Honey-Citrus ChickenPhoto Credit : Katherine Keenan
Endlessly versatile and nearly impossible to overcook, chicken thighs sit smack at the intersection of foods that are inexpensive, easy to make, and delicious. And speaking of culinary trifectas, the salty-tangy-sweet fusion of soy, citrus, and honey (or sugar) is a delight well known to fans of, say, orange chicken or ponzu sauce.
Drawing on all these virtues, this chicken thighs recipe is essentially foolproof. It’s inspired by an April 1969 reader-submitted recipe, dubbed Honey-Juiced Chicken, in which a whole bird is cut up, battered, fried, and doused with honey and orange juice. Here, we swap in the thighs, eliminate the battering and frying, and incorporate onions, peppers, and herbs for color and flavor. The result is a weeknight-friendly dinner that’s special enough to serve guests.
The spice level in the sauce can be adjusted to your liking, but don’t skimp on the garnishes. Likewise, don’t omit the final broiling step, which gives the meat a beautiful burnishing. A meat thermometer is your friend here, as chicken thighs often still appear pink even when fully cooked. This dish would be delicious served with rice or atop leafy greens, where the sauce serves as a sweet, sticky dressing.