Hot Honey Garlic Chicken

hot honey garlic chicken

This wonderful, juicy chicken dish highlights our obsession with hot honey. Hot Honey Garlic Chicken is the perfect subtly sweet healthy chicken dinner with a kick!

hot honey garlic chicken on a platter

The Marinade

This marinade will infuse your chicken with so much flavor. It’s filled with garlic and red pepper flakes, along with a base of olive oil and acid from white wine vinegar and lemon juice. Simply mix everything together, then pour it over your chicken in a large dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably closer to 4 hours for the best flavor.

hot honey garlic chicken plated with green beans and rice

The Method

We’re using boneless skinless chicken breasts here and, honestly, it can be tricky to not make a dry mess out of this particular protein. We’ve tried all the methods and landed on this one to make a perfectly cooked, juicy chicken with loads of flavor.

Get out a large skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Add a bit of olive oil. While that’s heating, remove your chicken from the marinade and sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, carefully arrange the chicken in your skillet. Keep it in one spot for 4 minutes before turning it over. 

When you turn it, you should see a nice caramel color on the first side. If you don’t, turn up the heat just a little, but continue with the second side. Keep an eye on the pan’s heat – the oil and juices coming from the chicken should be bubbling, but not so much that it splatters everywhere. You may need to adjust the heat up and down just a tiny bit to strike this balance. After 4 minutes on the second side, turn your chicken again. Now both sides should be nicely browned. 

If your chicken is on the thicker side (an inch or more), continue cooking for an additional 4 minutes per side, checking the temperature when you turn the chicken back to the second side. If you have thinner chicken, check the temperature now. Try not to let the temperature rise above 155 degrees F. 

Protein continues to cook once off the heat. The internal temperature of the chicken will continue to rise another 10 degrees off the heat. So, if you wait until the temp hits 165 before removing it from the pan, you will end up with over-cooked, dry chicken. No one wants that! (Learn more about cooking chicken breasts in this helpful article on The Spruce Eats blog.)

When each piece is ready, remove it to a plate or platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Rest for 5-10 minutes.

hot honey garlic chicken plated with sauce on the side

The Sauce

Once all the chicken is cooked and resting, return the pan to low heat and throw in some garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute and enjoy the smell of toasted garlic! Add a bit of chicken broth and bring to a simmer. While it’s simmering, use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all those tiny bits of flavor into your sauce. 

After 5 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and add the hot honey. Whisk to combine, then pour the sauce over your chicken or pour it into a small dish so that everyone can add it to their own plate. We suggest using a lavish amount!

hot honey garlic chicken with sauce

The Hot Honey

This delectable pantry staple is now pretty easy to find. Savannah Bee Company makes a great version, as does Mike’s Hot Honey, which you can find at a lot of grocery stores. We also like this Cajun Hot Honey* from Bee Great in northern Indiana. (*This one’s not an affiliate link; we just really like their products!) 

You can also make your own by adding red pepper flakes to your favorite local honey. Do this well ahead of time to allow the flavors to merge. It’s even better if you toast your red pepper flakes first. In a pinch, simply add a little bit more of the red pepper flakes with the garlic, then add regular honey to your sauce at the end. The results will still have wonderful flavor, sweetness from the honey, and a little bit of a kick.

Serving Your Hot Honey Garlic Chicken

This chicken goes well with so many veggies and sides, like green beans or rice. Or one of these amazing recipes:

Enjoy!

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hot honey garlic chicken

Hot Honey Garlic Chicken

Hot Honey Garlic Chicken is the perfect subtly sweet and flavorful, healthy chicken dinner with a kick of heat!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinade Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Course Chicken Dish, Gluten Free, Main
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

For the Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

For the Sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons hot honey

Instructions
 

  • Marinade the Chicken: Whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the top, turning the chicken so that all sides are coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
  • Cook the Chicken: When you are ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper. When the oil begins to shimmer, carefully place each chicken breast into the heated skillet and cook for 4 minutes per side.
    Adjust the heat so that the oil bubbles but does not splatter, and cook for an additional 4 minutes per side. Check the temperature and color often as the chicken continues to cook. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F, remove the chicken to a platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil; allow to rest for 10 minutes.
    If after 16 minutes, the chicken has not yet reached 155 degrees F, reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes at a time, turning and checking the internal temperature until it is done.
  • Make Your Sauce: Once all of the chicken has cooked and is resting, return the pan to low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, then cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
    Simmer for 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Remove from the heat and stir in the hot honey. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Pour the sauce over the chicken on the serving platter, or place the sauce in a small dish so that it can be drizzled over the chicken at the table.

Notes

  • Instead of hot honey, you can use 2 tablespoons of regular honey mixed with an additional 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  • If your chicken is quite thick, it will take longer to cook all the way through. Covering it after a certain amount of time will keep the chicken breasts from becoming dry. Alternatively, pound thicker chicken breasts so that they are less than 1 inch thick, so that they will cook more quickly with less risk of drying out.
  • Traditional methods require cooking the chicken to 165 degrees F for safety, but keeping them on the heat until they reach that temperature will most certainly leave you with very dry chicken. Always remove them from the heat at no more than 155 degrees F. The internal temperature will continue to rise off the heat, leaving you with moist, and perfectly safe, chicken to enjoy.
Keyword chicken, garlic, gluten free, hot honey
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