Brown Sugar Crusted Chicken Thighs

Brown Sugar Crusted Chicken Thighs…ahh just how SWEET does that sound? Well, that’s because it is! These brown sugar crusted chicken thighs are both sweet and savory and they make for a wonderful dinner staple. They go perfectly with your favorite side dishes. I love serving these up with some hearty helpings of mashed potatoes and string beans. Corn and your very own favorite selection of beans will also work wonders with this dish. The ball is in your court and the choice is yours. Plate it your way and have fun! 

Brown Sugar Crusted Chicken Thighs

4 from 19 votes
Recipe by Madison Course: MainDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 4 4 bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs

  • 2 tablespoons 2 brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon 1 garlic powder

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons 2 fresh chopped rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons 2 olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Wash chicken thighs and pat them dry really well. Place them in a large bowl and season with brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, pepper and chopped rosemary.
  • To a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sear thighs on the stove over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Once the thighs have a beautiful golden crust, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F when a meat thermometer is inserted.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper towel lined plate to get it of any leftover oil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

To make sure you get the best results when making these brown sugar crusted chicken thighs, make sure you wash off your chicken thighs and pat them off really, REALLY well with a paper towel. These chicken thighs must be dried well to ensure that they get a beautiful, golden outer crust. Having too much moisture on them will only cause them to steam and have a soft and moist outer skin. Still delicious, but not nearly as crusty and crunchy as we are going for. These chicken thighs only get seared for about 3-4 minutes per each side before going into a 350°F oven for 40 minutes. The searing part is the part I love the most because it makes the chicken look so beautiful. 

I make the brown sugar dry rub using: brown sugar, garlic powder, fresh chopped rosemary, salt and pepper, to taste. Since I like to keep the chicken relatively dry, I do not use olive oil on the chicken along with the rub. I only use olive oil when it is time to sear up the thighs. I chop the rosemary really fine because I want it to blend well with the other seasonings. There is nothing I dislike more than biting into a long piece of rosemary leaf when I taste a dish. It is not the most pleasant texture to me which is why I like it chopped to the point where it is almost ground. Come to think of it, next time I make this dish for my family, I might just blend up the rosemary or even use a Mortar and Pestle. 

I love working with my hands so much. I like to use my bare hands when seasoning these chicken thighs. However, feel free to use gloves if you do not want the raw chicken on your bare hands. I don’t recommend however using tongs to coat the chicken thighs because it can be hard to really season the thighs well that way. After seasoning and searing the chicken on both sides, the hardest part is the 40 minutes wait. But, you will know that it is all worth it for a well cooked piece of chicken once a taste of it hits your tongue. I am really proud of these Brown Sugar Crusted Chicken Thighs. They are deliciously sweet to the taste, but hit your salty taste buds in all the right ways. I hope when you make this dish, you enjoy it like I do!

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