Brown Sugar Chicken

Brown Sugar Chicken cooked until crispy with the most delicious lemon and brown sugar crust. Trust me, these are amazing.

232 CAL 21g CARBS 5g FAT 27g PROTEIN
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Quick and easy Brown Sugar Chicken that's ready in under 10 minutes and is a meal that the entire family will absolutely devour. I promise. Serve it with some Crispy Baked Broccoli or Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

Today it rained. Again. I promise I will stop talking about the rain soon — as soon as the rain stops, anyway. Which will be soon, right? I feel like it could be on its way out, especially since yesterday the sun came out mid-afternoon and it was gorgeous. So I'll take that as a sign that the sun really wants to be out more often. Fingers crossed.

But when it is raining, I'm all about drinking hot cocoa and curling up with a good book from my new favorite genre: books about cooks or cooking. Not to be confused with cookbooks, but these are books about food and chefs and cooking.

There are plenty of amazing books in this genre that span both fiction and non-fiction and I can definitely recommend many (Blood, Bones & Butter, In Defense of Food, Hoosh, The Kitchen Daughter) as well as this gem by Jenna Weber from which this recipe was inspired: White Jacket Required. It is a beautiful story of her culinary coming of age that is also full of yummy recipes. When I made this chicken I served it with some simple homemade cranberry sauce and roasted asparagus, but it lends itself to lots of different side combinations.

There's just something though about that sweet crust atop a moist, juicy chicken breast. Plus, the sear really gives the bites of chicken...well, bite. It's no ordinary boneless, skinless chicken breast, I'll tell ya.

Brown sugar chicken being held up with tongs with a crispy coating.

Side Dishes to Serve with Brown Sugar Chicken

Chicken is pretty versatile, and this version is no different.

  • Try serving the chicken with a side of One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Rice, brown rice, or even cauliflower rice.
  • Lightly buttered or oiled high-fiber, wide egg noodles go great with this chicken and then just add a veggie.
  • Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans... well you get the picture. Basically, any roasted veggie goes great with this chicken.
  • Make a big salad that can be shared by everyone at the table.
  • Rolls, bread, or biscuits are great with chicken.
  • Whole grain or alternative pasta varieties add a little "hidden" nutrition to your meal.

Ways to Serve Brown Sugar Chicken

  • Serve this chicken right on top of noodles or rice with spoonfuls of sauce ladled right on top — yum!
  • Make a chicken sandwich by putting the chicken breasts between two layers of whole wheat bread, sourdough bread, a biscuit, or a bagel thin.
  • Make lettuce wraps with romaine or bibb lettuce. Top with a bit of sweet barbecue sauce, banana peppers, caramelized onions, or even bread and butter pickle slices.
  • Try using diced chicken inside a quesadilla. Add a little Monterey jack or queso fresco to "glue" the tortillas together. Dip in barbecue sauce.
  • Did someone say chicken and waffles?
  • Add this chicken inside a sweet potato for some delicious, sweet, stuffing.
  • Top your favorite salad with slices of this Brown Sugar Chicken.

How Can I Use Leftover Brown Sugar Chicken?

  • I love making chicken salad with leftover, cooked chicken breasts.
  • Cold chicken sandwiches with all the fixings are soooo good with leftover chicken.
  • Reheat the chicken and fold inside leftover pasta or even macaroni and cheese.
  • This chicken is great diced and put inside a spring roll or egg roll.
  • Try making your own burrito bowl with chicken, rice, pickled cabbage or onions, diced tomatoes, and black beans.
  • Add this chicken hot or cold to a quick tossed salad.
  • Toss it in a taco, then add your favorite toppings. You can "taco" just about anything, I'll tell ya.

Skillet brown sugar chicken on a plate with a flour and paprika coating.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs in This Recipe?

Absolutely, you can substitute chicken thighs. Keep in mind, the thigh has darker meat and isn't as lean, but it's still considered leaner than most beef cuts. You won't have to pound out the chicken thighs before baking. Though you might want to trim off any extra fat first before dredging in the flour mixture.

Can I Make Brown Sugar Chicken in the Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can cook this off in the slow cooker, but first, go ahead and follow steps 1-5. When you take the chicken out of the pan, put it into the slow cooker. Then, make the sauce by using lemon juice to deglaze the pan. Pour this sauce on top of the chicken in the slow cooker and add the brown sugar. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. It will be juicier than if you baked it for less time. But it will still be just as delicious!

The Recipe
Brown Sugar Chicken in a white baking dish with extra brown sugar on the side.

Brown Sugar Chicken

232 CAL 21g CARBS 5g FAT 27g PROTEIN
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  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Pound each chicken breast until it is about 1/2 inch thick and set aside.


Combine the flour, paprika, and sea salt and then spread out on a plate.


Heat the canola oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.


Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and then place in the hot pan. Sear on each side for about 3 more or until golden brown. Take out the chicken and place in a baking dish.


Add the lemon juice to the pan to deglaze it and create the sauce. Cook for about 1 minute.


Pour the deglazing liquid over the chicken breasts and top with the brown sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 4 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 232
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 56mg
Sodium 793mg
Total Carbohydrate 21g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 8g
Protein 27g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


Kick up the flavor with some extra spices. Consider adding cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, or Cajun seasoning to your flour mixture.
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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
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