Delicious honey lime chicken thighs with an easy-to-make honey lime marinade with soy sauce, this sticky roasted chicken is finger-licking good!
What a delicious recipe for honey lime chicken thighs this is!
Incredibly easy and fast to put together and so sure to please just about anyone. And what a divine list of ingredients: limes, honey, soy sauce, and garlic... some of my favorite things; just by reading that ingredient list, you know that the resulting honey lime chicken must be good.
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Honey soy lime chicken
As I mentioned a few posts ago when presenting you with the recipe for these amazing sauteed zucchini and onions, I have a new favorite cookbook author these days, and that is Diane Henry.
This recipe for honey-roasted chicken is the first one in Diane Henry's Cook Simple: Effortless Cooking Every Day (the Amazon link opens in a new tab).
The honey lime marinated chicken was a hit. We had some guests as well, people who enjoy eating but never go much further than the regular salt and pepper, paprika, and herbs roasted chicken, and they were awed as well.
I mean, again, that ingredient list, my mouth is watering just thinking about those flavors...
Why will you love this recipe?
- Bold flavors: The honey lime marinade is out of this world in terms of flavor!
- Easy and quick to make: It takes minutes to whip up the marinade and prepare the thighs for baking.
- Make ahead: Prepare the chicken and let it marinate in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, or a combination of both. If you bought quarters, you can divide them at the joint.
- Honey: Ensure you opt for thin, transparent honey; the denser, more opaque variety is more suitable for spreading on toast due to its richer flavor, but it may not be as ideal for blending into a marinade.
- Dark soy sauce is a strong, flavorful sauce that's great for chicken marinades because it gives the chicken a rich, savory taste and a nice dark color. It should not be replaced with regular light soy sauce in this recipe.
- Limes: About 4 medium ones for making the marinade and another one for serving with the finished honey lime chicken dish.
- Other ingredients: Brown sugar, lots of garlic, thyme, and ground black pepper.
How to make the honey lime chicken marinade?
- Combine marinade ingredients: Grated garlic cloves, lime juice (leaving one whole for serving), chopped thyme leaves, honey, dark soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
- Make some incisions on the underside of the thighs. This will allow the honey lime chicken marinade to penetrate the meat better.
- Place the pieces in a large casserole dish, a ceramic or glass dish, in a single layer. Do not use a metallic dish for marinating food.
- Pour the marinade over and turn the chicken parts a few times in the marinade to make sure that they are coated all over. Cover the casserole dish with cling film and place it in the refrigerator.
- I marinated the chicken for about 3 hours, turning the thighs in the marinade a few times in between; I did it about 3 times.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge about 1 hour before you start cooking it; this will allow the meat to come to room temperature again. If you only marinate the lime chicken for 15 to 45 minutes, then just leave it on the counter.
How to cook honey lime chicken?
- Lift the chicken out of the marinade and place it in a roasting dish. Reserve the remaining marinade.
- Bake the honey lime chicken for 35 – 40 minutes or until done. Baste the chicken with some of the remaining marinade during this time; I did it every 10 minutes or so.
- To check doneness, it is best to use an instant-read thermometer (the Amazon affiliate link opens in a new tab). When done, the chicken should be glossy and sticky.
- If the chicken skin gets too dark before it is completely cooked through, cover the roasting tin loosely with aluminum foil.
- There is one thing I have changed in Diana's recipe. I wanted the glaze to be thicker on the chicken, so I reduced the remaining marinade and used that to baste the chicken during the roasting time and at the end of the cooking time.
- Place the marinade in a small pot, bring it to a boil, and let it bubble rather vigorously for about 6-8 minutes until it thickens nicely. This might happen even faster, depending on the pot you are using and the heat. Stop boiling the marinade when you think the consistency is thick enough for you and when it looks really nice and glossy.
- Take the honey lime chicken out of the fridge about one hour prior to roasting. This will allow it to come to room temperature.
- Place the pieces into the roasting tin and place them in the oven for about half an hour before the guests arrive. By the time you sit down to eat, the honey lime chicken thighs will be ready.
- Diane Henry recommends marinating the chicken for 15 minutes until up to half a day, so you can definitely enjoy this chicken even if you don't have several hours time to marinate it.
Use a sharp, large knife and make sure to find the right spot where to cut. If you get it right, going through the joint will be very easy.
If you encounter resistance, then you are not at the right spot. Move the knife a few millimeters more to the right or to the left and try again.
Insert a skewer in the thickest part of the thigh; the juices should run clear. If the juices are still pink, return the lime chicken to the oven and continue cooking for a few minutes more. Check again.
How to store and reheat?
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge.
- Reheat in the oven at 360°F/180°C for about 15 minutes until heated through.
What to serve with it?
The original recipe recommends rice and salad, and I am sure that that would taste great.
However, I almost always have to make roast potatoes when having roasted chicken; my kids demand it! So, we had the honey lime chicken with roast rosemary potatoes and green salad with yogurt dressing. And fresh lime wedges from the reserved lime.
More chicken thigh recipes
Sticky Honey Lime Chicken
- 8 chicken thighs Note 1
- 5 tablespoons honey the thin, runny kind
- 5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 4 limes the juice + 1 extra lime, Note 2
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- 5 sprigs thyme finely chopped
- ground black pepper
- Mix marinade ingredients in a small bowl. 5 tablespoons honey + 5 tablespoons dark soy sauce + juice of 4 limes + 3 teaspoons brown sugar + 3 garlic cloves, grated + 5 sprigs thyme, chopped + ground black pepper
- Marinate chicken: Make incisions in the underside of the chicken parts. Place them in a large shallow dish in a single layer (Note 3). Turn the chicken a few times in the marinade to coat all over. Turn the chicken parts a couple of times in between.8 chicken thighs
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/ 190°C.
- Roast chicken: Remove the chicken from the marinade. Reserve the marinade. Place the chicken in a shallow roasting tin in a single layer again. Roast the chicken for about 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Baste with some of the marinade and cooking juices from time to time, every 10 minutes or so. If the chicken parts get too dark before the chicken is done, cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil.
- Check doneness with an instant-read thermometer; the internal temperature should be 165°F/ 74°C (Note 4). When done, the chicken should be glossy and sticky.
- Optional: For a thicker glaze, you can pour the remaining honey soy lime marinade into a small pot and boil it for 6-8 minutes or until thicker and glossy. Use that to brush the chicken parts during the last 15 minutes of the cooking time and before serving.
- Serve: Slice the remaining lime and serve with lime wedges.
- Chicken: You can use 8 chicken thighs or 4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks. If you have whole chicken legs, divide them at the joint.
- Limes: You will need the juice of 4 limes. The last lime is for serving.
- Marinating dish: I used a large casserole dish where I could fit all the chicken parts in a single layer. Use a ceramic or glass dish, not a metallic one.
- Check doneness without a meat thermometer: Pierce it with a skewer in the thickest part of the thigh. The juices should run completely clear. If they are still pink continue cooking the chicken for a few minutes, then check again.