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Caramelized Baked Chicken

Friends, gather round for the juiciest, most flavorful chicken your tastebuds have ever experienced – Caramelized Baked Chicken!
As soon as this chicken emerges from the oven, you’ll be enveloped in an irresistible aroma of sweet, salty, and savory. Each tender thigh is lacquered in a glistening soy garlic glaze that caramelizes to absolute perfection. With just a few pantry staples, you’ll have a restaurant-caliber meal ready in under an hour.
I’m telling you, this easy bake is about to revolutionize your weeknight dinner game. No dealing with raw chicken – simply toss bone-in thighs straight into the oven. While they transform into succulent, fall-off-the-bone meat, you make a quick glaze. Brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, and grated ginger melt into the most mouthwatering combination of flavors.
Drizzle the glaze generously over the chicken, letting it bubble and caramelize with each brushstroke. A final broil at the end browns it to an Instagram-worthy glaze. Just wait until you sink your teeth into these golden thighs and taste the sweet, salty, and savory blend of flavors. It’s like taking a bite out of the best Korean fried chicken you’ve ever had, minus all the oil and fuss.
With a simple side and salad, you’ve got a culinary masterpiece in minutes. This Caramelized Baked Chicken is about to earn a permanent spot in your dinner rotation. So gather the family, make this recipe, and get ready for your new favorite way to do chicken!

Let’s start with the FAQs:

What kind of brown sugar is best to use?
I recommend using light or dark brown sugar rather than coconut sugar or other granulated brown sugars. The molasses in traditional brown sugar gives the glaze richness and moisture. Light brown sugar provides mild sweetness while dark brown sugar has a deeper caramel flavor.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs?
Chicken breasts can work but they tend to dry out faster than thighs when baking. If using breasts, watch the cooking time closely and aim for 155°F internal temperature before removing from oven. Also brush them frequently with glaze to keep moist.

What if my chicken browns too quickly or unevenly?
If some spots seem darker than others, tent a piece of foil over those areas. If browning too quickly overall, reduce oven temperature 25 degrees. The broiling step at the end ensures even caramelization so don’t worry if its not perfect beforehand.

How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked?
Chicken thighs are done when they register 165°F on a meat thermometer. If you don’t have one, look for clear juices running from the thickest part and the meat being opaque throughout when cut into.

Can I double this recipe for meal prep?
Yes, you can easily double it for meal prepping. Just use two baking sheets and rotate the pans halfway through if browning unevenly. Let cool completely before storing in the fridge.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: 40-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Olive oil
  • That’s it! Simple pantry ingredients you likely have on hand.

Instructions:

  1. First up, heat the oven and prep your pans – 400°F is the magic number. Line that baking sheet with foil or parchment – it makes the cleanup a breeze.
  2. Now, pat your chicken thighs completely dry – do not skip this step! It helps the glaze cling and caramelize like nobody’s business.
  3. For the glaze, whisk up a sweet and salty mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger, and minced garlic. This is the lip-smacking liquid gold that takes this chicken over the top.
  4. Drizzle the chicken all over with olive oil – don’t be shy! Then arrange those babies on the pan and brush generously with the glaze. We’re talking slick, shiny, and glistening.
  5. Into the oven they go for 20 minutes while you impatiently peek through the door as the glaze bubbles away. Halfway through, flip those thighs and give ’em another glossy coat.
  6. Back in the oven just until cooked through, then under the broiler to finish with a crackling, candied crust. Watch closely so they don’t burn!
  7. Let them rest just a few minutes while you try not to tear straight into these beauties. The caramelized glaze will thicken into the perfect drizzle for your rice.
  8. Now dig in and prepare for the sweet, salty, finger-lickin’ meal of your dreams. You just made the juiciest, most crave-worthy chicken around!

Cooking tips:

  • Use boneless, skinless thighs for easy prep and cleanup
  • Pat chicken dry so the glaze sticks better
  • Flip halfway through baking for even browning
  • Broil at the end for extra caramelization
  • Brush on glaze multiple times for more flavor
  • Add extra garlic and ginger if you like a punch of flavor
  • Try different glaze flavors like honey-mustard or teriyaki

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