Chicken With Caramelized Garlic and Brown Sugar Glaze

Heather says:
I admit to not being the biggest fan of chicken thighs and drumsticks, so I usually look for an easy chicken recipe where I enjoy the flavor so much that I don’t miss the texture of white meat like this garlic brown sugar glazed chicken.  Leg quarters have been on sale for $0.69 a pound and that my friends, is too good to let go.

This simple recipe is not the world’s most nutritious glaze, but the kids are fans and I balance out the meal with healthy side dishes. (Yes, they get eaten, too).

This recipe for garlic brown sugar glazed chicken is a family favorite. The chicken recipe is simple enough for a weeknight and makes a budget-friendly meal.


Caramelized Garlic Chicken Recipe

  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 garlic cloves – minced or pressed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 5 lbs chicken parts which is about
    3 leg quarters or 1 whole chicken – cut up

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish and place in the oven. Set a timer for 50 minutes.

garlic in butter

Melt the butter in a pan with the garlic over low heat.

Add the brown sugar to the butter and garlic and increase the temperature to medium high.

Look, I finally splurged on new spoons.

Look, I finally splurged on new spoons.

Stir constantly, but gently until the butter and sugar begin to combine. This takes in the neighborhood of five minutes. Immediately turn off the burner and stir vigorously until you have a smooth glaze. It will still be grainy, but not lumpy. The grains of brown sugar will melt in the oven as they combine with the juices from the chicken.

garlic brown sugar glaze 

Remove the chicken from the oven and pour the glaze over the chicken thighs. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to coat the chicken pieces somewhat evenly.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350°F or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

If you are baking another item while this dish is in the oven, place the chicken on the lower rack. If it is too close to the upper element, the glaze may burn. Near the end of the cooking time, you can swap positions if the chicken doesn’t appear to be browning enough for your taste.

Enjoy your garlic brown glazed sugar chicken some simple sides of your choice.

Looking for other chicken recipe ideas?

More Chicken Recipes


  1. Haley on July 14, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I don’t have fresh garlic. Could I use garlic powder? & if so, how much do you think? I have about 5 drumsticks.

  2. Traci on February 27, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks, in the oven now…added some red pepper flakes for a little heat

  3. So I cooked this chicken | Schulte in Minnesota on February 22, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    […] hoped the kids would eat it but that's their problem if they don't like what is offered. Hello, Chicken With Caramelized Garlic and Brown Sugar Glaze! As you can see from the recipe, there's not much to it. How difficult could this be? Prepped the […]

  4. terrell on November 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I’m cooking it now can’t wait to taste

  5. AmparoTinyBurcena on September 16, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Made this & it was DELICIOUS!! Tried the recipe out with Pork Ribs & it worked great too!!

  6. BrianSisko on February 18, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Looks lovely. I'm supposed to be dieting but i'll make an exception tonight hehe
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  7. Michael on September 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    It is oven right now! I am using boneless chicken thighs. Gonna serve it with some pasta salad and green beans. Hope it all comes out ok…

    • HeatherSolos on September 9, 2010 at 7:30 am

      I told you it would be good. (He reported back in via Twitter)

  8. chrisry on July 17, 2010 at 6:38 am

    would this work with little hens?

  9. Katherine Brizendine on June 29, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Wonderful recipe with great direction. I'll be sure to keep this one.

  10. Caramelized Garlic and Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken on June 22, 2010 at 9:32 am

    […] via […]

  11. dcrmom on June 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    YUM. Always looking for new chicken recipes.

  12. jan peterson on November 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Tried this just a few hours ago and we loved it! So easy-and so quick to fix! I will be back for more recipies! Jan

  13. Stacy on October 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    What side dishes did you use to accompany this?

    • HeatherSolos on October 1, 2009 at 10:32 pm

      Last night I made lentil pilaf and garlicky broccoli. I'll be posting both recipes over the next week or so.

      • J Wynia on October 8, 2009 at 7:39 pm

        I thought that looked like your lentil pilaf out of focus in the background.

  14. HeatherSolos on October 1, 2009 at 12:36 am


    • J Wynia on October 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm

      While I still prefer them fresh, the pre-minced garlic and pre-diced onions (as well as green peppers, etc. sold the same way) have revolutionized my weeknight cooking. Without that prep already done for me, I'd be REALLY unlikely to do much actual cooking when I get home after the 7-5 workday.

  15. CarolinaDreamz on September 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I love wooden spoonz. I've been trying to buy some new ones, for a few years now. I have some nice oak ones.. that can stand up to some work. But I can't really find the heavy work ones, lately. I'm turning the other cheek to the ones, at Walmart, with someone's name on them… but ooooh! (Most of the big ones have big handles.. that feel too wide and uncomfy in my hand..)

    I used to buy chicken leg quarters, years ago, in California, for $.19/lb, on sale. I'd buy 50 pounds and spend the entire weekend stewing them and de-boning them.. freezing them as shredded chicken, in meal-sized batches. This really took hours off of meal-time prep, each afternoon. I miss having all that meat ready-to-go! Maybe that's how I did it with all those little kids? 🙂

    (I guess I should add here that chicken really creeps me.. and if you'd de-bone it, I'd buy some, for us, both, and stew it, at your house, for both of us. 🙂 I divorced my de-boner. ::giggle:: )

  16. knitaddict on September 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    We made this a few weeks ago with chicken breasts…we cooked them for about 30 minutes and cut them open to make sure they were done. I'll DEFINITELY make this again…everyone LOVED IT! I didn't even have any leftovers for lunch the next day…I was kinda miffed!

    • IFFy on October 1, 2009 at 2:48 am

      I wonder if this would work on my George Forman or if all the glaze would just kind of slide off.

      • HeatherSolos on October 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

        I would not use this recipe on an indoor grill. The sweet glaze would burn easily. Let me rephrase that, In a grilling situation, I would brush the chicken just before the end of the cook-time. Wipe up extra glaze quickly as will probably smoke easily.

  17. IFFy on September 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    How would you alter the cooking time if you were making this with boneless, skinless chicken boobs?

    • HeatherSolos on October 1, 2009 at 11:17 am

      I would check them between 25 & 30 minutes. The glaze will help them stay moist, but it's not the same as a skinned piece of chicken.
      Split chicken breasts would work really well.

  18. Stacy on September 30, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Can you use the minced garlic that comes in a jar?

  19. Kaytee on September 30, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    This looks DELISH! I love brown sugar glazes. And I'm a huge fan of garlic.

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