5 Ingredients or Fewer

Halfsies Chicken

January 24, 2018
Photo by Julia Gartland
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!

Test Kitchen Notes

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

  • Prep time 15 hours
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 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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