Caramel Chicken


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Caramel Chicken recipe

This is sweet and tangy chicken, perfectly caramelized and fall off the bone tender. If you’ve been following this blog for very long at all, you probably have an idea of how much we enjoy chicken.

With over a hundred chicken recipes that I happily recommend, I think you’ll understand the seriousness of my next statement.

When I first tasted this chicken, I couldn’t resist raving about it on Facebook! (If you aren’t already hanging out with me on FB, I really wish you were there! I love chatting with you all throughout the day.)

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This is some of the BEST chicken I have ever tasted. The sugar in this recipe is perfectly balanced by the vinegar, resulting is a sweet and slightly tangy caramelized chicken that is like no other!

Marinating chicken overnight with fresh jalapenos, garlic, oranges and limes meant that this chicken was full of great flavors. I love using my broiler for quick and easy dinners, however, this chicken would be great grilled as well.

Caramel Chicken

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Caramel Chicken

Recipe slightly adapted from and with thanks to Bon Appetit
Servings: 4 -5 servings


  • 2 tablespoons light flavored olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs bone-in skin-on chicken legs and thighs I used 8 drumsticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 1/4" thick slices of fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced


  • Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt, and working in two batches, cook the chicken until it is lightly browned and crisp, about 6-8 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add garlic to the pot and saute, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant and golden brown. Place the sauteed garlic on the plate with the chicken and drain off the grease from the pot, taking care to leave all of the little browned bits in the pot.
  • Return the pot to medium high heat and add the water. Scrape up all the little browned bits and add the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and cook while stirring for about 4 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Slowly add the vinegar and stir to make sure the sugar doesn't crystallize.
  • Add the ginger, broth, soy sauce to the pot. Add the chicken, skin side up, in a single layer and then the garlic. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 20-25 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a serving dish.
  • Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove the ginger from the pan and discard. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Top with green onions and serve with rice. Enjoy!
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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Bacon Green Chile Omelet

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Anonymous says

    The fellow Gordon Ramsey the chef, makes something like this for his 4 kids all the time, he was interviewed by Charlie Rose and he said he taught all four kids how to make this after they complained so much about regular chicken meals..Can you imagine with his wealth and having all the means to have a chef in his own home his kids are learning to cook, bake, roast and make breakfasts, his wife is involved business wise in their joint restaurants and his shows, she got tired of the whining of the kids and Chef Ramsey called a big truce this when they were quite young, everyone of his kids can now cook and roast, bake, etc. they have chores and listen to their Mum and Father (when he is present) pretty neat family I would say, most with wealth and power and means don't teach their offspring much let alone cooking, baking, roasting, cleaning and being obedient and kind to their parents..just saying..Love love your blog, I am fixing this dish today, My hubs of nearly 40 years love to cook, but after working so hard in grocery retail his entire life, I spoil him a lot, he never goes to the market or cooks, he is the KING in our home..& I cook, bake, roast, and spoil (& clean) him a lot. ciaoX()

  2. Samiha Ahmed says

    Thank you for your recipe! Made it for dinner tonight. Husband loved it and went back for seconds. This will be a regular in my house. It was easy to make with ingredients I already had in my pantry. It was slightly too sweet for my taste so I added a little chili powder for some heat and I used a little bit of cornstarch to thicken my sauce. Going to surf through your other recipes now to see what I else I can make =)