Tips for Perfect Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs with Carrots & Broccoli
Maximize the Flavor
The marinade does double duty in this recipe. It’s divided into two parts with the first part flavoring the chicken and the remaining mixture getting turned into a sweet and savory drizzle that goes over the chicken and the vegetables after cooking to boost the flavor. The marinade itself starts to flavor the chicken thighs after about 30 minutes, but if you have the time, marinate the chicken for longer, up to 2 hours. The longer the chicken sits in the marinade, the more flavorful it will be.
Prepare Your Pan
We line the baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray. Why do both? The marinade for the chicken contains honey which can burn and stick to a bare pan easily. The foil adds a layer of insulation that prevents the sugars from the honey from overcooking and sticking to the pan (and helps make clean-up easier!)The cooking spray prevents the chicken thighs from sticking to the foil so you can remove them from the pan easily when cooking is finished without taking pieces of foil with them.
Keep Track of Time
Sheet-pan dinners are easy and that’s why we love them. It seldom happens that both a protein like bone-in chicken thighs and vegetables will be cooked in the same amount of time, so it’s important to keep track and add faster cooking veggies (like broccoli) later so it doesn’t overcook. Keep a timer handy and add the broccoli after the carrots and chicken have been in the oven for about 15 minutes. The most important indicator of your meal being ready is the temperature of the chicken thighs. They should register 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone which can throw off your reading.
Can I Use Boneless Chicken Thighs?
Yes! You can use boneless chicken thighs in place of bone-in. You can also substitute bone-in breasts (cut into pieces, roughly the size of one thigh) or boneless breasts. The white meat from chicken breasts is leaner than thighs and can dry out quickly. So if using them, make sure not to overcook them. (All poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F.) Boneless cuts like thighs and breasts may take less time to cook than their bone-in counterparts, so you may need to cook them for 5-10 minutes less than the recipe calls for.
Are Chicken Thighs Healthy for Weight Loss?
Chicken thighs are a good source of protein, which is a macronutrient that’s essential for bone and muscle health. Although chicken thighs contain more fat than chicken breasts, they can be part of a healthy diet when paired with a variety of nutritious vegetables. Eating a balanced diet with protein and fiber can help support your weight loss goals.
What Goes Well with Chicken Thighs?
This meal is delicious with a side salad for an easy weeknight dinner. It also pairs well with brown rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa or mashed potatoes.
Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer and Jan Valdez