Grilled Chicken Thighs With A Honey Sriracha Glaze

Grilled chicken thighs with a honey sriracha glaze are tender, juicy pieces of meat with yummy caramelized crispy edges. These marinated and quickly grilled pieces of chicken have a slight sweetness, a little heat and a tangy flavor that can change your mind about  eating only chicken breasts. I should know because up until a year ago I would only eat the “white meat” of a chicken.

What converted me, you may want to know. I have always eaten the breast of chicken while my husband loves the thigh and leg. This has always worked out perfectly when buying a whole chicken. Last January, I wanted to make a Moroccan chicken stew and didn’t want to use a whole chicken. I knew my husband’s preference for thighs and decided to use them in my recipe. I bought beautifully trimmed, organic boneless and skinless thighs. You can not create a recipe without eating and analyzing the dish. I loved the thighs in the recipe and as they say the rest is history.

Grilled Chicken Thighs With A Honey Sriracha Glaze

Grilled Chicken Thighs With A Honey Sriracha Glaze

This recipe is for two persons. Adjust the recipe accordingly.

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 c.  catsup
  • 1 Tbsp. sriracha
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Tequila* If you do not wish to use alcohol use orange juice or Mojo sauce
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Melt butter in a small sauce pan and add the garlic. Stir for about 30 seconds and then add all the other ingredients except the chicken. Simmer for a minute or two until sauce comes together. Set aside to cool. 

Season the thighs generously with salt and pepper then place skinned side down in a dish. Pour the cooled sauce over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over and return to the refrigerator until ready to grill.

Preheat your grill for 15 to 20 minutes until hot. (One zone on med. high and one med.) Place skinned (presentation) side down on the high heat zone and cook for 3 to 5 minutes with the lid down, depending on how hot your grill is. Turn and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until done and the juices run clear. If the glaze appears to be getting too dark, move to the cooler cooking zone. The trick to good grill marks is to turn the meat as little as possible. When done remove from the grill. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving so that the juices can redistribute.


I served the glazed chicken thighs with an avocado and tomato salad. Along side I served a yellow rice which is easily prepared by sautéing onions, garlic and peppers in a little olive oil and butter. This was added to my regular recipe for cooked rice along with Sazon Goya con Azafran seasoning. If you can’t find the Goya product, turmeric and cumin can be used.

This is a simple meal to prepare with lots of savory flavors. The glaze enhances the rich taste of the thighs and ensures that they stay juicy and tender when grilled.

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140 thoughts on “Grilled Chicken Thighs With A Honey Sriracha Glaze

  1. This looks great, a colourful summer dish. I have the breast meat versus the rest of the chicken problem. I like any part of a chicken but we seem to need a bird with five breasts!! GG

    1. Hi GG, I’m glad you like the chicken dish. I know what you mean…when we are entertaining friends and I’m going to serve chicken, I usually buy chicken parts for a recipe. Most of our friends will pick the breast as their favorite part of the chicken.

    1. Hi Mandy, Thank you for your nice compliment. Yes, I use powdered cumin. In all of my recipes that I have posted that specified cumin, I have used ground cumin as opposed to cumin seeds.

    1. Hi Norma, Actually the glazed isn’t that spicy when mixed the the 1/2 cup of catsup and the other ingredients. Yes…the tomatoes are from the garden. I have a huge bowl of cherry tomatoes and 18 large heirlooms on my windowsills at the moment. Tomatoes will be part of most meals I will be serving for the near future.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, My husband is so happy that I have decided that I like chicken thighs now. I think you will enjoy this recipe. Thank you for the pin.

    1. Hi John, You do have to keep an open mind when cooking. I have always enjoyed duck so it only made sense that I would like the thighs. I think we tend to eat what we grew up with and the chicken breast was always what I was served…the dark meat went to my parents.

    1. Thank you Kate, for your nice compliment. I agree with you about chicken being so versatile. It is also a relatively inexpensive meat to buy.

