Caramel Chicken

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Caramel Chicken is an amazing 30 minute meal that you won’t be able to get enough of! The chicken is glazed in the best sweet and tangy asian sauce and is even picky eater approved!

Caramel chicken in a cast iron skillet.


I made this meal a few years ago and my family couldn’t get over how amazing it was. We still make this meal on a regular basis, but the pictures just weren’t selling the recipe. My son asked me to make this again and I thought it was a great time to update the pictures. The pictures from before just weren’t selling how incredible this meal is.

Since school is back in session I am always using my blog as a resource for quick and delicious 30 minute meals. This meal falls into that category.

Caramel chicken in a cast iron skillet.

How do I even begin to describe the amazingness of this meal? The sauce. Oh my goodness. It is a sweet caramelly teriyaki glaze. How is that for a description? It is hard to describe mind blown awesomeness. The chicken cooked in the skillet to perfect tenderized perfection. The skillet gave it a golden brown crust along the outside. And don’t be scared about the sugar in the recipe. It isn’t too sweet. The vinegar and soy sauce gives it the perfect balance.

Caramel chicken close up in the skillet.

But the sauce. OMG the sauce. It thickened up just like a restaurant and literally just glazed the chicken. Like caramel. No need for cornstarch on this one because it thickened up perfectly. It is one of the best sauces that I have made. You guys have to try this recipe. Like right now. This recipe is especially incredible because it is picky eater approved!

Caramel chicken with broccoli in a skillet.

Caramel chicken bite in a spoon.


Caramel Chicken

4 from 1 vote
An amazingly delicious one skillet meal that the entire family will love!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 4 chicken breasts* boneless skinless
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 garlic cloves peeled*
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 peeled ginger* ¼ inch thick slices
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced for garnish


  • In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and cook until golden brown on each side until crisp and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Add garlic cloves to skillet until golden brown about 2 minutes. Transfer to the plate of chicken.
  • Return pot to medium high heat and carefully pour ½ cup of water scraping down the browned bits. Whisk in the brown sugar until dissolved. Then cook until mixture turns a deep amber color. About 4 minutes. Carefully add vinegar and stir to dissolve.
  • Add ginger, garlic, broth and soy sauce. Bring cooking liquid to a boil and whisk occasionally. This takes about 10 minutes. Be patient. The sauce will thicken and glaze the chicken beautifully.
  • Once glaze is ready, turn heat to medium low and return chicken to pan until heated through. Serve over rice and garnish with scallions or green onions if desired.


*original recipe used 2 ½ pounds bone-in chicken legs and thighs. If you plan on doing this, you will need to increase the cooking time of the legs and thighs in the sauce to about 20-25 minutes to ensure they are cooked through.
*the garlic and ginger are just to add flavor not to eat. If you want garlic added to the sauce, I suggest adding 1 tsp minced garlic.
The sauce is enough to barely glaze the chicken and some rice. It is amazing and if you want more to glaze the rice, double the sauce ingredients.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit


Serves: 4

Calories422kcal (21%)Carbohydrates23g (8%)Protein51g (102%)Fat13g (20%)Saturated Fat7g (35%)Cholesterol145mg (48%)Sodium821mg (34%)Potassium995mg (28%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar18g (20%)Vitamin A128IU (3%)Vitamin C6mg (7%)Calcium44mg (4%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel chicken, chicken, chicken recipes
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic



Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Loos great! I’m a little confused though. Do you keep the garlic cloves whole and take them out at the end? I can’t really imagine eating them whole…

    1. Sorry I will have to clarify in the recipe. The garlic and the ginger is just for adding flavor to the sauce. You take them out when serving. 🙂

  2. While the sauce is really good it didn’t thicken up for me as promised. I followed the directions and had patience at the end but it was very watery. Perhaps I didn’t let the brown sugar mixture go for long enough? Would that have an effect?

    1. Yes it should have thickened up. Not too thick, but enough to act as a glaze over the chicken. Did you let the mixture boil for about 10 minutes? Sorry it didn’t turn out. 🙁

      1. It did’n thicken for me either… Boiled about 20 min. and no joy 🙁 I had to add some flour to thicken it. But despite that I liked the recipe 🙂

    2. The same happened for me. I felt as I was adding the ingredients that it was a lot of liquid to thicken at the end. I even didn’t put as much stock and added honey. Still boiling it down further even after doing the cornstarch thing. Tastes real good though.

  3. This was AmAzInG!!! I have made several (Way to many) of your recipes, I have NOT had one bad dish!!! My family and I LOVE you!!! Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful recipes. I look forward everyday to checking to see what the new recipe is going to be (:

  4. This is soo good! It is delicious!!! I’m so proud of my self! It took more than 10 minutes for the souce to get thicker… I low the heat lower than medium for about 17- 18…I’m so glad that I found this recepe!!! :-))

  5. I really wanted to make the recipe from Bon Appetit with chicken breasts instead of the dark meat, I found your recipe and was so happy! Thanks for writing it!

  6. Well I cooked this for the first time today. I thought that the chicken was quite good but the rich black sauce made the dish…well just a bit too much. I would like to discard the sauce and serve something to compliment the dish and also add some additional colour.
    Any ideas anybody?

  7. I grated hte ginger and minced a lot of garlic and just left it in it was very good like that. Used thighs instead and baked them in the oven instead of in the skillet. It turned out very good! Served with baby garlic potatoes and a salad with homemade dressing.

  8. It’s a bit watery and needs a bunch of time to cook down. I would suggest ditching the water and only doing the broth during the water step.

  9. 4 stars
    The taste is amazing, but definitely doesn’t thicken at all. I followed instructions and went way longer than the 10 minutes. I doubled the sauce and probably didn’t need to. Hopefully it tastes amazing over my rice.

  10. I sliced up all the roasted garlic and it was delicious. Removed the ginger though. I need to work on the thickening part but flavor was nice! Added air fried broccoli for some veggies. Thanks

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