Halfsies Chicken

By Mimi
January 24, 2018

Author Notes: This is THE go-to recipe for my family and our relatives for when friends and family come over. It's technically a no-brainer when we invite people over and need to figure out what to cook. It's easy and scrumptious, which all of the best recipes are. Basically, you just throw 4 simple ingredients into a bag or container with the chicken, wait overnight, and let the marinade do the magic. It's called "halfsies" because all the ingredients are half of a regular measurement. Half a cup, half a tablespoon, et cetera—see? Super easy to remember, too!

Food52 Review: It’s hard to say “Halfsies Chicken” without smiling, which is what caught our attention when we first met the recipe. That was also the first time we met its author, Mimi; Halfsies is her first recipe on the site! As she notes, the name comes from the marinade’s measurements—sugar, salt, garlic powder, cayenne, all of which are half of something, a cup, a tablespoon, a teaspoon. And yes, that sugar also caught our attention. With chicken, really? It works. The result is ultra-tender, with a teriyaki-like savory-sweetness. A few notes from our testing: If you don’t have the real deal, a grill pan works great here. If you don’t have 10 to 20 hours to marinate, 6 will do. And if you happen to measure 1/2 tablespoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon cayenne—well, we might have done that, too, and it turned out delicious. Plus, it’s still Halfsies. The Editors

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 hrs
Cook time: 10 min


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
In This Recipe


  1. Place chicken in a plastic bag or large bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Add this sugar-salt mixture to the chicken and use your hands to disperse evenly.
  2. Leave in the refrigerator for 10 to 20 hours. Halfway through, toss to evenly marinate.
  3. Prepare a grill over medium heat. Take the chicken out of bag/bowl and place on grill. Grill until cooked through and golden brown, flipping halfway through—about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

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