    1. Hi Carol, The glaze has just the right amount of sweet and spicy without overpowering the flavor of the chicken. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Tin Man, This does make a nice glaze that is not overly sweet or hot…just right. I’m glad you like the dish. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  2. Divine with the honey!! I must make this this week.. I just need to find some good chicken (I am useless at eating my own!! ) .. though I have to be ignorant here and tell you I am not sure what sriracha is. I will do some research and I may have to come up with a substitution.. we are far far away from stores that would stock anything like that!! have a lovely day! \c

    1. Hi Celi, I’m glad you like the recipe…it will be great with honey from your hives. Sriracha is a sweet hot Thai style sauce that it not quite as vinegary or hot as most bottled hot sauces. I think you could use any hot sauce but I wouldn’t use as much. Mix all the other ingredients and then add whatever hot sauce you have to your taste. The next time you do go into town on one of your shopping trips, I think you will probably be able to find smirch as it is very popular…look in the area where your might find soy sauces, etc. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Angie, This really is a nice dish for summer although I think it would work cooked on a grill pan or under the broiler when the weather keeps us inside. Thank you for you nice compliment.

  3. What a tempting recipe! Since I love the chile garlic sauce in my Thai dishes, I will definitely try this one soon. You ,mentioned duck…I am wondering whether you think this would work well on an oven roasted duck or chicken. You might end up broiling to get the crispiness, I guess.

    1. Thank you Reg, for your nice compliment…I’m glad you like the recipe. I think it would work on duck or chicken roasted in the oven. I think I would wait until they were partially cooked so that the glazed didn’t get too brown from the honey. Broiling a little at the end, especially on the duck for crispness would be good.

  4. I agree about chicken meat, the thighs & legs have a lot of juicy bits and rarely seem to dry out. Like yourself I’m used to cooking the whole bird or breaking the chook down as it were. Such a yummy way to utilise all the good bits, that charred skin looks perfect!

    1. Hi Alli, I do like the way the dark meat of the chicken stays nice a moist. The little charred bits were indeed very tasty. Thank you for your nice comment.

  5. I’m with you, Karen, chicken thighs are wonderful! I have found they work best long simmered stews because they stay tender and don’t dry out or seem to over cook. I really like the flavors you’ve used for your sauce, that would work great on a baked chicken this winter too. YUM! 🙂

    1. Hi Judy, When I used the thighs in my Moroccan stew, I was really impress with both the texture and taste of the thigh meat. I’m a true convert now. You are right, the glaze would be nice on baked chicken this winter when we have lots of snow on the ground. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Mary, I was pleasantly surprised when I first cooked the boneless, skinless thighs. I think you might be as well. Since the thighs are butterflied from the boning, they cook very quickly and are very juicy. I have so many cherry tomatoes ripening now and they were perfect in the salad.

    1. Hi MJ, Thank you for your nice compliment. The Tequila added a nice flavor to the glaze. I thought the heat was balanced nicely with the sweetness but if you like real spicy food, you might wish to add a little more of the sriracha.

    1. Hi Eri, I agree with you about sriracha. I have so many different hot sauces in my refrigerator but I find that I use sriracha a lot. I’m glad that you like the recipe…thank you. Have a nice day as well.

  6. Anything with sriracha sauce and honey is perfection. I used to dip my samosas in that combo. I’m excited to use it as a chicken marinade and I love the dark meat too!

    1. Hi France, I have to agree about the flavor combination. I think you will enjoy this recipe…the marinade turns into a lovely glaze. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Thank you Ladyfi, for your nice comment. I’m glad I had something on the plate for my vegetarian friend. I think you would have enjoyed the yellow rice as well.

    1. Thank you Uru, for your very nice compliment. I always appreciate that being one of my vegetarian friends, that you still take the time to compliment my non vegetarian dishes. I think that you would really enjoy the yellow rice side dish as it is full of flavor.

  7. This means sticky fingers … and that is comfort food for me. Love eating with my fingers. Like everything about the glaze, except the tequila … sure I can go Swedish and go with Absolut vodka and orange juice. Had to ask google for help with the … sriracha – hot chili sauce with garlic, A very intriguing recipe … so I send it to file.

