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Crispy Honey Chicken fried on the stove top and then covered in a sweet honey soy sauce dressing. Serve over rice for a better-than-takeout dinner! For more better than take-out dinner favorites try my baked orange chicken or baked sweet & sour chicken.
All I can really say about this crispy honey chicken is that You. Need. To. Make. It! Trust me. I usually don’t waste my time making dishes that have to be pan-fried in oil.
Because let’s be real, it’s a lot of work to stand there, dredge the chicken, fry it up, and then remove it all and then do all that for 3 more batches while the kids are screaming from their hunger pains.
I promise that this one is worth all the “work” of dredging, frying, moving, cooling and repeating. It really is!
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY HONEY CHICKEN
Start by preparing all your ingredients. That way when it comes time to fry the chicken and make the sauce, you’re not spending that time gathering all the stuff and cutting chicken.
- Start by pouring 2″-3″ of vegetable or canola oil into large pan that high sides on it. It takes several minutes for oil to warm up so start this first. Don’t turn the burner on high heat, instead do medium-high heat and let it slowly come to temperature otherwise it will spatter oil all over when you put the chicken in it later.
- Cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into large bite-sized chunks. Place those in a bowl and sprinkle with some salt & pepper if wanted.
- In a bowl, stir together the ingredients for the flour dredge. All-purpose flour, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and coriander.
- In a separate bowl measure out 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk.
- Add all the ingredients (except for the cornstarch/water) for the honey sauce into a saucepan and leave it on a stove top burner (not turned on) so it’s ready to go.
- Two pieces of chicken at a time (one in each hand) and coat each piece in the flour mixture, dip it into the buttermilk, and then back into the flour. Place into the hot oil and repeat about 4-5 more times for the first batch. Each batch should have about 14 pieces in it. Recipe will take about 3-4 batches to finish them all. If you use a large pan then you can obviously fit more than the 14 pieces of chicken. It does not have to be exact, just don’t over crowd the frying pan.
- Using tongs, remove the crispy chicken from the pan and place it on a plate that is lined with paper towel. Let it drain and cool while the next batch is cooking. Put the cooled, crispy chicken into a large bowl so the next batch can go on the paper towels.
- While the chicken is cooking, bring the honey sauce to a boil, once boiling add the cornstarch and water and bring it to another boil. Once boiling, let it cook for about 10 minutes and then reduce the heat and let it simmer. If it’s getting too thick add 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin it out.
- When all the chicken is done cooling, pour the sauce over the chicken and stir very gently to combine. Serve with cooked white rice and green onions.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THE OIL IS READY?
An easy way to tell if the oil is ready to fry the chicken in, simply take a wooden spoon and dip the end into the oil. If there are bubbles that vigourously start bubbling around the wooden spoon end, then it’s ready.
If the oil just kind of sits there and lightly bubbles up then it probably needs a few more minutes.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THE CHICKEN IS DONE FRYING?
Each batch should only take about 5-7 minutes and the crust should be a pale, golden brown color. Really, the only right way to know if the chicken is done is by using a thermometer and making sure the chicken is up to temperature, 165 degrees.
MY TIPS FOR THIS HONEY CHICKEN RECIPE
- Prepare to get messy when making this! You will get a thick coating of the flour/buttermilk mixture on your fingers. Just wash it off between each batch.
- Make sure the oil is not turned to very highest heat setting otherwise it will splatter at you when you put the chicken in. If it does splatter, simply turn the heat down before you add more chicken.
- Turn on the exhaust fan above the stove when making this to keep the “fried food” smell at bay.
- Start the sauce before you start cooking your first batch of chicken. The sauce is just fine simmering as the chicken finishes cooking. If it starts to get too thick, just add 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin it out.
Crispy Honey Chicken
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 large chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs, cut into large bite-sized pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- canola oil or vegetable oil (about 2"-3" of oil in a skillet pan with sides)
- Pour about 2"-3" of canola or vegetable oil into a large frying pan with high sides. Turn the burner to medium-high heat and let the oil get hot while you prepare the sauce and other ingredients.
