Easy Oyster Sauce Chicken

Chicken in oyster sauce
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  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4

Full of flavor and delightfully easy to make, this oyster sauce chicken recipe is a perfect savory dish for busy weeknights. It cooks up in less than 30 minutes and is a delicious, healthy meal when served over rice.

While most recipes leave bone-in chicken thighs whole, this recipe has you cut them in half. It's a traditional Chinese approach that creates smaller serving size pieces: It's possible to get 22 pieces out of a whole chicken rather than the standard eight full-size pieces. The advantage is that it speeds up the cooking time and ensures the thighs are cooked thoroughly. Make sure everyone at the table knows there are bones in the chicken. You can use other pieces of chicken or boneless chicken if you prefer.


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 bell pepper (red)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (dark or tamari)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine (Chinese; or dry white wine, dry sherry)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar​
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (or pure olive oil)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry. Cut each thigh in half crosswise, cutting completely through the bones. Rub the salt and pepper over the thighs.

  3. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut the red bell peppers in half, remove the seeds, and cut into 1-inch squares.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, and brown sugar. Mix until the sugar is dissolved and set the sauce aside.

  5. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and brown on both sides. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and drain on paper towels. Do not clean out the pan.

  6. Add the onion and garlic into the pan, and cook until the onion is softened (about 5 minutes). Add the red pepper into the pan. Cook briefly, then add the sauce.

  7. Bring the sauce to a boil, then add the chicken thighs back into the pan. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the chicken until the juices in the thickest part of the thigh are clear when pierced with a fork (about 15 minutes). Stir the chicken occasionally while cooking.

  8. Serve hot over rice and enjoy!


  • It's best to use a sharp cleaver to cut through the chicken bone.
  • When using olive oil to fry, make sure it's pure olive oil as it can handle temperatures up to 468 F. Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point of just 375 F. Your pan is likely to exceed that temperature and you risk a burnt taste in your chicken.
  • Vegetable and canola oils are better choices for frying if extra virgin olive oil is all you have in stock.