Hoisin glazed chicken thighs are sweet, tangy, and scrumptious on the grill. The chicken is first rubbed with a flavorful spice mixture and then glazed during the grilling process. You can never have too many grilled chicken recipes for an easy, delicious summertime dinner.
I like using bone-in thighs, as they stay very juicy through the grilling process. I prefer to remove the skins prior to rubbing them with the spice mixture. Removing the skin eliminates a lot of fat, but the meat will still be very moist and flavorful.
Chinese Five Spice Powder: I have been a little obsessed with five spice powder since resurrecting this recipe last year. This aromatic, flavorful powder is found in the rub and the glaze.
Paprika: Adds a little spice and great color.
Salt: Brings out all the great flavors. A coarse salt such as kosher works great in a rub.
Garlic Powder: I like using garlic powder as opposed to raw, minced garlic as it is easier to combine with the rest of the dry rub mixture.
Black Pepper: Adds excellent flavor and spice.
Dry Mustard: Adds tangy heat and great aroma to the spice rub. I am not a big mustard fan, but I do appreciate the flavor that dry mustard powder provides.
Bone-in, Skinless Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs are typically sold either boneless or with both the skin and bones intact. Boneless, skinless thighs also work and will grill faster than the bone-in variety.
Low Sodium Soy Sauce: Combines with the hoisin sauce to create the saucy glaze.
Honey: Adds some sweetness to balance out the tanginess of the sauce.
Sesame Oil: Oil helps the thighs stay moist and juicy. Sesame oil adds a great, authentic taste.
Garlic: Adds a nice bite of the flavor to the sauce.
Ginger: I love ginger in Asian-inspired recipes. It adds a fresh, bright flavor.
Two hours before you plan to grill the chicken, prepare the rub for the chicken. Simply combine all the spices in a small bowl.
Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and rub the spice mixture over the surfaces of the meat. Refrigerate the thighs for two hours to let the rub flavor the meat.
To prepare the glaze, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil. Grate the ginger. I typically just grate the garlic as well. Add the glaze mixture along with the five-spice powder and stir to thoroughly combine.
When you are ready to grill, heat to medium/high heat. Place the chicken thighs on the grill meaty side down, turning once, and allowing the meat to brown. Turn the grill to low or move the meat to indirect heat. Sugar based glazes will burn under high direct heat. Start glazing the meat by brushing the glaze over the thighs. Continue to grill the meat for 20 minutes, glazing several times during the process, until the chicken is cooked through.
A meat thermometer is very helpful to assure the meat is cooked through. We recently found this simple digital thermometer. It’s easy to use and has been very accurate.
When the meat is cooked through, remove it from the grill and allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy these delicious hoisin-glazed chicken thighs with a side vegetable or salad.
Hoisin-Glazed Chicken Thighs
- ½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp coarse salt I like kosher salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp dry mustard
- 2 chicken thighs skinless, bone-in
- 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp fresh ginger minced or grated
- ½ minced garlic minced or grated
- ½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- Combine five-spice powder, paprika, salt, garlic, pepper, and mustard in a bowl. Rub over both sides of chicken. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder in a bowl to create the glaze.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
- Grill chicken, covered, turning once, until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Continue cooking, covered and turning and brushing with the glaze every 5 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink in the middle, an additional 15 to 20 minutes.