Make the Honey Sauce
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the honey, soy sauce, water, sesame oil, red pepper flakes (if using) and vinegar. Whisk together and bring to a boil.
- In a separate bowl stir together the cornstarch and water. Set aside. Once the sauce is boiling slowly add the cornstarch mixture, while whisking. Bring back to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- ** If the sauce seems to be getting too thick (while you're frying the chicken) then add water, a tablespoon at a time, to thin it out. You don't want the sauce too thin as it is supposed to be a thicker sauce.** The sauce is just fine simmering on the stove top while you're frying the chicken batches.
- Add flour, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and onion powder into a bowl. Stir with a fork to combine. In a sperate bowl, add the buttermilk.
- Two pieces of chicken at a time, once in each hand (fingers), dip the chicken in the flour, then into the buttermilk and then back into the flour. Place the coated chicken in the hot oil and cook for about 5-7 minutes, turning the chicken as needed. The chicken needs to be cooked through and up to temperature, 165 degrees.
- Place the cooked chicken on a paper towel lined plate.
- Continue cooking the remaining chicken in batches until done.
- Combine all the cooked chicken into a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot honey sauce over and gently mix together until all chicken pieces are coated.
- Serve with cooked rice and sliced green onions.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Oh yes, I must give this a try!
I want to try this recipe with chicken wing portions. Do you think this recipe will still work?
It should work just fine. I’m assuming the chicken wings would be raw (which is what you want). The cook time may be slightly different (?) so just watch that when they’re in the pan.
Could this be baked and not fried?
I have never tried baking this recipe. I would say no because the coating on this chicken is meant to get really crispy with the frying. I don’t think it would do the same thing if you baked it. If you prefer the baked chicken try these recipes 🙂
Doesn’t hurt to try I’ve baked chicken in cornstarch and it came out crispy. I have not tried baking it dipped in buttermilk though so I’m not sure how it’ll come out. But perhaps you can skip the buttermilk part.
I would like to know what kind of honey you used?
The meal was really good, the directions could be a bit more in order and explanatory. A little mixed up overall, I would definitely make this again! It was delicious.
You’re right! I feel silly now because I just went and read the directions and it is super confusing, lol! I have been copying and pasting the recipes and moving them into a new recipe format so it looks like it got mixed up when I did that. Thanks so much for pointing that out. I probably would have never caught it myself. So glad you loved this and thanks for coming back to leave your comment.
So I just spent the last 15 minutes rewriting the directions and I have to say that I am super impressed you were able to make it even with those really bad directions. It is all fixed now and I am completely embarrassed at how awful it was!! Thanks again for letting me know 🙂 I think I will make this tonight just so I can make sure the directions are good.
How many people does this feed….we have 5 so wondering if I have to double?
Hi Pat. I apologize for my late reply. I would say that this safely feeds 4 healthy adult-sized portions. There was just enough for me, my husband, and our 3 young kids (7,5,2). We had no leftovers. If you are feeding more than that then I would for sure double it. I have never tried doubling the sauce but I am sure that it would double just fine. I hope that helps. I will go add the serving size to the recipe 🙂
Just wondering if there’s anything I can substitute the buttermilk for I don’t have any and I don’t have any vinegar to make my own. Would regular milk work?
You could try regular milk but I’ve never done that so I can’t say for sure how or if it would change the recipe. So sorry! If you do use milk I would try and use a higher fat content.
Looks so delicious! Can I use an Air fryer to do this awesome crispychicken?
I don’t think the air fryer would work. The coating on the chicken would be way too messy for the air fryer.
You can use lemon juice instead of vinegar to make buttermilk.
How many servings does this meal make???
Hey Kelly. I’m sorry for my delayed reply. I would say that this safely feeds 4 adult-sized portions. There was just enough for me, my husband, and our 3 young kids (7,5,2). We had no leftovers. If you are feeding more than that then I would for sure double it. I have never tried doubling the sauce but I am sure that it would double just fine. I hope that helps. I will go add the serving size to the recipe 🙂
Can you please sign me up for your newsletters.
