An easy recipe for baked soy sauce chicken thighs. Marinate briefly, then bake for one hour at 350 degrees F, and your tasty dinner is ready!
I make chicken recipes quite a lot for my family (these baked chicken drumsticks are a big hit around here), so I'm always on the lookout for ways to make things more interesting. This is especially important to my husband and me. The kids don't seem to mind eating the same food day after day.
This easy recipe for baked soy sauce chicken thighs is wonderfully flavorful and definitely keeps things interesting around here! It's my own loose interpretation of the classic Chinese recipe. Not authentic, but very good.
Not the classic recipe
The classic recipe is quite complex, and I admit I'm far too lazy for that! It calls for marinating cut-up chicken pieces in a mixture of soy sauce and spices, then gently boiling them until cooked through.
In my easy recipe, I marinate the chicken thighs briefly. I then bake them in the oven, basting often, until the tops are beautifully browned and the inside is tender and juicy.
If you don't have time to marinate the chicken, you can skip this step (as I do in the video), but the flavor will be less pronounced.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty main dish (exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Soy sauce: I prefer reduced-sodium sauce. The traditional sauce is too salty, in my opinion. And if you need this dish to be gluten-free, simply use an alternative such as coconut aminos.
Rice vinegar: if you don't have it on hand, you can use white wine vinegar instead.
Avocado oil: This neutral-tasting oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking.
Honey: A small amount to balance out the other flavors.
Minced garlic and minced ginger: Mince them yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Crushed red pepper flakes: They don't make the dish spicy; they just add an interesting layer of flavor.
Chicken thighs: I use bone-in skin-on thighs in this recipe.
How to make soy sauce chicken
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Mix all the ingredients except for the chicken. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag and add the chicken thighs.
Marinate in the fridge for 1 hour, turning the bag midway.
Bake until well browned and cooked through, about 1 hour at 350° F, basting the tops often.
How to serve this dish?
I usually serve it with cabbage stir fry - the flavors go really well together. It's also good with Chinese green beans, or on a bed of cauliflower rice. The "rice" works well to absorb the yummy cooking juices.
Variations and substitutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- You can use a different chicken part such as chicken drumsticks or bone-in skin-on chicken breast.
- You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs and bake for a shorter time - try 45 minutes and see if they're fully cooked.
- It's fine to replace the honey with a sugar-free alternative.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep well for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. They are delicious cold, or gently reheated in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
More chicken thighs recipes that you might enjoy
Another Asian-style chicken recipe that I make often is keto sesame chicken. It's incredibly flavorful.
And pulled chicken is so easy to make and it tastes wonderful!
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Soy Sauce Chicken
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce (or use a gluten-free alternative and add salt as needed)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 lb.)
- Mix the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag and add the chicken thighs. Place on a plate and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour, turning the bag midway.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the chicken thighs from the bag and arrange them in a baking dish large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Pour the marinade on top and use your hands to massage it into the chicken thighs.
- Bake until well browned and cooked through, about 1 hour, basting the tops with the cooking liquids every 20 minutes. Rinse the basting brush with warm soapy water after each use.
- Remove from oven, baste one more time, and serve.