    1. Hi Viveka, You could certainly eliminate the tequila and use any other liquid that you would enjoy. The purpose of the liquid (in this recipe tequila) is to thin the marinade as well as give flavor. I don’t care for thick heavy sauces that will coverup the flavor of the meat itself.

    1. Hi Lulu, Thank you Lulu for your nice compliment and for trying many of my recipes. Sriracha has become a very popular Thai chili garlic sauce. It is a little sweeter and less vinegary than typical hot sauces such as Tabasco or Frank’s hot sauce. You can use other hot sauces but decrease the amount. You will find it in the international aisle of most markets. I have no problem buying it here in Maine.

  8. Like you, I’ve only begun eating dark meat in chicken in the last year or so…usually not my first choice but I now realize it depends on the recipe. You had me wanting to try this with the description in your very first sentence! Beautiful plate of food.

    1. Hi Betsy, Thank you for your nice compliment. It seems that there are a few of us that are late bloomers when it comes to eating the dark meat of chicken. I think the recipe really does count, at least when you are first discovering a new taste treat. I’m glad that you want to try the recipe…I think you will enjoy this dish.

  9. We don’t eat much chicken, Karen, but now my mouth is watering and, oh boy, it sounds really tempting to make this recipe. I was just going to ask about what exactly sriracha might be, but just read your answer to lulu. Will keep an eye out for it. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kathy, I’m glad my chicken sounds good to you. If you like a dish that is a little spicy, I think you would like using srirachi. Of course, you can use any hot sauce, just measure according to your taste as they tend to be more vinegary.

  10. I’m a recent convert to thighs as well. Yet another great thing about finally being able to buy good chickens. Your recipe looks great. And I’ve got a package of thighs in the refrigerator.

    1. Hi Michelle, It seems that there are a lot of converts to chicken thighs. I think when you enjoy food you become more open to trying new things. I’m glad you like the recipe…they are flavorful and juicy.

  11. This recipe sounds delicious, Karen, and the pieces in your photo were perfectly grilled. I so agree with your choice of dark meat over white, especially when grilling. I’ve 2 similar recipes using hot sauces and honey as a glaze and I love them both. The differences between our recipes lie in the spices — well, and the tequila — and there are enough to make me want to give yours a try — and, again, the tequila factors in. 🙂

    1. Thank you John, for your nice compliment. I thought the tequila went well with the sweet and spicy flavors which I think you would enjoy.

    1. Hi Boleyn, The glaze is light enough that it complements but doesn’t overpower the chicken thighs. I hope you will enjoy it. Thank you for your compliment.

  12. I actually have some of that Goya seasoning from my Puerto Rican friend Karen. My family is really loving the grilled chicken thighs — and I’m always looking for new ways to make it. Love the idea of honey and sriracha.

    1. Hi Barb, I think chicken thighs work so well on the grill as they stay nice and moist. The honey and sriracha went very well together. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Momgateway, Thank you for stopping by to visit and your nice compliment. The glaze has a nice flavor without being overpowering…glad you like it.

  13. Somehow I have never thought of chicken as ‘light’ or ‘dark’ meat – to ignorant little me a chicken is chicken, BUT, whereas I love using chicken wings aplenty [so cheap!] for ever present rich stock, I far prefer chicken thighs in all of my mostly Asian cooking: so much softer, juicier and more flavourful 🙂 !

    1. Hi Eha, Thank you for your comment. I guess we all look at food differently, depending on where we grew up. My parents always described the breast of a chicken as the “white meat” and that is the only piece of the chicken I was given when I lived at home. I now enjoy the benefits of each part of a chicken when cooking.

  14. There are several “tastes” here I’m not familiar with, but the total effect is just wonderful. I will look forward to discovering sriracha for the first time! We love to use our grill this time of year and I, too, almost always choose the white meat. Habit, more than anything else! I think it would be fun to change it up a bit! 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, The nice thing about blogging is that we learn about new ingredients and how to use them in our cooking adventures. I have only been using sriracha for about a year and like its sweet hot taste in many dishes. I have found that when grilling, I don’t have to worry as much about the thighs drying out whereas with the breasts you have to be more careful. I especially like the boneless thighs since they have been opened up and therefor are thinner and cook very quickly.

