This Sweet Soy Sauce Glazed Chicken is so easy to make for a weeknight dinner, and is the perfect combo of sweet, salty and spicy. Simply sear the chicken in a cast iron, then slide it into the oven to finish cooking!
You may need to get the wet wipes out because this sweet soy sauce chicken has a delicious sticky glaze, and you’ll be tempted to use your hands to eat! Or you can just lick your fingers? But of course, wash your hands first. For twenty seconds.
The chicken is first seared on the stove (takes about 10 minutes total), then baked in the oven to finish off. It’s super easy, and the best part? You only need to use ONE pan. Less mess and less dishes. Win – win.
If time allows, salt your chicken the night before.
I never did this (as I’m not a huge salt fan) until I read Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and learned the science behind it. Through the process of osmosis, salt actually dissolves proteins into a gel, allowing them to absorb and retain water better as they cook. This leaves you a greater margin of error for overcooking chicken, which is the worst. Mind. blown.
As for the sweet soy sauce glaze…
it is finger-licking delicious. (Again, let’s all please wash our hands!) The glaze is full of flavor from garlic and ginger, and the red pepper flakes add a slight kick. The base is soy sauce and coconut sugar, making the most delicious salty/sweet/spicy/garlicky glaze!
Is this paleo or whole30?
Unfortunately no. It is made with coconut sugar, which technically is paleo and whole30 (but SWYPO), since it is naturally from the sap of a coconut palm tree. However, the soy sauce is derived from soy, and thus not paleo or whole30 compliant. However, I will be trying this soon with coconut aminos, which would be compliant for both!
We love a combo of chicken breast and drumstick, so we typically make 2 breasts and 5 drumsticks. It’s enough for the 2 of us, and we have leftovers for lunch the next day!
Serve the chicken over some brown rice, topped with sesame seeds and green onions. To add veggies, you can make easy roasted broccoli, since the oven will be at the right temperature for both the chicken and broccoli!
Sweet Soy Sauce Glazed Chicken
- 2-3 lbs Chicken (we usually use 5 drumsticks, 2 breasts)
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- 2 green onions, sliced for garnish
For the sauce:
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp tapioca starch for thickening
- 1 tbsp water for thickening
Prepare and cook the chicken:
- *The day before* Pat dry and salt your chicken. Place in a ziploc bag overnight. (see note)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat a cast iron skillet with avocado oil. When the pan is hot (when you flick water onto the pan, it should sizzle), sear the chicken breasts and drumsticks, 4 minutes per side.
- When the meat is well seared, place the cast iron in the oven. Bake the breasts until they reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees (about 17-20 minutes), and the drumsticks until they reach 165 degrees (about 20-25 minutes).
While the chicken is baking, prepare the glaze:
- In a small sauce pan, stir fry the avocado oil, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes over medium heat for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Add soy sauce and coconut sugar. Stir well to combine and melt sugar.
- In a small bowl, dissolve tapioca starch with water to create a slurry.
- Bring the soy sauce mixture to a simmer. While stirring the sauce, add the slurry. With a few stirs, you should see it start to thicken. Remove from heat and limit stirring.
Glaze the chicken:
- When there is 10 minutes left of baking, use a brush to add the glaze to the chicken. Return chicken to the oven to finish cooking.
- When the chicken is completely cooked, remove and serve with rice, sesame seeds and green onions!
- If time allows, salt your chicken the night before. I never did this (as I’m not a huge salt fan) until I read Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and learned the science behind it. Through the process of osmosis, salt actually dissolves proteins into a gel, allowing them to absorb and retain water better as they cook. This leaves you a greater margin of error for overcooking chicken, which is the worst. Mind. blown.
- If you have a large enough cast iron, you can sear and bake the chicken in the same pan. If not, you can use an additional baking pan to finish cooking the chicken in the oven.
- We typically cook the chicken breast to 150-155 degrees in the oven. We remove it, and let it rest for 5 minutes, allowing it to cook through. We’ve cooked breasts to 165 in the oven, and ended up with dry chicken.