Sweet And Spicy Southern Sticky Chicken Recipe

If you're not familiar with sticky chicken, recipe developer Erin Johnson describes it as "like barbecue chicken, but better." She assures us that this dish is "absolutely delicious," but also says it's something that's easy enough to prepare that you can serve it on a weeknight -– well, as long as you've prepared it ahead of time since the chicken needs to marinate for at least 8 hours to become suitably sticky.

Johnson tells us that sticky chicken is usually made with bone-in-skin-on meat, but she herself prefers to use boneless breasts. She does say that boneless, skinless thighs will also work for the dish, but she advises that because these pieces tend to be smaller than breasts, you might need to reduce the cooking time. Her advice is to use a meat thermometer since that way you will know the meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Gather the ingredients for the sweet and spicy Southern sticky chicken

In addition to the chicken, you'll also need the ingredients for the marinade: ketchup, honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, smoked paprika, and gochujang. While Johnson says "I love the complexity of gochujang," she says you can substitute hot sauce or just leave it out for chicken that's not so spicy.

Marinate the chicken

Mix all of the marinade ingredients, then use the sauce to coat the chicken. Cover the chicken, then put it in the refrigerator and give the marinade a good 8 hours or more to soak in.

Brown the chicken on the stove top

When you're ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 350 F. As the oven heats up, use an oven-proof pan to brown the chicken on both sides, then pour the marinade over the browned meat.

Bake, then broil the chicken

If you do not have an oven-proof frying pan, transfer the chicken to a baking pan before you put it in the oven. Bake it for 25 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 165 F when you stick it into the thickest part. Once the chicken reaches this temperature, set the oven to broil. Cook the chicken for a minute or so at this higher heat just until the sauce begins to caramelize, but keep a close eye out to make sure it doesn't burn.

While Johnson says she prefers mashed potatoes as a side for sticky chicken, it also pairs well with corn on the cob, potato salad, baked beans, or any other typical barbecue side. "If you have leftovers," she says, "consider using them for chicken salad," but you could also re-purpose them in any other dish calling for cooked chicken or else just eat them cold.

Sweet And Spicy Southern Sticky Chicken Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
This Southern sticky chicken features honey and gochujang in the sauce, making for an ideal combination of sweet and spicy.
Prep Time
Cook Time
barbecued chicken on white platter
Total time: 8 hours, 45 minutes
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 6 pieces
  1. Mix together all of the ingredients except the chicken, creating a sauce.
  2. Coat the chicken with the sauce, then cover it and marinate it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  4. Brown the chicken on both sides in an oven-proof pan.
  5. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken.
  6. Bake the chicken for 25 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
  7. Set the oven to broil and cook the chicken until the sauce starts to caramelize, being careful not to burn it.
  8. Serve right away.
Calories per Serving 304
Total Fat 4.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 110.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 28.1 g
Sodium 839.0 mg
Protein 35.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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