  15. Sometimes we have an unfounded prejudice against some things until something happens and we not only change opinion, but also we convert and become big fans! The dish looks extraordinaire and I am sure you have enjoyed it as much as the breasts!

    1. Hi Katerina, You are right…I have enjoyed using thighs in many recipes. We just have to be open minded when it comes to trying new things. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Anna for stopping by and your nice compliment. The whole meal really was delicious. The flavors complemented each other well.

  16. I’m a thigh girl myself! Grilled thighs were one of our last meals on the island… also with a avocado tomato salad (plus corn and favas). Hope you don’t mind I linked you…cheers.
    This looks like a delicious glaze.

    1. Hi Wendy, We do have similar tastes in foods and prepare a lot of the same dishes. The glazed really enhanced the flavor of the chicken thighs. I’m very happy for the link…thank you very much.

  17. oh yum! I love the thighs but I will settle for any part of the chicken if it looks this good 🙂 ps – do you know what your rss feed address is?

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Tanday. I’m really enjoying thighs now that I have given them a try. I wish I could answer your question…I am the least techie person you will ever come across.

  18. That is a great looking plate and your sauce sounds delicious. I made the same transition once I realized the thighs had more flavor and were less likely to be dry – Bev is the breast person so it works out well for us as well.

    1. Hi Larry, I really do like the way thighs stay nice and juicy when grilled. I’m glad that you like the sauce considering you are such a pro when it comes to grilling. It is nice when one chicken can please everyone in the family.

  19. I had to look up “sriracha”… yikes! Looks yummy and maybe if I just used a tsp I’d love it. (I have a fear of heat…) Mmmm… I’ll be brave… 😉

    1. Hi Rachel, I think it is a great idea to just start with a little hot sauce. When I develop a recipe, the hot sauce is the last ingredient I add. I measure in a small amount, taste and repeat if necessary. Once the sriracha is mixed in with the other ingredients, there will be a little heat but not terrible. You can always add more but it is difficult to take away. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Kay, I’m glad that you like the looks and sound of the recipe and want to make it. I hope you will enjoy the recipe. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  20. Sriracha is one of my all time favourite condiments, Karen. I like using the thighs in certain recipes, for example, But here in Toronto, the Thighs are expensive…it’s rather ridiculous because there is not a lot of meat on them. I recently found out that much of the chicken wings for restaurants come from China…can you believe that? No wonder wings are expensive. I’m going to try this glaze over my skinless, boneless breasts!

    1. Hi Eva, I think it is funny how the price of certain ingredients can vary in different parts of the world. You would think that the price of thighs which is good here would be the same a little further north. I think you will enjoy the glaze on chicken breasts as well. I have a paella recipe coming up soon…I love making it when we have friends over because there is a little something for very taste.

      1. Very interesting for me to read the cost comments, especially since I have to watch my purse! The Oz dollar and US dollar have virtual parity at the moment: I have just bought 2 Kgs of wings [not pounds: so about 4 lbs] for $4.99: beautiful big ones. Boned big thighs I buy on special: usually about $8.99 or similar for a kilo. Don’t know how that compares to yours?

      2. It really is interesting to discuss prices and how they differ around the world. I have noticed that in Australia that when people talk about prices in stores or in restaurants that Australia is higher…sometimes a lot higher. I pay on average about $2.75 a pound for boneless, skinless chicken thighs which is less than what you are paying. Under the circumstances when you have to watch your purse…use the glaze on the chicken parts that you get the best buy on and just adjust the cooking time. Thank you for your thought provoking comment…I’m sure all the readers can relate to this question.

  21. In Asia thighs are more popular because of their flavors and juiciness. I love this recipe! My husband loves sriracha sauce and he will devour this. Thank you for sharing this recipe. This week’s meal for sure!

