was a big hit with the family. I served it with warm bread to soak up all the goodness of the sauce and Jenn’s roasted carrots and arugula salad (with shaved parmesan, olive oil, salt, and pepper). The savory flavor of the salad was a nice balance to the sweetness of the chicken.

    • — Rob Kahn on September 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • I was actually surprised at how good it tastes. The only recommendation I have after broiling it for 5 minutes on each side and pouring the vinegar and honey mixture over the chicken, I put the chicken at 350 F for 30 minutes turns out great. 👍

    • — AMANDA BLIEDUNG on August 31, 2020
    • Reply
  • For those of us who insist on using boneless, skinless chicken breasts even though you say not to…can you please suggest the best cooking method? The ingredients sound great and I’ve loved many of your other recipes but thighs just aren’t my thing.

    • — Rebecca on August 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Rebecca, If you want to use boneless breasts here, I’d pound them out to 1/2-inch thickness so they cook quickly and evenly. I’d love to hear how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on August 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made these but baked them at 425 for 35 minutes like you mentioned in another post – they were so easy to make and so delicious! I love your recipes!

    • — Cspencer on July 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this today with two friends (via zoom) and we all thought it turned out delicious! Just the right amount of heat, sweetness and tanginess and oh so easy!

    • — Kelly G on June 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • I loved this recipe!! Paired it with the arugula salad and it was amazing! Thanks, Jenn! I’ve never made a recipe I didn’t like by you.

    • — Janel on June 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • So delicious as written. Would not change a thing. My hubby said it was the best meal all week. Thank you for another outstanding recipe. I just ordered your cookbook as a Christmas present to me!

      • — Susan on December 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • This was so delicious, I added a couple of dashes of sesame oil in the glaze and added all of the vinegar stated in the glaze instead of the splash of stand alone vinegar at the end. Kids loved it.

    • — Aissa on May 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe for the second time last night, and it is a wonderful meal! I am glad that a few reviewers already asked about drumsticks, because I plan to try that variation next. I paired this with the colorful salad linked at the top of the post, except that I substituted pearl couscous for quinoa. So delicious together!

    • — Helen on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious. My boyfriend and I loved it! We are making it again tonight. I tried it with some lime in the end and it blended well. Definitely recommend thank you!

    • — Vanesa Esquivel on April 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Adjusted the time and made them with chicken tenders. Had with celery and ranch dressing. Really good.

    • — Todd on April 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,
      I’m from Australia and not sure what broiling is. I’m thinking it is grilling which to me is cooking under a hot top element in the oven? Can you please explain. I see from other comments it is possible to bake in the oven? If so what temperature please. Thanks for your help.

      • — Anne Spiteri on December 17, 2020
      • Reply
      • Yes, based on what you’re describing, grilling in Australia is the same thing as broiling in the US. If you have the option to broil them, I’d go that way as if you bake them, it may be hard to get the glaze to caramelize. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on December 17, 2020
        • Reply
  • Awesome recipe. I recommemded it’s easy and delicious. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • — Genesis S Chacon on April 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • Tried this last week, and the family – husband and two teenage boys – LOVED it. I had nearly doubled the recipe, and they still wanted more.
    I tasted the chicken before adding the glaze at the end and was nervous because it was so spicy, but the glaze and vinegar really mellowed it out, and took the heat down while making the flavor really pop. Was nervous about using a broiler after reading some comments, so roasted it in 425 oven as Jenn suggested as alternative, then set it under broiler at the end with the glaze. It was amazing.

    • — Lynnie on April 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Great flavor, but broilers are terribly insistent so using the broiler (rather than the oven) will create inconsistent results

    • — Ryan Akiba on March 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I made the above and it was super yummy. My husband, the o finicky one, said this is a keeper. I also made the roasted carrots as suggested and I know have a new and exciting carrot recipe. I never do reviews for recipes but I have to say I will be buying your cookbook.

    • — Donna on January 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Followed the recipe pretty exactly. This was fantastic. Even tho I was skeptical because I don’t like anything sweet. My mother loved it. . Served with garlic olive oil couscous and asparagus.

    • — Jt on January 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I belong to a Newcomers Food Group in North Carolina. This month we are making various recipes from your cookbook. I was assigned your “Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Tangy Honey Glaze”. It looks so yummy; I can’t wait to taste it. However, I do not like to use the broiler. In fact, I avoid the broiler at all costs! I want the recipe to come out as good as yours looks! Do you think it will be quite changed if I prepare the chicken in a saute pan instead?
    Thanks for your help.
    Sabina

    • — Sabina Davis on January 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sabina, rather than sauteing it, I’d recommend roasting it in a 425-degree oven for about 35 minutes. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on January 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • Thanx for another great recipe! Dinner was ready in minutes and everyone enjoyed…

    • — Chaya on January 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Beautifully glazed chicken thighs, great balanced flavor.

    • — Diane on January 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Loved it! Will definitely make again…

    • — Mary on December 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • This was delish and so easy. I hate broiling so I roasted the chicken thighs and it was perfect. I followed the recipe exactly besides that. So good. Served with brown rice and roasted butternut squash and it all mixed perfectly. Thx for the great recipe!

    • — Jenn Kratsa on December 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi, was wondering which of your many salads would you recommend serving with this dish?
    Thanks,
    Deborah

    • — Deborah on December 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Deborah, a couple of options that come to mind are this arugula salad, this grated carrot salad, or the salad that is pictured with the chicken (although it’s not the best time of year for this one b/c peaches aren’t in season. It’s not my salad, but you can find it here. Hope that helps and that you enjoy whatever you try!

      • — Jenn on December 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this tonight using boneless, skinless chicken breast and did not deviate from the recipe. It was wonderful. I checked the breast after broiling (one level down from the highest rack setting) and they were cooked.
    This was an outstanding and thank-you so much for another stellar recipe!!

    • — Lianne on November 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi! I followed this recipe but wasn’t convinced that the chicken was cooked after broiling for such a short time on each side. So, I stuck it in a 325 degree oven prior to serving the next day.
    Taste was yummy and I felt happier knowing it was cooked through and through! Thanks!

    • — Sue L on October 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Another fantastic recipe! Followed the directions as written and the family loved it. I will definitely be making these often. Thank you Jenn!

    • — Janet on October 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi can this be made on the grill? I love the recipe and have made it many times with the broiling method. Any grilling pointers?

    • — Tiffany Owens on September 15, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Tiffany, Glad you like the chicken! I’d stick to broiling here, as the pan collects the sauce, which would get lost on the grill.

      • — Jenn on September 15, 2019
      • Reply

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