sweet soy glazed chicken with napkin

Sweet Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs

After an extended hiatus from Paleo dieting, I decided it was time to get back into it with some sweet soy glazed chicken thighs. I realized how easy it is to lower my carb intake when doing a Paleo diet because most of the carbs come from veggies. This is also a bonus way of getting me to eat more vegetables.

A few months ago, I made a coconut adobo chicken that was really awesome. These sweet soy glazed chicken thighs have a similar list of ingredients minus coconut milk and with white sugar instead of brown. The mixture of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar give the chicken the salty, sour and sweet combo that really delivers on flavor. Ok, so I cheated a bit by adding a few teaspoons of sugar. It was totally worth it! You could substitute honey to make it more Paleo.

soy glazed chicken with spoon

These sweet soy glazed chicken thighs also have caramelized onions, which, in my opinion, are possibly the greatest thing you can add to any dish. You’ll also notice some chopped green onions for garnish, which really enhance the flavor.

Summer is almost here and our veggie garden is doing great this year. We had a record number of mulberries on our tree and even saw some peaches fruiting that were totally absent last year. Our garden has squash, tomatoes, okra, various peppers and sweet potatoes. I hope to make some dishes that are totally based from the garden. We call it the yard to plate movement.

sweet soy glazed chicken from top on plate

Ideally, you would cook this dish in a wok. However, I do not have a wok so I used the large cast iron Pioneer Woman pan as a substitute. It worked really well. The only challenge is to keep stirring the chicken and onions when you are browning the chicken to prevent it from sticking. Once you add rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and water, you can use the liquid to deglaze the bottom of the pan.

sweet soy glazed chicken from top

I only added one kind of soy sauce to this recipe. If you want an even darker color, you can use some dark soy sauce. I’m looking for a good source of that, but haven’t found it yet. Maybe I will pay a visit to the Asian market in Springdale.

It takes a bit of patience to cook the onions down, but it is so worth it. Otherwise, this is a pretty simple dish and stays good for several days in the fridge. I had the leftovers for lunch and they were great. Try serving it with some roasted carrots, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts. I suppose it would go well over white rice, too, if you’re not doing Paleo. Oh, and be sure to use chicken thighs with skin on and bone in!

sweet soy glazed chicken up close

PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes SERVINGS: 5


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • 3 dry red chilies ( chili de arbol is great)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches ginger root, minced
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • chopped green onions for garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add onions and dry chilies and cook for about ten minutes.
  2. Turn heat up a bit and add chicken. Cook until skin is golden brown (about 5 minutes per side). Add garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Turn heat back down to medium and add rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, water and sugar. Let simmer for another 20 minutes or so, stirring to prevent sticking. Chicken will be done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Garnish with green onions and enjoy!


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