May 31, 2023

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Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

5 min read

Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs couldn’t be easier to make — throw everything into a pressure cooker and let it do the work! The result? Succulently tender chicken bathed in a sweet and savory honey-garlic sauce. Serve the chicken over rice with green onions.

Make Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs with roasted carrots and roasted broccoli on the side–delish!

Overhead view of Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs

Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs in the Pressure Cooker

Lately, I’ve been having a *moment* with my pressure cooker (AKA Instant Pot). Years ago, I was a hesitant adopter of this kitchen appliance–uncertain that I actually needed it. But in the last couple of months, it’s quickly become a favorite kitchen appliance (or, at least tied with my Air Fryer!).

My favorite Instant Pot recipes include his crazy-easy Instant Pot Risotto, Salsa Verde Chicken , and made-from-scratch beans (Black Beans and Pinto Beans). And now this Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs recipe joins the ranks! After my oldest devoured leftovers for breakfast the other day, I hold no illusions that I’ll be making this a lot! 🙂 

Process shots: melt butter, add ginger and garlic; sauté; mis in honey, soy sauce and ketchup.

Honey-Garlic Sauce Ingredients

  • Garlic and Ginger (check out the “shortcut” section below!)
  • Ketchup. I can’t recommend Heinz® ketchup enough — it’s so good in this homemade honey-garlic sauce (not sponsored).
  • Honey. Stick to honey here–maple syrup and agave don’t have quite the right flavor profile.
  • Soy sauce. We want regular soy sauce, not lite which won’t deliver enough saltiness and flavor. (When using regular soy sauce, we had no need to add extra salt.)
  • Cornstarch. This ingredient thickens the sauce and delivers a glossy beautiful chicken coating.

Process shots: Add chicken thighs and coat in sauce; cook in the pressure cooker; remove chicken and shred.

SHORTCUTS

Shortcut When Making Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs

  • Use refrigerated garlic paste and refrigerated minced garlic in the sauce.
  • Or use Dorot® cubes. These frozen cubes of crushed garlic and crushed ginger are great to keep handy in the freezer and pop into these (and other) recipes when needed. (Check if your local store carries them; they’re typically found with frozen veggies in the grocery store.) [/quicktip]

Process shots: Remove some sauce and mix with cornstarch; add to sauce and stir to thicken; add shredded chicken back to the pot; toss in the sauce.

What Honey-Garlic Chicken is Made Of 

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are our meat of choice in this recipe. The meat is extremely tender, easy to shred, and more forgiving than breasts (doesn’t dry out as quickly). The fat in the thighs adds a nice richness to the dish. We didn’t love this recipe as much with chicken breasts and don’t recommend them in this recipe.

Process shots: char the meat by broiling--optional step.

Optional Finishing Step: Charring the Meat

You really can’t get crispy chicken in a pressure or slow cooker. That said, if you want some char or crisp, you can char the meat in the oven. Here’s how to do that: 

  • Heat oven to high broil. Keep rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Line a pan with foil and generously grease with cooking spray. (You’ll thank me later!)
  • Use tongs to add chicken in an even layer.
  • Add tray to middle of the oven and broil on high for 5-7 minutes or until nicely charred and crisped on top to your liking.

QUICK TIP

If you decide to char the meat, you may want to double the sauce to have extra afterwards! It all just depends on how much you like sauce!

Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs on a plate, with rice and broccoli.

We love these shredded chicken thighs over basmati rice with a side of broccoli or roasted vegetables. This combination makes up a nice well-rounded dinner, but if you’re looking for side dishes, here are some other great options.

What Goes With Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs?

More Easy Chicken Recipes:

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs couldn’t be easier to make — throw everything into a pressure cooker and let it do the work! The result? Succulently tender chicken bathed in a sweet, savory honey-garlic sauce. Serve the chicken over rice with green onions and steamed or roasted broccoli.

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs couldn’t be easier to make — throw everything into a pressure cooker and let it do the work! The result? Succulently tender chicken bathed in a sweet, savory honey-garlic sauce. Serve the chicken over rice with green onions and steamed or roasted broccoli.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Rice: Here’s our favorite quick way to cook rice (must use basmati rice for this to work properly):

  • Fill a large pot with water and set it to boil.
  • Once the water is at a rolling boil, generously salt the water and add in rice (as much as you’d like!).
  • Cook without reducing the heat, for 6 minutes (taste test to ensure it is tender, if not boil until it is) and then drain and fluff with a fork.

Note 2: Slow cooker instructions: In a pot on the stovetop, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant. Add sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil then turn off heat. Use a spatula to scrape every bit of this sauce into a well-greased slow cooker. Add thighs and turn to coat. Cover and slow cook for 3-5 hours on low or until chicken is tender and shreds easily; remove chicken to a bowl and shred. Transfer all of the sauce leftover in slow cooker to a small pot and bring to a simmer. Remove 1 tablespoon of the sauce and whisk it in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the pot and stir until the sauce becomes thick and glossy.
Note 3: Char the chicken: If you’re someone who loves crispy chicken, you can’t really achieve that in the pressure or slow cooker, but you can quickly char the meat in the oven. Here’s what we do: 

  • Heat oven to high broil. Keep rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Line a pan with foil and generously grease with cooking spray. (You’ll thank me later!)
  • Use tongs to add chicken in an even layer.
  • Add tray to middle of the oven and broil on high for 5-7 minutes or until nicely charred and crisped on top to your liking.
  • If you decide to char the meat, you may want to double the sauce to have extra afterwards! It all just depends on how much you like sauce!

Nutrition information does not include rice.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 838mg | Potassium: 521mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 319IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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