Crispy Hoisin Chicken Thighs are one of my favorite things to cook because they’re so easy to make and packed full of flavor. They also make chicken enjoyable for anyone who doesn’t actually enjoy it.
Chicken with hoisin sauce is full of sweet and savory flavors and covered in a thick honey hoisin glaze. It’s a delicious easy dinner to make on busy weeknights!
Asian foods are one of my favorites because they’re colorful and full of different flavors. You can get super creative when you’re making an Asian inspired dish because it’s easy to substitute so many different ingredients.
If you’re looking for some Asian inspired sauces to pair with these chicken thighs and can be used on other Asian dishes as well, check out this Chili Garlic Sauce, Miso Tahini Sauce, and the infamous Yum-Yum Sauce.
The concept of this recipe might not be anything new and groundbreaking, but I only had it for the first time recently when my father in law came to visit and made these. I loved them so much I had to put my own twist on them and share!
What ingredients will I need to make Hoisin Chicken Thighs?
A few simple ingredients bring a huge amount of flavor to these crispy chicken thighs.
Chicken thighs: I prefer to use boneless chicken thighs for this recipe because they are easy to eat and get super crispy when cooking. They also stay much juicier than chicken breasts, which can easily drry out.
If you prefer white meat to dark meat, you can use chicken breasts instead. I suggest using thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts if you’re going to substitute.
Garlic powder: seasoning the chicken before marinating is what makes this recipe so full of flavor!
Hoisin sauce: hoisin sauce is the star of the show bringing sweet and salty flavors into the recipe. You can find bottled hoisin sauce at your local grocery store or you can make your own, either will work well for this recipe.
Honey: honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this chicken dinner dish. The sugar also helps these broiled chicken thighs caramelize when they’re cooking.
Sesame seeds: using sesame seeds as a garnish on top of your cooked chicken thighs adds contrasting color and crunch to the chicken.
Fresh parsley: I recommend using fresh chopped parsley. If you use dehydrated parsley, it will change the flavor.
Chives: you can use chives as another garnish for this recipe. I recommend slicing them thinly so that you don’t get a big piece of chive while you’re eating.
If you want to add a little heat to the marinade, you can add some red pepper flakes.
How to make Crispy Hoisin Chicken Recipe
1. Season the chicken. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
2. Make the marinade. In a large bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, honey, and sesame oil. Reserve 1/4 of a cup of the marinade for later.
3. Marinate the chicken. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat, making sure all pieces of chicken are generously covered in the marinade. Cover the bowl and marinate the chicken thighs with hoisin sauce in the refrigerator for 1-6 hours or overnight. You can also marinate the chicken in a gallon storage bag.
4. Preheat the oven. When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven’s broiler to high and set the rack about 6 inches from the heating element. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush a very thin layer of sesame oil over the top.
5. Broil the chicken. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and broil for 10-15 minutes on each side, until the edges begin to char and the thighs are a deep golden brown.
You want to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 170 F before serving.
6. Serve. When the chicken is finished cooking, transfer it to a serving dish and brush some of the remaining sauce on top. Garnish with sesame seeds and fresh parsley or green onions.
These chicken thighs are amazing on the grill!
What is hoisin sauce made of?
Hoisin sauce, or Peking sauce, is normally made up of soybean, flour, sugar, and spices like garlic and chili. It’s used in a lot of Asian food but primarily in Chinese cuisine.
It’s normally thick with a reddish brown color. You may have heard that it tastes like fish, and that is because “hoisin” in Chinese is “seafood.” Hoisin sauce actually has sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors that are great for chicken, beef, and tofu.
If you’re not the biggest fan of the flavor of homemade hoisin sauce, tamari sauce is a good alternative. It works well with stir fry dishes.
What do you use hoisin sauce for?
You can use a hoisin mixture for many different things. While it’s mainly used in Chinese and Vietnamese recipes, you can add it to any dish that you would normally use some sauce with. It’s great when used as a dipping sauce for fries, chicken nuggets, and wings.
Since hoisin sauce is a thicker consistency, it’s great for glazes, dips and thicker marinades.
Fish Sauce vs. Oyster Sauce vs. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin Sauce: this thick reddish brown sauce is sweet and slightly salty and can also sometimes be spicy. It smells almost fruity. Hoisin sauce is great for dipping, glazing, and putting in with noodles.
Oyster Sauce: this sauce is brown, has a strong smell, and is salty and slightly sweet. Oyster sauce is commonly used in stir fries and glazes.
Fish Sauce: fish sauce is made with different kinds of fish, like anchovies and sardines. This brown sauce is fermented for months, where it turns into an umami meat flavor. It’s great to use for marinating and sautéing. Try it out on salads, stir fries, and soups.
What cooking method is best for chicken thighs?
I like to use chicken thighs in a lot of my recipes because of how well they absorb flavor and how juicy they are. For this recipe, we are broiling the chicken thighs for a perfect crispy outside.
Here are a few of my favorite chicken recipes:
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos
- Oven Baked Chicken and Cauliflower
- Spanakopita Chicken Bake
- Chick Fil A Chicken Tortilla Soup
How long should you marinate chicken thighs?
A good rule of thumb is to not marinate any kind of chicken for over 24 hours. You can do two days, but I recommend only marinating it for one.
After two days the marinade can start to break down the fibers of the meat, causing your chicken to become mushy.
You want to make sure they’re marinating for at least an hour before cooking. My preferred way is to put the chicken thighs into the marinade the night before so overnight the chicken has time to absorb all of the delicious flavors.
Making slits in the chicken to help it absorb the marinade better.
Is it better to broil or bake chicken?
It totally depends on the recipe. For this crispy hoisin honey chicken thighs recipe, we are going to broil them in the oven for about seven minutes, so it doesn’t take super long to cook the chicken.
Sometimes the longer a meat is in the oven, the tougher it can become so I recommend using your broiler when you can.
Of course this excludes sheet pan recipes like Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas because sometimes it’s just a little easier to toss your food in the oven, come back 30 minutes later and it’s cooked!
How to serve hoisin honey chicken
Hoisin honey chicken can also be served over stir fried vegetables or vegetable fried rice.
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Crispy Hoisin Chicken Thighs
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, honey, and sesame oil. Reserve 1/4 of a cup of the marinade for later.
- Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat, making sure all pieces of chicken are generously covered in the marinade. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-6 hours or overnight. You can also marinate the chicken in a gallon storage bag.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven's broiler to high and set the rack about 6 inches from the heating element. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush a very thin layer of sesame oil over top.
- Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and broil for 10-15 minutes on each side, until the edges begin to char.
- When the chicken is finished cooking, transfer it to a serving dish and brush the remaining sauce on top. Garnish with sesame seeds and fresh parsley or green onions.
- If you want to add even more flavor, add 3 cloves of minced garlic and 1 1/2 tbsps of minced ginger to the marinade.
- Throw these chicken thighs on the grill in the summer!