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This honey chicken recipe has irresistibly crispy pan-fried chicken that’s coated in a sweet and savory glaze. It’s ready in just 30 minutes and is healthier than takeout!
Why you’ll love it
This is my absolute favorite Chinese food inspired dish. The honey chicken sauce is sooo good. One reader describes it as “Ahhhhhmazing!!”. Even if you’ve never made Asian-style chicken at home, it’s really easy to make this recipe as long as you follow the tips below!
I love the magic that happens when pan-frying the chicken pieces to become delicately crispy and golden. Since we’re not deep frying, this quick Asian-inspired honey chicken recipe is way lower calorie than takeout without the heaviness or sacrificing any of the taste in every delicious bite.
What you’ll need
- Chicken – we’re dicing up two large chicken breasts
- Cornstarch – it’s what makes the crust for the crispy chicken
- Honey – the signature sweet aspect
- Chicken broth – for more depth of flavor and to make the base of the sauce
- Soy sauce – that robust savory, umami flavor
- Apple cider vinegar – a touch of acidity for balancing the sweetness
- Garlic powder – a little garlic flavor pairs so well with honey
- Olive oil – for pan frying
- Scallions – an optional pop of freshness to garnish
- I highly recommend having the sauce ready to go in a bowl before you begin cooking since the process goes very quickly once started.
- This recipe has the best results when the skillet is nice and hot. The chicken will get properly seared and have less of a chance of sticking to the pan.
- If the chicken is sticking to the pan, that’s fine; you just have to give it a little more time to release naturally. There’s no need to force it.
- It doesn’t make tons of sauce, so feel free to double the sauce ingredients if you prefer more.
How to make honey chicken
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, and coat in cornstarch. Toss in the prep bowl so they’re coated evenly. In another bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Working in two batches, cook the chicken in a very hot skillet until browned, using tongs to flip. Transfer to a plate once seared. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the sauce, scrape up the browned bits, and return the chicken. Cook until thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
Tools for this recipe
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Substitutions and variations
- If you want to make this more of a honey garlic chicken recipe, add more garlic powder or a few fresh cloves of minced garlic into the sauce.
- For some heat, add red pepper flakes to the sauce or a drizzle of sriracha.
- You can use rice vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
- If using chicken thighs instead, note that they may need to be cooked for longer. I’d use four large ones.
What to serve with sticky honey chicken
- Rice is my go-to. I generally prefer a bed of jasmine rice, but any variety will work or even fried rice.
- Noodles would work too. I like rice noodles or Udon noodles here.
- Steamed veggies would be good also, and feel free to garnish this dish with sesame seeds or sliced red chilies for added visual appeal and a touch of heat.
Leftovers and storage
- Store leftover honey chicken in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep in mind that over time the chicken will lose some of its crispiness.
- Reheat over a low heat in a saucepan slowly until warmed through.
- I don’t recommend freezing this one.
If you made this easy honey chicken recipe, please leave a star rating and review below! Ask me any questions the blog post didn’t answer. Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.
Honey Chicken (Asian Style)
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 2.5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil + more as needed
- Chopped scallions optional, to taste
- I suggest having all ingredients ready to go before starting the actual cooking part as the recipe does go quickly. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add the chicken to a bowl and sprinkle the cornstarch over it. Toss until coated.
- To another bowl, add the honey, chicken broth, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and garlic powder. Whisk together.
- Add the oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the pan get nice and hot. Cook the chicken until browned on two sides (about 3-5 min/side). Do two batches so as not to crowd the pan. You may need to add another tablespoon or so of oil when cooking the second batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate once it's seared. Important note: If the chicken is sticking, wait a little longer and it will release when it's nicely browned. I use tongs to make turning the chicken quick and easy.
- Take the skillet off the heat and pour in the sauce from the bowl. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back in. Reduce the heat to medium and return the pan to the burner.
- Let it cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened up a bit and the chicken is fully cooked through (I spoon some sauce over top). Serve immediately with chopped scallions if desired.
- Please read the blog post for more troubleshooting tips!
- This recipe was inspired by my friend Nicky’s Honey Garlic Chicken.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.
This recipe was originally published on January 22, 2020. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!