This easy recipe for baked soy sauce chicken is my nontraditional-yet-tasty interpretation of the classic recipe.
Marinate briefly, then bake the chicken 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 is wonderfully flavorful and definitely keeps things interesting around here! It's my own loose interpretation of the classic Chinese recipe. Not necessarily authentic, but very good.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty chicken recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Soy sauce: I prefer reduced-sodium sauce. The traditional sauce is too salty, in my opinion. If you need this dish to be gluten-free, simply use an alternative.
Rice vinegar: If you don't have any on hand, you can use white wine vinegar instead. I don't recommend using distilled white vinegar. It's too acidic.
Avocado oil: This neutral-tasting oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking. You can use refined coconut oil instead if you wish.
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.
Making this version of baked soy sauce chicken is truly easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for 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.
I highly recommend that you marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour (and preferably 2 hours) prior to baking it. Marinating helps the tasty sauce penetrate the chicken and gives it great flavor.
Frequently asked questions
The classic recipe is quite complex. It calls for marinating cut-up chicken pieces in a mixture of soy sauce and spices, then gently boiling them until cooked through. My baked version is different from the classic recipe, but it's quicker and easier.
In my easy version, 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.
Yes. They will need to spend a little less time in the oven - start with 50 minutes and check. Their internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.
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 them 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.
I usually serve this dish with cabbage stir fry - the flavors go really well together. It's also good with Chinese green beans or served on a bed of cauliflower rice. The "rice" works well to absorb the tasty pan juices.
The leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They are delicious cold, or gently reheated in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Baked Soy Sauce Chicken
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative)
- 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.