Yes I can do that when I’m ready to launch my weekly newsletter. Right now I don’t have a newsletter but it’s something I am working on doing for the blog. Thanks for wanting to join and follow along 🙂
Tried it and it turned out GREAT the family loves it.
Awesome. So glad you guys liked it! 🙂
Skinless or skin on chicken?
I use skinless. I will note that in the recipe. I never cook with skin on chicken so I am not sure. I would stick with the skinless cause I know this recipe works with that. But let me know if you try skin on and how it goes. Thanks for visiting 🙂
Could you cook this in a deep fryer rather than shallow fry? Just wondering if you could cook a larger batch by doing this?
Yes, that would be SO much easier 🙂 I just don’t have one and I’m not sure how many people do so I just include the pan fry directions. I will make a note of it in the recipe. But, yes a deep fryer would be a lot easier and you could do a big batch at once. Hope you enjoy this.
Could you do this with shrimp?
Hey Lori! I’ve never done that but I think it would work. It definitely will not have to cook as long as shrimp cooks much faster. So just watch it closely. Let me know how it goes 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting!
I’ve just made this and it turned out great however the sauce was a bit strong. Maybe I added too much honey? Or used the wrong type? Do you have any suggestions on the best honey to use?
Do you mean a bit strong with the honey flavor? It is supposed to be a honey sauce so the flavor will be prevalent in the sauce. If you don’t care for the strong honey flavor then I would just reduce the amount of honey used. I just use the cheap store-brand honey at the store. Nothing fancy 🙂 On it’s own the sauce is strong and sweet but when you eat it over rice I think it helps mute the sauce. Hopefully that helps a little!
Can I use the Tyson’s crispy chicken strips instead of frying my own?
I assume it would work fine but I have never done that so I can’t say for sure.
I made this dish for the first time the other night and it was absolutely amazing. My family loved it. They said it was better than we eat at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Tasted like the General Tso’s. Will definately make again and again and again.
So good to hear! Comments like this make my day 🙂 Even though it requires a bit more “work” I still make this often too. Thanks for coming back to let me know.
Hi, is buttermilk in powder or liquid form? I’m a newbie in terms of cooking so I’m not sure if i should be using liquid form or powder form.
Liquid buttermilk. Normally in a recipe it will say powdered buttermilk if that’s what you should use. If it just says ‘buttermilk’ then it will be the liquid stuff 🙂 Hope that helps.
I cooked this dish for my family tonight. Although I am not fond of sweet savoury dishes, the sauce was divine. Although I must say I didn’t pour it all over the chicken, I just drizzled it over the chicken pieces on each dinner plate. I also deep fried the chicken,, and you are right, the crust is so crisp and crunchy, it was divine too. Fantastic recipe. Cheers to you, and thank you for sharing such a wonderful dish.
Happy to hear this was a hit! I like your idea of just drizzling the sauce over. That would make leftovers even better because they would not be sitting in the sauce forever.
I’ve made this once before and I loved it. I was new to frying so some of the chicken cooked a little long and I also didn’t notice the cumin container had no guard so I accidentally put to much in but all in all I loved it 🙂
I was wondering tho if it’s necessary to use buttermilk or if I could use regular milk. I’m not sure what the difference is between the too and I don’t know what else to use buttermilk for so I don’t end up wasting it.
Hi! I think using milk would be fine. I’ve never done it so I can’t say for sure. If you don’t have anything else to use the buttermilk for you can always make your own buttermilk for this recipe. Pour 1 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar into a glass measuring cup and then pour milk until you get to the 1 1/2 cup line. Let that sit for 5 minutes and then use in the recipe.
Ahhh… saw this on Pinterest, looks really good!!
Thank you so much! 🙂 Thanks for visiting from Pinterest!
I made it tonight it was so good. I wanted to spice it up a little so I added about a tablespoon of chili garlic paste. It was both sweet and a bit spicy. Everyone loved it.
I love that spicy addition! I may have to try that. That sweet spicy combo sounds amazing for this chicken!
