Bacon wrapped brown sugar chicken is exceptionally delicious. The chicken is wrapped in crispy bacon strips, drenched in a decadent brown sugar sauce and baked to perfection. It is the perfect balance of sweet and savory with a slight kick. This recipe is an easy weeknight dinner that is great for family dinners and will easily impress your guests.
This bacon wrapped brown sugar chicken is treasured by my family because it is one of the first recipes we created together, and it never fails to impress everyone that tries it. We especially love this recipe because it is easy, requires little effort, full of flavor, and makes us feel fancy on a casual weeknight. In addition, it captures all the flavors of traditional Jamaican brown stew chicken but it’s even sweeter and better. Brown stew chicken is a staple in every Jamaican home and we decided to take that dish to another level with a little more sweetness and crispy golden bacon.
How to make Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Chicken
Step 1: Clean and prepare 1-2 pounds of boneless chicken thighs. You can use chicken breast but this recipe uses chicken thighs. Most of the flavor comes from well seasoned chicken so in a bowl, combine salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the blend all over the chicken thighs and rub it in making sure that each piece of chicken is coated entirely.
Step 2: Lay strips of bacon on a flat surface and tightly wrap the chicken thighs. I used 3 strips per chicken.
Step 3: Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet and place each wrapped chicken in the pan seam side down to prevent the bacon strips from unraveling. Sear the chicken for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. The goal is not to cook the chicken or bacon entirely at this step.
Step 4: Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, make the brown sugar sauce. Remove most of the chicken and bacon fat and add fresh garlic, chicken stock, soy sauce, fresh thyme, brown sugar, ground ginger and red pepper flakes. Mix well until combined and allow the sauce to simmer and reduce for about 2-3 minutes.
Step 5: Add the chicken back to the skillet and baste each piece with the sauce. Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees F or until chicken is cooked through. Make sure to use an oven safe skillet or dish.
How do I know when the chicken is done?
The easiest way to check for doneness is to slice the chicken and check. If you do not want to cut open your chicken, use a meat thermometer if you have one and the internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees F.
1.5 lbs chicken thighs ( about 4 pieces)
15 strips regular cut bacon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning blend all over chicken thighs and rub until each piece of chicken is completely coated.
- On a flat surface, lay 3 strips of bacon for each piece of chicken thigh and tightly roll the bacon on to the chicken. Tip: overlap the bacon strips when laying them to prevent gaps. See recipe video above.
- Heat olive oil and unsalted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place the wrapped chicken into the heated skillet seam side down and sear on each side for about 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Do not overcook at this step, the goal is just to get a brown coating as the chicken and bacon will cook in the oven.
- Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside. The bacon will produce a lot of grease so make sure to remove most of it as we will be using the same skillet to make the brown sugar sauce.
- In the same skillet add garlic, chicken stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Stir well and simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken back to the skillet and baste each piece with the sauce then bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown or when chicken is cooked thoroughly. Once chicken is done cooking, baste it again with the sauce and serve. Enjoy!