Contributor Kelly Djalali shows us how to make hot honey chicken.
Hello, friends. Welcome to Djalali Cooks. Today we have a Hot Honey Chicken that gets me a little closer in my quest for recreating my favorite Honey Chili Chicken; a dish that I have been missing for several years. Chef Gia’s was a Hunan restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. I frequented Gia’s for 17 years. Every time I moved from The City, I missed Gia’s most of all. And every time I moved back to SF, it was the first place I went. This dish is similar only in flavor, but for me it’s a step closer to my beloved Honey Chili Chicken. So let’s make Hot Honey Chicken!
The original recipe, by Cooks Country does not call for dredging the chicken pieces in flour, but I am doing that today because I am using skinless, boneless thighs and I want the outside of the chicken to get a golden crust. Opt out of this step if you like, but I think it gives the chicken a nice crunch that holds up to the sauce nicely. You can use any combination of bone-in chicken pieces you like best; skin-on, or skinless. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, we will finish the chicken in the sauce, in the oven.
Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with a mix of cumin and salt. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour and shake off the excess, set the dredged pieces on a wire rack placed in a sheet pan. Set the finished pieces aside and we can make the hot honey.
Honey, Franks Red Hot Sauce and minced garlic are the only three ingredients for the hot honey. The Franks Red Hot is not super spicy and the vinegar in the sauce is a really nice compliment to the honey, a very well-balanced hot honey sauce. Mix these three ingredients to together very well, to fully emulsify the honey.
An Adjustable Measuring Cup is such a handy tool for measuring sticky ingredients like honey. It’s also great for ingredients like mayonnaise and other sauces that are hard to scrape out of a traditional measuring cup. It features plunger-style bottom piece that you use to push the ingredient out; with a silicone coated base to cleanly sweep all of the measured ingredients from the sides of the cylinder.
In a 12-inch, oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of grapeseed or vegetable oil over medium-high heat until the oil just begins to smoke. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and brown both sides. I had to work in two batches to get all 8 thighs browned initially. Once all your chicken is browned, transfer the chicken to a plate momentarily and drain off the fat in the pan. Then, return the chicken to the empty skillet.
Pour the hot honey sauce evenly over the chicken pieces and place in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until the thighs register an internal temperature of 175 degrees. If you’re cooking breasts, those are ready when the internal temperature reads 160 degrees.
When the chicken is cooked to temp, remove from the oven and let the chicken rest in the skillet for about 10 minutes. Transfer pieces to a platter and return the skillet to the stovetop. Over medium-high heat, bring the pan juices up to a boil and let thicken slightly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter and lime juice. Whisk until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
Spoon sauce evenly over the chicken pieces.
Top with sliced scallions.
This dish is so delicious! It’s spicy and sweet; the chicken has a nice crispy exterior and the interior is moist and juicy. The fresh scallions give a little crunch and pop of fresh onion flavor.
As I mentioned at the top, flavor-wise, this dish comes very close to the Honey Chili Chicken in my memory. Gia’s Honey Chili Chicken is fried in small pieces – Gia’s is much spicier, but all the right notes are here. This is a step closer for me, as I try to reconstruct Gia’s dish from memory; I will get there eventually, and when I do, I will be so excited to share the recipe here, with you!
Recently, I did another dish that reminded me, once again, of the power of certain foods and recipes to transport us to times past: Not So Sloppy Joe’s, check out that recipe if you’d like a delicious trip down memory lane!
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Definitely make this recipe for Hot Honey Chicken, it’s outstanding – a sure winner! Pin it on Pinterest, because this recipe is one you will want to repeat. Take care and be well, xo Kelly
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We run two posts on Saturday: Kelly’s Kitchen and Marlene’s tips for home design. This week Marlene shows us how to add April flowers and scents to your homes.
is our 40s+ fashion & food contributor. She posts a Daily Look on Tuesdays, writes about Fashion on Thursdays, joins Beth for Fridays with Oscar and shares a new recipe Sunday evenings.
She’s 47, 5’0, and a petite 0/XS.
Kelly also has a food blog called Djalali Cooks, which you can find by clicking the world icon below.