Delicious .. the flour mixture needs a bit of salt added to bring out all the flavours. I will be making this again and again .. 🙂
So glad you like it. I will make note of the salt in the recipe. I only add it to the chicken itself before dredging, but you can always add more to the flour mixture too. Thank you for coming back to leave your comment 🙂
Just tried this recipe, and wow! Flavor is perfect and the chicken has a great crisp. Could even have the chicken without the sauce, it’s amazing even on it’s own, but the sauce had a perfect balance and flavor. The only thing I’ll change next time is doubling the sauce because I served it over rice, and felt there wasn’t quite enough.
My husband likes more sauce too so sometimes I’ll double it. It works perfectly. I actually prefer it with less sauce cause I like the dry rice with the saucy chicken. But yes, for sure double ?
Hey, I was just wondering if you could do the chicken in a deep fat fryer. I know that it’ll be more unhealthy but would it easy to do? I’ve got all the ingredients and I can’t wait to make this recipe tomorrow!
Oh for sure! It would be easier than doing several batches on the stovetop. Enjoy! ☺️
Just tried this recipe today and i gotta say i am officially in LOVE…definitely will be adding this to my regular menu…its quick and easy.
Oh. My. God. This is incredible! Just like the restaurants if not better. I add halved walnuts to oil for about 30 seconds after removing chicken. Honey Walnut Chicken, yum yum!
So good to hear! This is definitely one dish that we all crave too. Everyone loves it 🙂
Would this work with pork??????
I have no idea. I only use chicken for this recipe. I would guess that it would not work cause the cook time is different, but maybe it would. If you really want to use pork then you’ll just have to experiment and test it out 🙂 Good luck.
Have you frozen this after making it? Sounds so yummy An did looking for short cuts for the school year and getting home late after a full day of teaching. Thank you
I don’t usually freeze food so I can’t say for sure. I would guess that no it does not freeze well because of that crispy coating. I think it would just turn soft and it would defeat the whole idea of crispy baked chicken. It’s always worth a try though to see.
Hi, your recipe sounds really great can’t wait to try it! Can I leave out the onion powder? I can’t find in the supermarkets here. Or an alternative?
I would just leave it out then.
Made this in a large batch for the whole family. Left the doubled sauce recipe on the side. Only thing i changed was i used half flour and half corn starch. Thats how i make my chicken nuggets. Gets the extra crispy with a slightly different taste. Thanks!
It was way too easy to burn the sauce! I ended up just using them as chicken nuggets and made a spicy dipping sauce for it. 🙂 It was a fun recipe to make and pretty delicious, but I would up the spices and add salt and pepper. (May not need it if you’re coating it in sauce instead of dipping).
Hello looks amazing and delicious!!!! Gonna try it ! Just was wondering can I leave out the cumin? Don’t really like it , but if it make a difference then I’ll leave it thank you !
I think leaving out the cumin would be fine. I’ve never done it so I can’t say for sure but I don’t think the cumin makes this dish.
We LOVE this chicken. This was the first time we’ve used sesame oil in a recipe. The sauce had a slight “peanut” taste to it, and we’re thinking it may have been the sesame oil. Do you think it’d be okay to leave it out?
Oh for sure, just leave it out or add less. Sesame oil can be a strong flavor so just adjust accordingly.
What measurements should I take if I want to make this for one person?
Absolutely delicious..can’t say more than that!! So yummy!!
everyone loved it, so easy to make!!! This will be a regular in our home
Hi there due to health issues I tend to not do to much frying. Can the chicken be prepared in an air and have the same crispy results and how long should I fry each batch? This sounds so delicious I can’t wait to try it.
I have never cooked this chicken in the air fryer so I can’t say for sure. You could always try it and experiment but my best guess is that it probably won’t work cause the coating on the chicken is too wet/soggy for the air fryer. But who knows?! Maybe I am wrong 🙂
Loved the chicken so much. It was so tender and juicy. I didnt like the taste of the honey sauce. So i used a sweet and sour sauce. Will definately make this again
I had high hopes for this recipe. I followed it exactly but was disappointed with the flavor. It was kind of okay but not something I would repeat.
