Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs are among my favourite things to make for dinner, because they are inexpensive, tasty and easy to cook. In this recipe from the May 2014 issue of Bon Appetit, the thighs are marinated in a mixture of garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, honey and aniseed for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Then just pop them in the oven. Halfway through the cooking time (about 20 minutes after putting the thighs in the oven) add asparagus and scallions. The chicken will caramelize into a lovely deep brown colour. Garnish the finished dish with cilantro and lime wedges. The recipe calls for aniseed but I used fennel seed and it worked well.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lime juice and tamari instead of soy sauce, as it is preserved with alcohol instead of sodium benzoate.

Marinate the chicken thighs

Add asparagus and scallions when chicken is partially cooked

The thighs will caramelize

Soy-glazed chicken thighs with asparagus and scallions


2 teaspoons aniseed

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¼ cup fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

8 chicken thighs (about 4 lb.)

1 bunch asparagus (about ¾ lb.), trimmed

2 bunches scallions, trimmed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems


Toast aniseed in a small dry skillet over medium heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool; finely chop.

Whisk garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, and aniseed in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°. Transfer chicken and marinade to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, placing chicken skin side down. Roast until fat begins to render, 15–20 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up and continue to roast, basting occasionally with pan drippings, until chicken is cooked through and deeply browned, 15–20 minutes longer.

After turning chicken, toss asparagus and scallions with oil on another rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, shaking pan halfway through, until tender, 10–15 minutes (thinner stalks will cook more quickly).

Transfer chicken to a platter. Pour any pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let sit a few minutes, then spoon off fat from surface.

Spoon pan juices over chicken and serve with asparagus, scallions, cilantro, and lime wedges. Serves 4. Do ahead: Chicken can be marinated 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

From the May 2014 issue of Bon Appetit