Everyone loves chicken thighs, and with this simple marinade made from ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard, you can marinate the chicken before air frying, baking, or grilling it!
Grandma's Chicken Thigh Marinade (Vintage Recipe)

Easy Chicken Thigh Marinade

An easy evening chicken thigh meal that also produces excellent leftovers. This recipe is the right combination of sweet and salty flavors, and it goes perfectly with the dark meat of chicken thighs.

This marinade is delicious on various cuts of chicken, not just chicken thighs!

This marinade works best with chicken thighs since they are a fattier sort of chicken meat with a rich flavor that complements this sweet and salty marinade so nicely.

My Grandma likes to make the marinade in a plastic bag before adding the chicken. Allowing it to marinate for at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours, allows the chicken to absorb the taste of the marinade.


Prep Time: 5 Min

Cook Time: 10 Min

Marinate Time: 2-24 Hours


  • 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs (est. 2 per person)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (fresh is preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


Fill a big (gallon) plastic food bag halfway with marinade ingredients. Smush the ingredients together. Allow the chicken to marinade for at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours.

Cook the chicken in one of three ways:

Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray and drop the chicken thighs inside. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165°F at its thickest point.

Baked: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet. When the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is done. *To achieve a blackened exterior, remove the chicken when it is almost done and turn on the broiler. Return the chicken to the oven for 2 minutes (keeping an eye on it as it can burn quickly).

Grill: Preheat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chicken on the grill and turn it over after 10 minutes. Cook for another 10-12 minutes. When the internal temperature of the chicken hits 165 degrees, it is thoroughly cooked.


If desired, garnish with scallions before serving.


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