These delicious Korean Paleo Chicken Thighs are marinated in a sweet and smoky chili paste called gochujang and make an easy and healthy weeknight meal. Serve them with a side of low carb cauliflower rice. You will LOVE them!
Winner winner, chicken dinner! Do you see those sweet, juicy, Korean paleo chicken thighs right there???? You want to make those.
This recipe has become my go-to quick and easy weeknight dinner for the past few weeks. I've made this same recipe with chicken breast, drumstick, and chunks of chicken, but boneless thighs win. The thighs manage to stay juicy and tender long enough for the sauce to start to caramelize and turn extra sweet.
I've made this Korean paleo chicken using a Korean chili paste called gochujang. Fermented chilis give it the most fantastic, slightly smoky flavor. It's also not nearly as hot as fermented chili paste might sound.
I buy gochujang from a little market up the road; most well-stocked supermarkets should carry it as well as any Asian food store.
I have to be honest; I only tried gochujang for the first time about a month ago. Since then I've become obsessed and am already on my second jar. I polished off the first jar after making this Korean paleo chicken thighs recipe on repeat for two weeks straight. It's seriously that good.
Update: Since sharing this recipe nearly two years ago, I've gone through 487 jars of gochujang. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. I have cooked with tons of gochujang since and made this recipe more times than I can count.
Here's what you need to know about these paleo chicken thighs: they're super easy to make. Honestly, I no longer measure any of the ingredients. I eyeball everything and they always turn out. I supposed it helps that there are only six ingredients in the sauce. 😂
They always have that sweet/ spicy/ smoky winning flavor combo. Seriously, is there anything better in the world than that combination. It gets me every time!
How do you guys feel about cauliflower rice?
I first started making cauliflower rice bout six months ago, and I couldn't believe how much it is like the real thing. I mean, it's not EXACTLY like the real thing. If you were to ask my handsome man, he'd tell you it's not anything like real rice. But then, he loves rice.
I've never been a huge fan of rice, so the subtle differences don't bother me at all. It reminds me of slightly overcooked rice that's missing the bite it normally has.
Even if you don't eat a paleo diet, it's hard not to love how healthy it is for you. A cup of cauliflower has only 25 calories and is full of vitamin C, K, and folate along with tons of other good for you vitamins and minerals. Plus you get to cross off another serving of your daily veggies. Big time win.
I normally count on 2 cups of uncooked cauliflower rice to be the perfect size for a dinner side. That's for one person (me!) since there's always a pot of basmati on for my guy.
If you want, you can freeze uncooked riced cauliflower in individual portion sizes. I do this as it makes my life so much easier and I'm less likely to cave into convenience and eat regular rice. I have to warn you though, once you freeze cauliflower it becomes very cauliflower-y when you thaw it. And I don't mean in a good way. I don't mind it much, but if you're even a little on the fence about cauliflower rice, stick to making it fresh.
Back to these Korean Paleo Chicken Thighs …
Please promise me you'll make them. They have been such a hit with my family and I'd love for your family to fall in love with them, too.
Normally, when I make them I serve them exactly as they are here. Sometimes I'll switch things up and make roast potatoes instead of the cauliflower rice. Once in a while, I'll make a big salad and serve the chicken sliced over top of the salad.
If you're looking for more delicious ways to use the rest of your jar of gochujang, try these recipes: Grilled Gochujang Pork Chops with Mint Watermelon Salad, Gochujang Pulled Pork Korean Pizza, or Crock Pot Korean Gochujang Pork. They are all amazing!
If you make this Korean Paleo Chicken Thighs recipe make sure to snap a pic and tag #theendlessmeal on Instagram, so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you guys create!
- 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons gochujang - Korean chili paste (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or sub coco aminos for paleo)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- For garnish: sesame seeds and sliced green onions
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- Sea salt, to taste
- Place the chicken thighs in a resealable plastic bag. Add the honey, gochujang, soy sauce or coco aminos, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic and seal the bag. Squish the bag around a little so that the marinade coats each piece of chicken. Let the chicken marinate for 1-24 hours in your fridge. Note: If you don't have time to marinate the chicken mix all the marinade ingredients then pour it over the chicken after you add it to the baking dish.
- Line an 8x11 baking dish with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour the chicken and all the marinade into the prepared baking dish and move the chicken around, so it is in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, turning a few times. The chicken will be cooked through at this time but to get a nice dark red chicken you can broil it at 425 degrees for another 10-15 minute, this is how I like it best. If you aren't able to control the temperature that your oven broils at, make sure to keep a close eye on it and reduce the cooking time so the sugar in the marinade doesn't burn.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the cauliflower rice. Working in batches pulse the cauliflower in your food processor until it resembles rice. If you don't have a food processor, you can grate or finely mince the cauliflower. Add the cauliflower rice to a large frying pan over medium heat and add ¼ cup of water. Cover the pot and let the cauliflower steam for 6-8 minutes, or until it is soft. Remove the cauliflower from the heat and season to taste with sea salt.
- Serve the chicken with sesame seeds and sliced green onions and some cauliflower rice on the side.
More delicious and healthy paleo dinner recipes:
Thai Chicken Burrito Bowls with Coconut Cauliflower Rice, Pineapple Guacamole, and Almond Satay Sauce