Simply awesome! Followed the recipe and everything went perfectly. Beautifully thick and not too sticky or sweet sauce. We be making this again and again, hubby loved it and said it was restaurant quality. Very happy!
Omg this was AMAZING!! Made it for dinner tonight 🙂
This recipe took me and 1 1/2 to cook and prep all together was very tired. My daughter the only one liked it. After all that time was very disappointed. Definitely use less honey that what everyone complaint was in the house was to sweet. Also, if your looking for price point was expensive to make.
Sorry to hear not everyone liked this chicken! As far as the prep time goes, yes I know it takes awhile, I even put a little disclaimer in the post. I love easy recipes as much as anyone 🙂 Thanks for leaving your review.
We wanted something different that we didn’t have to go out to get. Tried this. Very tasty & I got 2 thumbs up! We will definitely be having it again.
I have made this recipe many times. It comes out perfect every time, although I adjust the ratio of honey to soy a bit each time. My one hack for EXTRA crispy chicken is to replace 1/2 cup of the flour for 1/2 cup of cornstarch. We never have leftovers. I do make a huge mess, but soooo worth it!!
I am a very picky eater and usually prefer soft meat/chicken, but this was excellent. Recipe is simple and easy to follow. I doubled the sauce amount. I think the chicken breast I was using was much bigger than the one used in the recipe.
This was so good and relatively easy. I used my air fryer and the chicken turned out awesome. Made jasmine rice and extra sauce. The family devoured it.
Good to know it works in the air fryer. I don’t have much experience with an air fryer but I know others have asked about using it in this recipe. Thanks for your comment.
This was absolutely lovely!! I was wondering, does the nutrition table apply per serving or for the whole batch? Thank you so much for this recipe!
It is per serving
Think the name should be Crispy honey soy Chicken unless the recipe is wrong or I did something wrong but it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting but I loved it nonetheless
Follow step by step. I was successful
I love hearing this! Thank you so much for your comment and 5 star review. I really appreciate it 🙂
I just made the crisp honey chicken and serve it with vegetable fried rice and it was just delicious. Thanks for the delicious recipe !
Tastes wonderful but I found a few issues with it . first I did things in the order instructed and 3 things happened I burnt the sauce, I burnt a batch of the chicken and to fix those 2 issues I had to bring a second person so they could work on the chicken while I worked on the sauce. Secondly to bread my 3 medium chicken breasts I made one batch of the flower mixture and one of the butter milk well that got me about half way through my chicken so I had to make another batch of flour. In the end it came out very very good and I will make this again.
I made this tonight and it was delicious! A definite add to my meal plan when I cook Chinese food.
I didn’t have buttermilk so I used milk and lemon juice, seemed to work good enough!
I also didn’t have coriander.. I will have to buy some to use next time. It was still obviously really good haha.
The only thing is my honey sauce was extremely dark, not light in colour like the picture but I don’t know what I could have done.. I think it might have been the soy sauce?
Mine sauce was dark too.. I think its cause she used a lighter soy sauce
It’s my first time made these….it was soon delicious!!!
I made this recipe tonight and followed the directions exactly—except that I added sesame seeds. I used kitchen shears to cut three boneless chicken breasts into bite size pieces and fried them in two batches in an electric fry pan. There is a nationwide shortage of cornstarch, so I used 1.5 the measurement in flour. When the chicken was done frying, I put it uncovered in a 350 oven to keep warm while I made the sauce. The sauce tastes delicious. In terms of volume, next time I make this, I will triple the sauce. The longer it simmered, the more it reduced and became almost jam-like. After dinner when I cleaned up the dishes, the sauce (which had been turned off) was almost like brittle. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m glad to hear you liked the sauce.
Would this work in an airfryer?
I have never tried it in the air fryer but I would just follow the instructions for another air fryer fried chicken recipe. What I found was the temp should be set somewhere between 375-390 and it will need to cook anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes. Make sure to spray the inside of your air fryer and maybe line the bottom with foil because the batter will drip in the beginning.