Paleo Honey Chicken
Updated: Mar 7
If I could eat one thing everyday, it would be this marinated honey chicken! Mouthwatering umami forward flavor balanced with sweet honey and earthy garlic, this simple chicken thigh recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal! Serve with brown or cauliflower rice (Paleo and Whole30 option), Korean spinach and cucumber kimchi for an easy, flavorful, and balanced dinner!
Growing up Korean, my mom would make "Korean chicken," as we would call it, and I just loved it, actually I preferred this over bulgogi! However, soy sauce is very inflammatory as the soy used is typically sourced from conventional pesticide coated GMO soybeans. Not to mention the incredibly high amounts of refined salt found in soy sauce, it is definitely not one of my preferred ingredients for any of my Korean or Asian dishes. For this dish I created a perfectly balanced marinade that tastes almost exactly like the soy based counterpart, but it is made with whole food ingredients making this dish gluten free and soy free!
Why Chicken is So Good For You!
We all know that chicken is a tasty and fantastic source of protein, but do you know why it is so good for you? Chicken, along with many other sources of animal protein, such as beef, eggs and fish, are a complete source of protein. This means that all nine essential amino acids are present and available to you when you eat these foods. When it comes to nutrients, anything labeled as "essential" means that your body cannot make or synthesize this nutrient, so it must be provided to your body by the foods you eat.
As mentioned above, there are nine essential amino acids that we must eat everyday to provide our bodies energy as well as the building blocks necessary in everyday functions such as growth and repair, immune support, and in the synthesis of our hormones and neurotransmitters.
The nine essential amino acids and their roles are :
Histidine: necessary for the production of histamine and also plays a role in nervous system health
Valine: necessary in energy production as well as muscle growth and repair
Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline), and in the production of other amino acids.
Leucine: necessary in stimulating wound healing, muscle repair, and blood sugar regulation.
Isoleucine: necessary in immune function and energy regulation.
Tryptophan: necessary building block for serotonin.
Methionine: necessary in detoxification, metabolism, and in your body's ability to absorb selenium (supports thyroid health) and zinc (necessary in production of HCl in your stomach).
Threonine: necessary in skin and connective tissue health.
Lysine: necessary in hormone production and your body's ability to absorb calcium (bone, heart, muscle and nerve health.)
So grab some whole chicken thighs and let's get cooking!
Paleo Honey Chicken Ingredients
3 lbs Whole Chicken Thighs, bone in with skin
1/4 cup Pure Honey
3/4 cup Coconut Aminos
2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Pure Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds (opt)
4 Green Onions, julienned
3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
2 tsp Fresh Ginger, grated
3/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/3 cup Filtered Water
How to Make Paleo Honey Chicken
1. In a large bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients except the chicken thighs and stir well to combine.
2. Add the chicken one piece at a time dipping it into the marinade and coating it completely.
3. After all the chicken has been added, gently pressing them into the marinade to submerge as much as possible.
4. Marinate for at least 4-hours to overnight in the refrigerator (the longer the more flavorful the chicken will be,) flipping halfway to evenly marinate both sides.
5. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
6. Layer the chicken in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for approximately 25-minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
7. Serve with your favorite sides!
Q: Can I grill these instead?
A: Yes of course! I would grill them at 400 for 20-25 minutes, keeping an eye they don't catch fire as the skin releases fat when it cooks.
Q: What can I use instead of rice vinegar?
A: I would suggest substituting it with some apple cider vinegar.
Q: Should I remove the bones to speed up the cook time?
A: No, the bones do require a longer cook time but they also keep the chicken nice and juicy!
If you like this recipe, check these out!
Paleo Korean Flank Steak: Tender and juicy flank steak marinated in a Korean bulgogi style marinade is the perfect dinner when you are craving something special.
Perfect Cauliflower Rice: This recipe is hard to beat with tender cauliflower rice that is not overly soft and can hold its own when paired with any main dish.
Asian Slaw: They say you eat with your eyes, and this gorgeous coleslaw is full of colorful veggies dancing in a beautiful sesame vinaigrette.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy