One-Skillet Sweet ‘n Spicy Chicken Thighs (6 Ingredients!)

This is one of those delightful dinners you can rely on ALL the time.

Six ingredients, 30 minutes, total perfection.

Not only are these chicken thighs tremendously low maintenance, they’re made in just ONE skillet, so clean-up is practically zero. They can also be enjoyed with just about any pairing, among them:

broccoli + rice

quinoa + green beans

ramen + bell peppers

edamame + zoodles

….the list goes on. So not only is this recipe tasty, fast, and packed with protein, it can be customized however you damn please.

You start by amply seasoning each thigh with salt & pepper, and when I say thigh, I mean bone-in, skin on. You want the skin for crackling, crispy texture, not to mention the fat it renders (which these cook in, SO yummy). And in general I find bone-in thighs to be more flavorful than boneless, so there you have it.

Anyway, once the chicken is seasoned warm a cast iron skillet over a medium flame, then swirl with sesame oil to coat. Add thinly sliced garlic and saute until fragrant, then ramp up the heat to medium-high. Place each chicken thigh inside the skillet, skin-down, then watch the magic unfold. The thighs will begin to sizzle IMMEDIATELY, so when you hear that sound, you know you’re on the right track. Sear for about 6 – 8 minutes, then flip and continue to cook about 8 minutes more. Before the chicken is finished cooking, flip the thighs one last time so that the skin is again down for the final few minutes. This creates the most crispy, golden finish possible, which is half the point of this recipe.

Flavor! Texture! You get it.

The other point of this recipe? The sweet ‘n spicy sauce. A simple combination of sweet chili sauce, hot chili paste, and rice vinegar, it’s fiery, sweet, and crazy efficient. Once the thighs are finished cooking slather this sauce ALL over them (don’t be shy), then eat with any sides of your choice!

The combination of juicy thigh meat, ultra-crisp skin, and tantalizing sauce is one you’ll be coming back to again and again. xo

One-Skillet Sweet 'n Spicy Chicken Thighs


  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, skin on and bone-in
  • a few generous dashes of salt & pepper
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tbsps hot chili paste (or more if you’d like!)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar


  1. On a cutting board amply season the chicken thighs with salt & pepper on all sides.
  2. In a cast iron skillet warm the sesame oil over a medium flame, then add the garlic and saute until fragrant,  about 1 minute. Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, into the skillet. Sear for 6 – 8 minutes until the skin is crisp, then flip. Cook for another 6 – 8 minutes, then lastly flip once more so the skin is again face down in the skillet. Finish cooking until the internal temperature is 165F, about another 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine the sweet chili sauce, hot chili paste, and rice vinegar.
  4. When ready, immediately serve the chicken thighs, slathering with sauce as you plate. EAT!