Easy Honey Soy Chicken marinated in sake, soy sauce, and honey. This is a quick and simple meal everyone needs for a weeknight dinner.
On the busiest nights, we all need some reliable chicken recipes to save the day. This is my fail-proof, super easy Honey Soy Chicken that works every time.
Savory and sticky sweet, my family never seem to have enough of these chicken whenever I cook up a batch. I hope the recipe will come in handy on your busy days too!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- So delicious!
- Requires minimal, pantry-friendly ingredients.
- Simple prep work.
- Highly flexible – I used drumettes for its tender dark meat and quick cooking time, but you can use any other cuts of chicken like breasts, thighs, drumsticks, or wings. If you like to fire up the grill or smoker, this recipe works great too.
3 Ingredients Marinade for Honey Soy Chicken
The tasty marinade requires only 3 ingredients:
- Soy sauce
The savoriness from the soy sauce and slight sweetness from the honey not only imparts a wonderful flavor to the chicken but also a shiny golden glaze on the surface. The sake or Japanese rice wine tenderizes the meat and help remove any odor. If you couldn’t find sake, you can substitute it with dry sherry.
All you need is to combine the mixture in a large ziplock bag, add in the chicken, making sure each piece is well coated and let marinade. When ready to cook, pop them into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden. The results are tender, juicy drumettes that everyone will love.
Pack Your Chicken Leftovers in the Bento!
If you cook up a big batch for leftover, you can remove the meat from the wings and shred it into pieces and pack into a bento lunch box with tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette), cherry tomatoes, sauteed cabbage, fruits, and onigiri (rice balls).
This Honey Soy Chicken makes an ideal candidate for a weeknight dinner. Because they are so fun to eat, my family also enjoys them on movie nights.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Honey Soy Chicken
- 1.5 lb chicken drumettes (12 pieces; or other chicken parts; If you use drumsticks, marinade overnight for more flavor)
- kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Pat dry the chicken to remove the moisture with a paper towel.
- Combine the seasonings in a Ziploc bag. A little tip: I keep the measuring cup upside down to get the last drop of honey while I do the next step.
- Prick the drumettes all over with a fork and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the drumettes in the Ziploc bag and squeeze the air out, zip up the bag. Coat the drumettes with marinade all around by rubbing them. Marinate for at least 30-60 minutes. You can also marinate overnight if you prefer.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC). Place the drumettes in a baking pan. Make sure the drumettes are not overlapping each other and the skin side is up. Pour the marinade liquid over top. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Baste the drumettes a couple of times during the baking. If the drumettes are done and the top is not browned, you can change the oven setting to broil until the top is nicely browned. If the top is browned too fast while baking, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to stop the chicken from burning. Serve immediately.
More Delicious Japanese Chicken Recipes
- Teba Shio (Salted Chicken Wings)
- Spicy Miso Chicken
- Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
- Chicken Teriyaki
- Baked Chicken Katsu
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 9, 2013. It’s been edited and republished in May 2020.