Super crispy, juicy fried chicken drizzled with sweet, spicy hot honey, sandwiched between a soft brioche bun? This hot honey fried chicken sandwich might just be the ultimate crowd-pleasing comfort food I know you’ll love.
At first glance, pairing honey with fried chicken might seem like a foreign concept. But seriously, adding a little drizzle of spicy sweet hot honey to a piece of gorgeously crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside fried chicken is quite possibly one of the most delicious flavour combinations around. It ticks all my favourite salty, spicy and sweet flavour boxes, in one very convenient package. Sandwich it between a soft brioche bun, with spicy, creamy gochujang aioli, crunchy lettuce and zingy pickles and honestly? I’m not sure there’s a lot better than that.
Hot honey sauce is one of my favourite little kitchen secrets. It’s SO versatile and will elevate any dish. It’s also quick and easy. Have a look at my recipe for hot honey sauce if you’d like more information!
Deep-frying at home is truly a lot less scary than you might think, and I have a couple of key tips and tricks to help you nail it every time. It’s one of those things you become more confident with the more you do it, so I definitely urge you to give it a try.
It might look like a lot of ingredients go into this recipe, but most are things you will already have to hand, and there are some easy swaps you can make if needed.
- Chicken. Skinless, boneless thighs are my favourite cut to use for fried chicken – they’re juicy, super flavoursome and most importantly, they won’t dry out. You can use chicken breast if you like, but you’ll need to cut each breast into smaller pieces. Always use free-range.
- Hot honey sauce. This lovely little sauce is what makes this dish. It’s unbelievably delicious and unbelievably easy. You can buy it, but it’s VERY expensive. It’s so easy to make yourself and so much cheaper. All you need is honey, lemon juice and some chilli flakes. I have a separate post which breaks down the recipe in more detail if you’re interested!
- Marinade. Lots of fried chicken recipes call for a buttermilk marinade, but I find yogurt works just as well and is much easier to find. You’ll also need lemon juice, salt and my absolute favourite secret ingredient – fish sauce. Fish sauce provides a deep umami deliciousness that can’t be achieved with just salt, so I really urge you to give it a go, even if you think you don’t like it.
- Spices. The flour/baking powder/cornflour (cornstarch) coating uses paprika, garlic powder, salt and turmeric for seasoning. Turmeric is primarily there for the lovely colour it helps to provide, so if you don’t have any, don’t worry about it too much.
How to make it
Start by getting your chicken into a quick marinade of yogurt, lemon juice, fish sauce and salt, then pop it in the fridge while you prep your sandwich toppings. You can marinate the chicken overnight if you like, but I’m often not that organised and it’s perfectly fine and still super juicy even just sitting in the marinade while I’m getting everything else ready (less than 30 minutes).
Make your hot honey sauce by combining honey, chilli flakes and lemon juice in a small pot over medium heat, then simmer for a couple of minutes.
Get your flour, cornflour (cornstarch), baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder and turmeric into a large bowl and give it a little mix. Take a piece of chicken out of the marinade and let any excess drip off, then place it into the bowl with the flour mix. Give it a good couple of turns in the flour, scrunching it up with your hands to make sure the flour is getting into all the cracks and crevices. Doing this means you’ll get a lovely crispy crust with lots of knobbly bits!
Heat your oil to 180C/356F – I like to use a thermometer but if you don’t have one, you can do the wooden spoon test. Place the handle of a wooden spoon, or a chopstick, upright in the oil. If bubbles rise up rapidly around it, the oil is ready to use. Carefully lower a piece of chicken into the oil and cook for about 8 minutes, turning the chicken in the oil occasionally, until the coating is looking golden and super crispy. If you’re worried about the cooking of the chicken, you can cut into it to check.
Spoon your gochujang aioli onto the cut sides of your bun, then pile on lettuce to the base. Place a piece of fried chicken on top, then drizzle over the hot honey. Top with the pickles, then place the other side of the bun on top.
Got a question?
There are a couple of tricks that keep fried chicken from being soggy and dry!
– Use chicken thighs. They’re a juicier cut than breast, so are less prone to drying out when cooked.
– Monitor the temperature of your oil. It’s super important to keep your oil at a steady temperature of 180C/356F. This is because if the oil is too hot, the crispy coating will burn before the chicken is cooked through and if it’s too cold, the coating will just absorb too much oil and go soggy.
– Don’t crowd the pot. It’s important to give the chicken space when you’re frying it to allow it to crisp up properly. Adding chicken lowers the temperature of the oil, so if you put too much in, the temperature will lower significantly and by the time you bring it back up to temperature, the soggy damage will already be done.
These are really best right after they’re cooked, but there are options if you’d like to prepare them in advance. Fry the chicken, then store everything separately until you’re ready to assemble. You can either enjoy the chicken cold or reheat it on a wire rack in the oven, preheated to 205C/400F for 10 minutes. You can also reheat it in an air fryer at the same temperature for 5 minutes, giving the basket a little shake half way through.
The best thing about this recipe is you can alter the spice level based on what you like. If you’re not a big fan of spicy food, cut the number of chilli flakes in half. Or, if you love spice, add a little more!
Do you have my free Fakeaway Favourites e-book?
It’s filled with my absolute favourite takeaway dishes you can make at home!
From a quick pad thai and saag paneer, to Korean fried chicken, beef rendang and chicken satay, you’ll love exploring the book.
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If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print