Stovetop Coca-Cola Chicken Recipe

If you aren't familiar with this dish, recipe developer Catherine Brookes breaks down the history of this traditional meal. She says, "Coca-Cola chicken is a traditional dish in Hong Kong. It supposedly came about when a chef in Shandong accidentally poured a can of cola into a pot of chicken wings and discovered the combination was delicious." While cola is a beloved flavor across the world, we can definitely see why combining it with chicken, mustard, and soy sauce would be delightful.

As far as when to serve this dish, Brookes notes, "‌This is great to cook in a big batch and eat throughout the week or if you're making a nice weekend family meal." We love a meal that can be prepped in advance as it helps us get through the busy weeknights with more ease. Save this recipe so you have it ready the next time you are looking for a meal prep dish.

Gather your ingredients

To make this stove top Coca-Cola chicken, you can start by gathering your ingredients. For this recipe, you will need olive oil, skin-on bone-in chicken thighs, onion, garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, Coca-Cola, and black pepper.

It's also a good idea to get out the ingredients for whatever side dish you plan on pairing with this entree. Side dishes don't have to be complicated when made in conjunction with this flavorful meal. In terms of pairings, Brookes notes, "I love to serve with rice or mashed potato, and some steamed greens or salad."

Make the flavorful Coca-Cola sauce

Let's dive in and make this dish's claim to fame: the Coca-Cola sauce. In a large bowl, add the soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, Coca-Cola, and black pepper. Of course, you can obviously use any generic or off-brand Coca-Cola here, too. All that's essential is the classic taste of cola.

Stir these ingredients well and set the sauce aside. We will come back to this sauce later.

Sear the chicken thighs

Next, heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Once it is hot, add in one tablespoon of the olive oil and use it to sear the chicken thighs. Brookes recommends searing each side of the chicken until they are well-browned, which takes about 5 minutes per side. Once each side has been browned, remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Please note that during this step, the chicken is not going to cook all the way through, and that's fine. We are looking for the browning of the meat here in order to achieve a good sear. We will come back to the chicken later and make sure it is thoroughly cooked in the next step.

Fry the onion and garlic before adding the chicken and sauce

Then, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Add in the onion and sauté it until it is translucent and softened. This process will take about 5 minutes. Next, add in the garlic and cook for another minute.

You will begin to smell the garlic as it warms up. That's your cue to add the chicken back to the pan. Pour the reserved Coca-Cola sauce over the chicken, before covering the skillet and simmering for 15 minutes. During this time, the flavors will come together and the chicken will cook through. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes while frequently spooning the sauce over the meat, and then the dish is ready to enjoy. Serve topped with fresh parsley.

Stovetop Coca-Cola Chicken Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
This Hong Kong classic combines the sweet flavor of Coca-Cola with mustard and soy sauce for a delectable chicken dish.
Prep Time
Cook Time
coca-cola chicken on side of broccoli and rice
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds (skin on, bone-in) chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 (12 ounce) can Coca-Cola
  • Black pepper, to taste
  1. Add the soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, Coca-Cola and some black pepper to taste to a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large high sided frying pan on a medium-high setting. Add the chicken and brown well on both sides, about 5 mins per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the second tablespoon of oil and reduce the heat to medium. Fry the onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the chicken back to the pan, then pour over the Coca-Cola mixture. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes, frequently spooning the sauce over of the tops of the chicken thighs.
  6. Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley if desired and serve with sides of your choice such as brown rice and vegetables.
Calories per Serving 434
Total Fat 29.7 g
Saturated Fat 7.5 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 148.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 15.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 10.5 g
Sodium 776.1 mg
Protein 26.3 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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