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Caramel Chicken Recipe

Caramel Chicken is a simple chicken thigh recipe. The chicken is braised then simmered in a sweet and savory brown sugar sauce. It's irresistible and easy to make. Serve it over your favorite rice with a side of vegetables. Adults and picky kids will love it!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel chicken, caramel chicken recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 people
Author April


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼-1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Juice of half of a small lemon
  • slice green onion for garnish
  • salt and pepper for taste season very lightly


  • Cut the chicken up into 1 ½ - 2 inch pieces and add to a bowl.  
  • Lightly season with salt and pepper. Season with garlic and onion powder. Add the vegetable oil.  Toss chicken in oil and seasonings.
  • Over medium high heat sear the chicken on both sides for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, crushed red peppers, brown sugar and garlic to the skillet. Let the chicken simmer for 20 minutes.

To make the slurry

  • Remove about ½ cup hot liquid from the skillet. Add it and the cornstarch to a small bowl.Whisk like crazy until lumps are gone.
  • Pour the slurry into the skillet with chicken and mix well. Slurry thickens the sauce. Let the sauce come to a boil. Then let is simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve the caramel chicken over Riceselect rice. Top with sliced green onions.

RiceSelect rice

  • To make the RiceSelect rice, just follow the instructions on the back of the container. Serve over RiceSelect Jasmati rice or your favorite RiceSelect rice, as RiceSelect®​ Arborio rice would also be a great option. Garnish with green onions.



  1. Can I use another sweetener besides brown sugar? Yes you can! You can try honey, maple syrup or your favorite sweetener.  
  2. Can I use flour instead of cornstarch. Yes, but the sauce won't be as glossy.  
  3. Will this recipe work in the oven? Unfortunately, I haven't tried this in the oven yet.  
  4. Can I make this in advance? Yes you can! Once the cooked chicken and sauce is done and cooled off, place it in an airtight container. Refrigerate. Use within 3-4 days.  
  5. What other ingredients can I add? You can add hot peppers like jalapenos, or chili peppers. Lemongrass. You can add onions, sesame oil to the sauce or drizzle a bit over the finished dish. Top the finished dish with sesame seeds.  
  6. What kind of chicken can I use? I suggest using dark meat to make this caramel chicken. Chicken legs, chicken wings, leg quarters work well.  
  7. Can I use chicken breast? You can but I wouldn't suggest it. The chicken breast will become dry. Chicken thighs have way more flavor than chicken breast and they can survive longer cooking times and still be juicy and tender.  
  8. What else can I use besides fish sauce? You can use oyster sauce. Adjust to your taste.