Go Back

Sticky & Sweet Chinese 5-Spice Chicken

Course dinner, leftovers, lunch
Cuisine American, Chinese
Keyword chicken thighs, chinese 5 spice, sticky, sweet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 package or lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp Chinese 5-Spice *store bought is perfect here!
  • 3 tbsp butter cubed
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped, dried fruit *I find apricots work well here
  • olive oil
  • butter


  1. Season your chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper and the Chinese 5-spice (about 1 tbsp per side, or as much is necessary to thoroughly dust each thigh with the seasoning).

  2. Heat a pan over medium-high heat with olive oil and butter - I add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom of the pan and then I add approx. 2 tbsp butter. Once the pan is very hot, add your chicken thighs to the hot pan, skin-side down, and cook them until the skin is well-browned and crispy, about 7-10 minutes. Flip them over and cook them another 5 minutes, until the underside is also well browned.

  3. Add the 2 tbsp butter and brown sugar to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, until the butter has melted and the brown sugar has dissolved. The brown sugar will get nice and bubbly.

  4. Flip the chicken thighs over, coat them in the bubbling sauce, add the dried fruit and cook everything for an additional 2-3 minutes, covered. When the fruit is just soft and everything is nicely caramelised, serve the chicken, in the sweet gravy, immediately. I like mine over white rice with red chili flakes as garnish. Enjoy!