Sweet and Spicy Boneless Chicken Thighs

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These Sweet and Spicy boneless Chicken thighs are incredibly delicious and made on the stovetop. The dry spice rub is sweet-spicy and is a blend of brown sugar and other spices. This easy 15-minute recipe qualifies as a perfect midweek dinner.

Picture showing a nice golden brown crust on seared boneless chicken thighs in a sweet and spicy sauce.Pin
Sweet and Spicy boneless Chicken thighs

Coated with an incredible sweet and spicy dry rub, these boneless, skinless chicken thighs taste delicious. The sweet-spicy dry rub for the chicken is really simple and quick to make.

To add to the convenience, the rub has regular pantry staples. For days when you don’t have your dinner planned or you are short on time, recipes like these come to the rescue.

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The chicken turns out crispy on the outside and has a juicy center.  Seeing the golden crust, what would surprise you is that these are made on the stovetop in less than 15 minutes.

The stovetop version is as good as the oven-baked one but takes half the time. Quite simply, this is one of my top chicken thigh recipes.

Another great thing about this recipe is the sauce. It has plenty of sauce to drizzle, not to mention all the brown caramelized bits in it, and the sauce keeps the thighs moist for a long time.

Crispy skin-on chicken thighs are BAE. But crisping the skin on the skillet and then finishing it in the oven takes time. So I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs to speed up the cooking. And it is possible to get a golden, crispy crust on the stovetop.

As far as stovetop recipes go, this one is one of the best.

Image shows skinless boneless chicken thighs with a golden brown crust and black sear on surface and with a sweet-spicy sauce, cooked in a skillet.Pin
Sweet and Spicy boneless Chicken thighs

Epic Sweet and Spicy Dry Rub

This spicy rub is everything in this recipe. It is a blend of Brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. All these ingredients are easily available.

Brown sugar doesn’t make the seasoning very sweet. Rather, it brings together all the flavors. Smoked paprika gives off a smokiness that is so delicious.

The best thing about this seasoning mix is that you can make a big batch and keep it in an airtight container. It comes in handy.


Along with the above-mentioned ingredients to make the dry rub, you will also need the following:

  • Chicken thighs: I recommend skinless, boneless chicken thighs, which are ideal for this recipe and cook at the same time as the glazy sauce.
  • Butter and Oil: We add butter for more flavor, and oil is used to increase the burning point of butter.
  • Rosemary: Love the herb flavor of rosemary.
  • Chicken stock: Gives a body to the sauces.
  • Garlic: I have used cloves of garlic, which, when cooked along with the stock, infuses it with its flavor.
Image shows easily available ingredients required to make sweet and spicy boneless chicken thighs.Pin
Ingredients for Sweet and Spicy Chicken thighs

How to cook chicken thighs with dry rub

The entire process just takes 15 minutes and is very easy to follow.

  • Prep – First thing to do is to make the dry rub ready. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients required to make the dry rub seasoning. Next, pat the chicken pieces dry with a kitchen towel. Sprinkle the dry seasoning on all sides and gently rub them over.
  • Sear the chicken – On a hot cast-iron skillet, with butter and oil, stir-in garlic cloves for 30 seconds. Place the seasoned chicken thigh pieces with their flat side down. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip them and cook again for 2 minutes. The top surface should have a golden crust now.
  • Cook the sauce – Now, pour in the liquids like stock along with rosemary. Scrap the bottom of the pan to free those scraps stuck to the bottom. They have flavor and we want that in the sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the sauce – Uncover the lid and reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer. We do not want the sauce runny and with the lid open, you can watch it reduce to the desired consistency. Do not let it on for longer else the sauce will burn.

Serve and enjoy!

Cooking Tips

It is a good thing that cooking with chicken thighs is very forgiving. Unlike Chicken breasts, thighs don’t get rubbery and dry if cooked for a little longer.

To get the best out of skinless boneless chicken thighs, cook it right.

  • A mix of butter and oil works always better. Butter gives richness to the sauce and oil prevents the butter from burning.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan with too many thigh pieces. The chicken pieces will steam instead of getting a sear. If you have a small pan, sear the pieces in batches.
  • I love garlic and always go a little overboard with it. It adds more flavor to the pan sauce.
  • Chicken and rosemary is a fantastic combination. It gives a freshness to the dish. You can substitute it with thyme or parsley if you prefer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get a crispy crust on chicken thighs?

