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Sep 4, 2021

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs

Garlic and ginger caramel chicken thighs. Imagine crispy chicken coated in a succulent sticky sauce with Asian flavors. Beyond delicious. 

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs in bowl.

You won't be able to resist this Vietnamese-style caramel chicken. It's glazed with an sauce of Asian-style flavors that you can't resist. The recipe is both easy and magical. 

This is a chicken version of my Caramel Shrimp, with a few changes. This recipe uses brown instead of white sugar, and, because you are cooking chicken pieces instead of shrimp, the process takes a bit longer so that the chicken is fully cooked through. The sauce is so dark, sweet, and rich. 

Either way, this recipe doesn't require hunting down hard to find ingredients. 

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs in pot.

The best parts of the chicken for this recipe are bone-on, skin-on chicken thighs. They are juicy and flavorful, and hold up well to stove top cooking. 

This chicken is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. We had this with sticky white rice and a salad. The rice is perfect for sopping up all of the sticky caramel sauce.

This chicken is pretty luxurious. The brown sugar in the sauce is perfectly balanced with the vinegar and soy sauce. The sauce is so good, I could imagine doubling it.

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs in a bowl.

Ingredients you will need to make garlic and ginger caramel chicken thighs:

Chicken thighs: Be sure they are bone-in and skin-on. 

Garlic: You will need 8 peeled cloves. 

Light brown sugar. 

Rice vinegar: Be sure it is not pre-seasoned.

Fresh ginger, peeled and sliced.

Chicken broth. 

Soy sauce.

Scallions for garnish. 

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thigh on a plate.

How to make garlic and ginger caramel chicken thighs:

First, sear the chicken pieces on both sides in batches in a heavy Dutch oven. You want to make sure the chicken is crispy. 

Next, make the sauce. Heat water, brown sugar, vinegar, chicken broth, and soy sauce in stages, and cook until everything comes together. 

After that, add the chicken pieces back to the pot, along with some garlic, and cook until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pot and cook the sauce until it is thick and sticky. 

Finally, add the chicken back to the pot and toss it with the thickened sauce. You won't want to waste a single drop of the amazing sauce. 

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs sauce.

I garnished these with some thinly sliced scallions. You could also sprinkle the final dish with sesame seeds if you like. 

More Vietnamese-style recipes:

Vietnamese Beef Stew

Caramel Shrimp Banh Mi

Quick Beef Pho

Banh Mi Rolls

Vietnamese-style Meatballs with Rice Noodles

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs in pot.

This is an updated post from July, 2015. I've included new photos, details, and a printable recipe card. Plus, we had a chance to enjoy this juicy and delicious chicken again. 

This week the From Our Dinner Table Group is posting recipes with the theme, "Favorite Chicken Recipes." 

Favorite Chicken Recipe

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, follow our Pinterest board, too!

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs in a serving bowl.

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs

Garlic and Ginger Caramel Chicken Thighs
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 H & 15 MTotal time: 1 H & 30 M
Garlic and ginger caramel chicken thighs. Imagine crispy chicken coated in a succulent sticky sauce with Asian flavors. Beyond delicious.


  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 12 - 1/4 inch slices of peeled ginger
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Season the chicken pieces with Kosher salt on both sides.
  2. In a large heavy pot with a wide bottom, such as a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat.
  3. Cook the chicken in batches, about 8 minutes per side, until crispy. Transfer the pieces to a plate.
  4. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate with the chicken.
  5. Turn off the heat, and pour off the fat from the pan.
  6. Return the pan to the stove and turn the heat up to medium high. Add the water, and scrap up all of the brown bits. Add the brown sugar, and cook for about 5 minutes, until thickened.
  7. Add the vinegar, and stir until the crystalized sugar redissolves.
  8. Add the ginger, chicken broth, and soy sauce. Add the chicken, skin side up, along with the garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  9. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until thick, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken back into the Dutch oven and coat with the sauce. Sprinkle with the green onions.

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Main dish
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Adapted from Bon Appetit, Fall, 2013. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Yummy! Looks flavorful! I have definitely to try this chicken :)

  2. Just printed the recipe! Definitely a must try!! (cool print option, by the way. :) )

    1. It does have a sort of Asian flavor =)

      That's from Print Friendly and it's free. I'm on Blogger like you, so it would work on your blog too.

  3. Karen, definitely your taste and mine match super well.. Although I had dinner a while ago, I found myself salivating in front of the screen... this is definitely the type of recipe I ADORE! ;-)

  4. I love this looks SO good! Pinning and definitely trying! If you have a free moment, I would love it if you would link it up with us over at #FoodieFriDIY...our party is still live through the end of the day Sunday. Regardless, sending lots of foodie love your way. I can't wait to try it!

  5. This chicken looks coated to perfection. Sweet and garlicky, this is an amazing Asian treat! Thank you for another fantastic recipe Karen!

  6. Made this tonight. HUGE hit! Everyone loved it!

  7. That sauce is making my mouth water, it looks incredible!

  8. I can't get over how I can't stop licking my fingers so I don't waste one drop of sauce! Quicker and WAY better then my local take out!

  9. Oh. My. Word. This looks and sounds beyond delicious! I love the description and your photos are amazing

  10. Just looking at your pictures is making my mouth water! Your recipe sounds amazing. Can't wait to give it a try!

  11. I love sauces that have brown sugar! This recipe sounds so flavorful. Adding the ingredients to my shopping list so I can make this soon.


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