    1. Hi Nami, Now that I have learned to appreciate the flavor and juiciness of chicken thighs, I know I will be using them a lot. I hope you will enjoy the dish. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Barbara, As much as I like the breast of the chicken, it is much easier to cook thighs and have them stay juicy. I’m glad I have given thighs a try as the flavor is great. The meal with the yellow rice and avocado salad was a nice combination of flavors. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  22. These chicken thighs look so tasty…like the combination spiciness and sweet all together…absolutely delicious…and beautiful color as well Karen.
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a fantastic week 🙂

    1. Thank you Juliana, for your nice compliment. You are right…spicy and sweet are a great flavor combination. I’m glad you like the recipe. It is a lovely week so far…I hope it is for you as well.

  23. Lovely post Karen! I -like your husband have always loved chicken thighs! ( I usually thought breast were boring and associated them with diets!). I love the flavors of the recipe and I also love the pairing with avocado and tomatoes! And you said something wise: you cannot create something if you have not analyze it!

    1. Hi Ambrosiana, Thank you for your very kind compliment. I really do try to create recipes that everyone will enjoy no matter where they live and their cooking skills. Chicken thighs was an obviously important ingredient to me to try and I am so glad I did…they are perfect in so many dishes.

  24. We are boneless, skinless chicken thigh fans here and I’m lucky that our local store sells them like that. What a delicious recipe for them! I love the bright flavors in this glaze.

    1. Hi Susan, I just love the versatility of the boneless, skinless thigh meat. I can’t believe it took me so long to try thin. I’m glad you like the recipe. Thank you for your nice comment.

  25. I used to always eat only white meat too, but have recently started enjoying the thighs also. This dish sounds wonderful with the sweetness and the heat.

    1. Hi Lynda, It’s nice to know that I am not the only person that just started enjoying how good the thighs are. The recipe is a nice balance of sweet and hot…I hop you get a chance to try it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  26. This looks quite delicious. I will go along with your husband, Chicken thighs are so much better than chicken breast :-)) Have a great day Diane

  27. YUM – what a great looking dish. I have always liked dark meat but I am simply lazy. But with the popularity of dark meat. I find boneless thighs (therefore all the work done for me!) But when I cook breasts – I usually buy the “split breasts” on the bone. (very economical too!) As for skin – I am not afraid of a little skin – that is the best, crispy part! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Hi Carol, I’m glad you like the looks of this dish…thank you for your comment. As far as the skin goes, the choice in the markets seems to be boneless, skinless or bone in, skin on. I take the ones without the skin and no bone as they are so fast to cook on the grill.

    1. Hi Jessica, If your husband really enjoys sriracha, you might want to add a little more. When I develop a recipe, I try to not make the dish too spicy for the average reader. As I tell many of my readers to start small…I also suggest tasting and adding as much spice as you enjoy when your palette tends to spicer flavors.

  28. Really nice recipe – you had me at “siracha!” I tend to prefer white meat myself, but the dark really has more flavor. And it’s perfect in a recipe like this. Good flavors, good post – thanks.

  29. This sure looks like a wonderful dinner – spicy-sweet chicken, creamy avacado, tomatoes and yellow rice – simply colorful and so appropriate for a late summer´s day! Very nice presentation and wonderful recipe!

  30. I like chicken with honey, I’ve learnt to add honey to my chicken when I lived in USA. The marrocan version make this dish even more interesting. Chicken thighs are great! They never dry out when you grill them!!

  31. MMMM… Yummy! It sounds lovely with a tomato salad also! I like how they sound easy to make, which is what I need after getting home from traveling and NOT cooking for 3 weeks…

    1. Hi Trina, I know it is hard to get back into cooking after a long holiday. This is a quick dish to prepare that has lots of flavor. I agree that a tomato salad will go well with this dish. I’m eating tomatoes for lunch and dinner as the garden is in full swing.

  32. You had me at honey – you know I always look for recipes including the delicious nectar! Also love the last post with all of your water shots – it is just wonderful!

    1. Hi Linda…yes you are the honey queen. I think you would enjoy this recipe. Thank you for your nice compliment. I’m glad you liked the photos of the lake.

  33. I’ve made something very similar to this with honey and chili paste. I bet the sriracha was delicious with it! I love chicken thighs made this way.

    1. Hi Ducky, You are right about the honey taking the bite out of the spice of the sriracha. I was very pleased with the flavor combination of the glaze. Thank you for your compliment.

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