For a crispy crust, sear seasoned chicken thighs in butter for about 2-3 minutes. Press with the back of the spatula, so that the boneless chicken thighs are almost flat on the skillet.
This ensures the chicken is seared evenly. Then lower the heat and cook slowly for another couple of minutes for the chicken to cook through.

Can this be made with Chicken Breast?

Chicken breast is the widely preferred cut. It is leaner and comparatively inexpensive. Yes, we can use chicken breast instead.
Cut chicken breast lengthwise to get a thinner uniform fillet and also adjust the cooking time accordingly.
For thicker cuts of chicken breast, you will have to pound them to form a softer and thinner slice.
Also, reduce the amount of chicken stock as the breast pieces cook much faster than the sauce can reduce to your desired consistency.

Can we use bone-in chicken thigh?

Note that bone-in chicken requires more time to cook and by that time there is a chance for the sauce to burn. So this recipe recommends boneless.

Yet if you have to do with bone-in chicken, the sauce might thicken and burn by the time the chicken gets cooked. So add more chicken stock when the sauce thickens to give more time for the chicken to cook while the sauce thickens up again and forms a glaze.

Chicken thighs with a seared crust and served on a bed of mashed potatoes along with sauteed green beansPin

Serve With

These sweet and spicy chicken thighs are very versatile and go with a variety of sides.


You may store the cooked chicken thighs as it is in either the refrigerator or freeze them. Always use an air-tight container or zip-lock to store them.

While taking them out from the refrigerator, just warm them in the microwave or on a pan for 5 minutes.

If you have frozen them, then let them thaw out until they come up to room temperature. Microwave or heat it on a pan.

We do not have to sear the chicken thighs again and the sauce just needs to be hot again and will warm the thighs too.

More Chicken Thigh Recipes

Have a look at some of the awesome dishes that you can make with chicken thighs –

Sweet and Spicy Boneless Chicken Thighs – Chicken thighs made on the stovetop with a delectable sweet-spicy dry rub featuring brown sugar and aromatic spices.

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs – A sweet, sticky, and savory honey garlic sauce with seared thighs.

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Thighs – Tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken thighs slow-cooked to perfection, topped with a flavorful creamy sundried tomato sauce.

Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs – Deliciously juicy boneless skinless chicken thighs in a buttery garlic sauce – a quick and easy stovetop dinner ready in 30 minutes.

Oven-Baked Creamy Chicken Thighs – Try our oven-baked Crispy Parmesan Chicken Thighs recipe, featuring perfectly seasoned juicy chicken with crispy skin, making it an ideal choice for a quick and satisfying weeknight family dinner.

Chicken Paprikash – Discover the authentic flavors of Chicken Paprikash, a comforting Hungarian stew featuring tender chicken pieces braised in a creamy and flavorful paprika sauce.

Street-style Chicken Shawarma – As good as street-style shawarma, this has juicy and roasted chicken, a flavorful garlic sauce, and pickled veggies in soft pita bread.

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Sweet & Spicy Boneless Chicken Thighs Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Boneless chicken thighs in a delicious Sweet and Spicy sauce, perfectly caramelized on the outside. A perfect mid-week dinner that you will make again.
Servings 4 Servings


pan to fry and sear the chicken thighs as well as cook the sauce.


  • 6-7 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ¼ cup Chicken Stock
  • 2-3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary

For Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Chili Powder (ref note 3)
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Salt



  • In a bowl mix all dry ingredients mentioned under spice rub.
  • Pat dry Chicken thighs with a kitchen towel.
  • Sprinkle the dry seasoning mix generously on both sides.

Sear the chicken thighs

  • Heat a heavy cast iron skillet. Add butter and oil.
  • Stir in garlic cloves and fry for 30 seconds. Garlic should look light golden in color and it loses the raw smell.
  • Place chicken thighs flat side facing down. Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until it is crispy and golden.
  • Flip and cook the other side now for another 2 minutes on medium-high heat

Add liquids for sauce

  • Slowly pour 1/4 cup stock to the side of the pan. Add rosemary sprig. Scrap the bottom of the pan to release any brown caramelized bits.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook on high heat for another 2 minutes.
  • Uncover and simmer it for another minute or so for a thick sauce to form.


  • Serve along with rice, beans, or veggies with the sauce drizzled on top.
  • Watch how to make this with step by step instruction video after the recipe.



