Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Have you noticed that when it comes to poultry, almost everyone has a definite preference for either dark meat or light meat? Sitting around the table at Thanksgiving as people fill their plates, you’ll hear the requests ring out. I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard anyone express complete indifference. Even if you’d gladly eat either the light or dark meat, you typically have a favorite.

For me, it’s the dark meat. And it’s not just limited to the turkey at Thanksgiving. Given the choice between white meat chicken breasts and dark meat thighs, I’d pick the thighs 9 out of 10 times. I like using white meat when I’m incorporating shredded chicken into another dish, but if the chicken stands alone, pass the dark meat please :) Chicken thighs are usually cheaper than breasts, which doesn’t hurt either.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

These spicy honey-brushed chicken thighs have actually been in our dinner rotation for years. I’ve been holding out on you guys! Truthfully, the only reason they haven’t already appeared on the blog is because they’re not exactly photogenic and I’m really annoyingly picky when it comes to pictures.

I’m super excited to share these with you today though because as weeknight meals go, it just doesn’t get much better than this chicken. It’s one of the fastest and easiest recipes you’ll ever make – throw together a quick spice mixture to coat the thighs then broil them for about 12 minutes, brushing the chicken with a thick honey sauce in the last few minutes. The spices in the mix are warm and slightly spicy and so perfectly complemented by the sweet glaze. Tons of flavor from just a few ingredients, I love this kind of dish! Throw together a quick salad while the chicken cooks and dinner is literally on the table in 20 minutes.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
from Cooking Light, March 2007

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Preheat your broiler, and place an oven rack about 6 inches below it. Set a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet (lined with foil for easier clean-up if you want). Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin, paprika, and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat them with the spice mixture. Transfer the chicken to the wire rack.

Broil the chicken for 5 minutes on the first side, then flip over and broil for 5 more minutes on the second side. Brush one side of the chicken with half of the honey mixture and broil for 1 minute, then flip the chicken and brush the other side with the remaining honey mixture. Return to the oven and broil for 1 more minute (or until chicken is cooked through).