Honey-Rosemary Chicken Thighs

Published on March 30, 2023 by Cori


For this Honey-Rosemary Chicken Thighs recipe you will need :

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 3 rosemary twigs
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper, ground 
  • 1 cup of organic chicken broth, reduced salt (you will use it later, to cook the meat)


You can also add chicken drumsticks to the mix of meats, for extra texture. Wash and pat dry the meat, before trimming excess fat from it. 

  • 500 grams of chicken thighs: around 750 calories
  • 3 rosemary twigs: negligible calories
  • 1 teaspoon honey: around 20 calories
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar: around 2 calories
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt: negligible calories
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper, ground: negligible calories
  • 1 cup of Pacific Foods organic chicken bone broth, reduced salt: around 15 calories

Total for 3 servings – 787 calories, calories per serving 262 calories.

  • Protein: around 97 grams (based on 500 grams of chicken thighs which contain around 22 grams of protein per 100 grams)
  • Fat: around 44 grams (based on the average fat content of chicken thighs with skin, assuming that the skin is not removed)
  • Carbohydrates: around 5 grams (based on the honey and the chicken broth)

For weight loss meal plans, it’s better to remove the skin and trim the visible fat, and this lowers the calorie and fat intake as follows :

  • Protein: around 92 grams (based on 500 grams of boneless, skinless chicken thighs which contain around 18 grams of protein per 100 grams)
  • Fat: around 20 grams (based on the average fat content of boneless, skinless chicken thighs which is around 4 grams of fat per 100 grams)
  • Carbohydrates: around 5 grams (based on the honey and the chicken broth)

Please note that these are estimates and the actual macronutrient content may vary based on the specific ingredients and cooking method used. Additionally, this calculation does not take into account any additional ingredients or sides that you may be serving with the chicken thighs.

While monitoring calorie intake is useful, being overly strict about tracking every single bite of food you ingest is a problematic eating behavior. It’s more useful to focus on eating unprocessed ingredients, cook at home as much as possible and eat a good amount of vegetables with each meal.


Honey-Rosemary Chicken is my go-to solution whenever I want to cook something that’s tasty, impressive for my guests but also easy to cook, so that I don’t waste half a day in the kitchen to prepare a meal. It’s an interesting mix of flavors that wonderfully compliments the chicken thigh meat texture and adds a sophisticated layer of flavor to an otherwise bland ingredient. 

The chicken thigh meat is a great option for tasty, fuss-free recipes because it has enough of a fat content to remain tender no matter how you cook it – grilled, roasted, oven-baked or seared. Its disadvantage is that without the right spices it’s not a tasty meat by itself and for weight loss meal plans one should usually trim the fat and use the chicken thighs skinless, in order to reduce the saturated fat intake and reach the recommended calorie deficit to reduce body weight. But it remains a more affordable alternative to chicken breast and is tastier and more versatile in terms of texture and flavor. 

Adding rosemary and honey to chicken thighs is not something that immediately crosses your mind. Especially with newer trends in cooking styles, marinating meat is often forgotten, despite its amazing ability to create flavor and texture with minimally added calories. 


What is a marinade and why should you marinade the meat? 


Marinades are simply mixtures of spices and various liquids that, when added to the meat, help enhance its natural texture and taste. The secret to a great marinade is to have all the 5 types of tastes to it – bitter, sour, salty, sweet and umami, or savory. Balancing such ingredients into a marinade allows for amazing flavor to penetrate the meat and, once cooked, to seal in the flavor and taste into a deliciously tasty dish. 


Water-based marinades are low calorie, unlike oil based ones, and this makes them a great add-ons for weight loss meal plans. And because most herbs and spices have no calories, we can safely consider that they do not modify the nutritional values of meat, while completely enhancing taste and flavor. 

When we marinate the meat before cooking it we seal in flavors and the meat simply tastes better. It also remains juicy and tender as we cook it, so putting in just a little bit of effort before cooking the meat pays off. 

When the food you eat tastes better, there are increased chances for you to stick to your personalized menu longer, and that improves your chances to reach your goals and maintain your results over time. 

Chicken thighs are a tasty option for low calorie meals when skinless. In order to make the best of this dish, we recommend cooking it with the skin on and simply removing the skin once the dish is ready to be served. If you are incredibly calorie conscious you can even pat-dry the meat on a paper towel, to reduce the calories from fat. But my sincere recommendation is to avoid such practices and focus on long-term balance and a rather flexible meal-plan adherence. Severe restrictive practices or a very rigid approach to cooking and nutrition produces unnecessary pressure and actually lowers one’s chances to achieve and maintain their desired body size, appearance or body fat percentage. 

As always, make sure to marinate the meat in the fridge (ideally set to low temperature) for at least 6 hours before cooking it. To ensure food safety, it is best that you use closed containers with a lid, to help store the meat and the marinade in a safe environment. I recommend a time interval of 6-12 hours to properly soak the meat in flavors before using your oven to bake the chicken. 


  1. Rub the meat with the salt on the part bearing the skin, only. 
  2. Mix the honey with vinegar until the honey completely dissolves. Then, place the chicken meat in a ziploc bag that is large enough to close it effortlessly. Pour the vinegar and honey mixture to the bag and massage the meat so that the dressing evenly reaches all pieces of meat. Then, add the rosemary twigs and red peppercorns. 
  3. Place the closed bag in the fridge for the next 6-24 hours before cooking it. 
  4. To cook, just remove the meat from the fridge and place it in a casserole or a roasting pan. Add the chicken broth. Make sure the meat is placed with the skin on top. You can place the rosemary twigs under the meat for extra flavor. 
  5. The oven needs to be preheated at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the chicken for 25-30  minutes to create the golden-brown outer skin and the tender, juicy meat underneath. 
  6. When the marinated chicken is ready, use some freshly ground black pepper to season it and cover the meat, letting it rest for 5 more minutes.  


As a side for the oven roasted chicken with honey and rosemary we recommend serving neutral veggies, to fully enjoy its amazing flavor. Asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini are all great options as a tasty side that does not cover the flavor of the meat. 

For lunch, you can opt for sweet potatoes and power greens salad mix, or wild rice with kohlrabi, as well as mashed cauliflower with potato. They all go great with this tasty recipe for marinated chicken. Another fast and easy way combination is to add steamed or boiled  cauliflower and a slice of bread. 

A great option is to serve it with a side of cauliflower rice. Butter lettuce with a simple yogurt vinaigrette is also an excellent option. You can discover an extra layer of flavor with a side of roasted cauliflower or a serving of grilled zucchinis. 


Honey Rosemary Chicken Thighs is a great choice for meals whether you want to impress picky eaters or you need more flavor in your diet. The layers of taste – sour, sweet, bitter, salty and umami compliment the chicken meat and the association of protein, fiber from the vegetable sides and moderate fat intake make this recipe a filling and satiating one, ideal for people who are interested in maintaining healthy food habits, while also eating tasty meals. I personally prefer this recipe also because it is affordable and convenient, and I can cook several portions of chicken to prepare meals for 2-3 days, so that I save time when cooking.