  1. You might not need all the spice mixture here. Save any leftovers in an airtight container to use later. 
  2. Don’t overcrowd the pan, or else the chicken will not crisp up and will start to steam instead. If the pan is small, sear it in 2 batches. Then add all the chicken back to the pan and add stock and rosemary. 
  3. Substitute Chili powder with paprika or adjust the quantity of chili powder as per taste. 


Serving: 100grams | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 374IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 5 stars
    I started preparing this when I realized I had no brown sugar so I used organic honey and mixed all my seasonings in it, then put it over my chicken. It turned out amazing best flavor ever. I will go back and try it with the dry rub, but this was delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    So good! My husband and I are fighting over the leftovers. The flavors are wonderful. I didn’t use the garlic because I always burn that in my cast iron pan. Delicious.

  3. Doreen A Dziokonski says:

    5 stars
    Crazy easy, moist & delicious.

  4. Hello, can I used chicken broth or powdered bouillon instead of stock? I’m all out

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Yes, you can. You might have to adjust the salt accordingly.

  5. Delicious!! I made this for dinner 2 days in a row! And the leftovers for lunch at work…just as yummy! I ate it with jasmine rice.

  6. 4 stars
    These tasted great but cooking them on high heat almost set my house on fire. I literally had the exhaust on, window open and my smoke detector going off the entire time. That said they were slightly blackened like they came off a grill.

  7. 5 stars
    Hi…just finished making this. Thank you! Very easy,& quick..Lv it!!

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Happy you loved it, Esa.

  8. Vivian Mason says:

    4 stars
    This recipe was really tasty! I cut the sugar a bit and added more heat. The gravy was nice but I would have preferred the chicken crispier so next time I’ll use high heat in the first steps. I paired it with mashed potatoes and smothered cabbage in the gravy and it was fantastic!!

  9. Linda Davies says:

    5 stars
    Awesome recipe. My husband defrosted a large pack of chicken thighs. I trawled the Web for recipes and bingo!
    The flavours in this are amazing and it’s so simple to make.
    This is definitely going to be one of my favourites

  10. Hi there, do you have the baked version of this recipe that you mentioned? Thanks!

    1. Subhasmita says:

      No, I don’t have a baked version. But after adding the stock, you can bake for 15-20 minutes @350 F. Because the thighs are already seared, it will take less time in the oven.

    2. I wonder if a griddle would work in place of a cast iron pan until it’s time to add the stock?

  11. 5 stars
    Delicious! I used boneless breast and dried thyme and it was fabulous and easy!

  12. Julie Downes says:

    5 stars
    Without a doubt this is one I will make again and again. It was easy and the flavors were surprisingly wonderfully incorporated. Delicious!

  13. Frances Forbes D.O.B says:

    5 stars

  14. Diane Marie says:

    5 stars
    Very good, quick, and inexpensive, but tastes delicious. Followed recipe exactly except added minced garlic about a minute before chicken finished browning. Be sure to slowly pour liquid as instructed so you don’t rinse the spice off the chicken. Also, when browning, carefully turn pieces with tongs; I used a spatula on my first piece and scraped all the spice off the bottom. I would suggest doubling the sauce if you want extra for rice or noodles.

      1. 5 stars
        This is outstanding! A wonderful bend of spices and flavors makes this easy dish one of the best chicken recipes ever! I want to make this for guests. Do you think I can cook before they arrive and keep in the oven on warm without it drying out?

        1. Subhasmita says:

          Hi Katrina, you may keep it covered with an aluminum foil on warm. An hour should be safe.

  15. Karen DeVenaro says:

    5 stars
    This wonderful recipe that has everything I love for a weeknight meal: It’s quick, easy and absolutely delicious. Thank you, Subha! I already make your Baked Creamy Chicken Thighs recipes often…it is one of my husband and son’s favorites. I tried this sweet and spicy boneless chicken thigh recipe because I happened to have boneless thighs on hand. Wow! Was it good! The only thing I changed was a slight tweak to the seasoning to accommodate what I had on hand and the fact that I unfortunately cannot tolerate spicy foods. So I replaced the chili powder with a milder ancho powder and cut the amount in half. I don’t have a cast iron skillet so used a very large, heavy nonstick skillet, and was still able to get a beautiful crust on the chicken. Folks, it’s really important to follow Subha’s instructions to pour the chicken broth in on the side of the pan so that you don’t “wash off” that lovely crust. Wonderful!

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Thank you very much Karen for trying the recipe and taking the effort to write such a lovely comment.

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