Sweet and Spicy Boneless Chicken Thighs

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.

Boneless chicken thighs in a buttery sweet and spicy sauce flavoured with rosemary.

Coated with an incredible sweet and spicy dry rub, these boneless, skinless chicken thighs taste delicious. The dry rub for the chicken is really simple and quick to make. A bit of butter and rosemary at the end only makes the sauce taste like a million bucks.

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This is one of my top chicken thigh recipes for good reasons

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

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.

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.

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, chilli powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. The sweet and spiciness is well balanced.

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.

Juicy boneless chicken thighs in a sweet and spicy sauce.


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

  • Chicken thighs: I prefer skinless, boneless chicken thighs, which are ideal for this recipe and cook perfectly while the sauce is thickens.
  • Butter and Oil: Oil to sear the chicken. Just a dollop of butter at the end for a delicious rich sauce.
  • Garlic and onion powder
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar over white because the caramilzed flavor is more pronounced here. You could also use honey or maple syrup instead.
  • Smoked paprika- you could use regular paprika too.
  • Chilli powder- To balance the brown sugar. You could adjust the quantity as per your taste.
  • Chicken stock: Gives a body to the sauces. It is optional if you don’t want too much sauce.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary as a herb pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors.
  • Garlic: I have used cloves of garlic sliced, which, when cooked along with the stock, infuses it with its flavor.
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.
make sweet and spicy dry rub. Season chicken thighs on both sides
  • Sear the chicken – On a hot cast-iron or heavy bottom skillet, add oil. Place the seasoned chicken thigh pieces with their flat side down. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. The top surface should have a golden crust now.
  • Flip the thighs. Add sliced garlic and butter in the gaps.
Sear seasoned chicken thighs. Add garlic, butter and rosemary.
  • Cook the sauce – Now, pour in the 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 – If there is too much liquid, simmer and let it cook until the sauce has thickened a bit.

Serve and enjoy!

Crispy chicken thighs with glazed with sweet and spicy sauce.

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. To prevent garlic from burning, add it after you seared the chicken thigh on one side and flip it.
  • 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. If using bone-in chicken thighs, then after adding stock, finish it off in the oven until the thighs are cooked through. Also add 1/2 cup of chicken stock instead of 1/4th.

Serve these skillet chicken thighs with roasted veggies.

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 on the refrigerator. Microwave or heat it on a pan.

More Chicken Thigh Recipes

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

  • 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.
  • Peri Peri Chicken Thighs– Bone in chicken thighs marinated in a spicy zesty homemade peri peri sauce. and baked until juicy and perfectly caramelized skin.
Flavours of Kitchen Logo

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


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

For Spice Rub

  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 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 oil.
  • One oil is hot, place the seasoned chicken thighs skin side down.Cook on medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes, until it is crispy and golden.
  • Flip chicken thighs. In between the gal add sliced garlic. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

Make 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. Add butter to the pan.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken and chicken to be cooked.


  • Serve along with rice, mashed potatoes, or roasted veggies with the sauce drizzled on top.



  1. 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. 
  2. Substitute Chili powder with paprika or adjust the quantity of chili powder as per taste. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 451IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Sandy harrelson says:

    5 stars
    Very good. I omitted the rosemary and used cornstarch and more chicken broth for gravy for white rice. It was delicious

    1. Subhasmita says:

      thank you for trying.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Doreen A Dziokonski says:

    5 stars
    Crazy easy, moist & delicious.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 5 stars
    Hi…just finished making this. Thank you! Very easy,& quick..Lv it!!

    1. Subhasmita says:

      Happy you loved it, Esa.

  9. 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!!

  10. 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

  11. 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?

  12. 5 stars
    Delicious! I used boneless breast and dried thyme and it was fabulous and easy!

  13. 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!

  14. Frances Forbes D.O.B says:

    5 stars

  15. 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.

  16. 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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