Halfsies Chicken

By Mimi
January 24, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

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!
Mimi

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.

More Great Recipes:
American|Chicken|Grill/Barbecue|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Serves a Crowd|Entree

Reviews (17) Questions (0)

17 Reviews

Hubajube April 1, 2018
The name/method reminds me of Three Cup Chicken. I'll definitely try this.
 
HalfPint March 28, 2018
Made this recipe as written and it's pretty darn good and easy. The large amount of sugar (for that much chicken) seems excessive, but the final dish is not cloyingly sweet. There is a nice touch of sweetness balanced by a little salt, though I would probably add a bit more salt since I love sweet/salty combo. I even tried this with bone-in pork chops giving it an overnight marination. I think it's even better with pork.
 
meme S. March 18, 2018
<br />***** <br />What a great recipe. we love it!
 
Samantha March 15, 2018
Love this! Do you think it would work with bone in chicken thighs as well?
 
Author Comment
Mimi March 15, 2018
Thanks!!Yes I think so. Just make sure you grill it longer :)
 
Samantha March 15, 2018
Thank you!! Making this tomorrow!
 
Author Comment
Mimi March 15, 2018
Yay!! Would love to hear what you think after you try it!
 
Samantha April 4, 2018
Hi! We made this with the bone in/skin on chicken thighs and LOVED it. You do have to watch a little closer so the marinated skin doesn’t catch fire, but the crispy skin at the end is well worth it. My husband says it should be our go to for when guests come over!
 
foodlover March 11, 2018
Thank you so much for this recipe. Followed it exactly and the chicken turned out fantastic. My first real success with chicken thighs.
 
Author Comment
Mimi March 15, 2018
Wow! I'm glad you liked it so much!! It's a crowd pleaser :)
 
Corj March 9, 2018
Curious about baking this in the oven. If anyone attempts I'd like to know the results.
 
Author Comment
Mimi March 9, 2018
I have never tried it before but I am pretty sure it would work as long as you make sure they don't dry out. Another option would be searing both sides on a pan and the baking the thighs. Hope you try it out!
 
Christi March 22, 2018
I’ve baked it the last few times I’ve made it with bone and skin on thighs. Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes. You don’t get the charred taste but it still tastes great.
 
Rhonda35 March 1, 2018
Good luck! Looking forward to giving this a try soon.
 
Author Comment
Mimi March 1, 2018
Aw thank you so much! Hope you enjoy it!
 
Joy H. March 1, 2018
Congrats on making it to the finalists, and with your first recipe on the site, too! =)
 
Author Comment
Mimi March 1, 2018
Thanks so much! Congrats to you too! I always admire your recipes on your blog and on Food52!!:D