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Hot Honey Fried Chicken Sandwiches

Feb 16, 2023 | 0 comments

Super crispy, juicy fried chicken drizzled with sweet, spicy hot honey, sandwiched between a soft brioche bun? These hot honey fried chicken sandwiches might just be the ultimate crowd-pleasing comfort food I know you’ll love.

Hot honey fried chicken sanwich on a dark wooden board with small bowl of gochujang aioli in the background.

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.

Serve with crispy homemade oven chips or loaded potato wedges for a very delicious fakeaway night in! Or, swap the brioche buns for fluffy bao buns for a different twist!

Ingredients

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.

Ingredient for hot honey fried chicken sandwich laid out on a white marble background and labelled.
  • 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 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?

What’s the secret to good fried chicken?

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.

Can I make these ahead of time?

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.

Is the hot honey spicy?

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?

Fakeaway Favourites book cover superimposed over a bowl of colourful salad.

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.

Like this recipe? Here are more you might enjoy

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

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Hot honey fried chicken sandwich on a dark wooden board with small bowl of gochujang aioli in the background.

Hot Honey Fried Chicken Sandwich


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  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x

Description

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.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the fried chicken –

  • 1lb/500g chicken thighs, skinless, boneless and free-range
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1litre vegetable oil, for frying

For the sandwich –

  • 4 brioche buns
  • 4 tablespoons gochujang aioli (or another spicy mayo)
  • 4 tablespoons hot honey sauce
  • 1 Romaine lettuce, shredded (or use gem, baby gem, iceberg or another crunchy lettuce)
  • 12 sliced pickles

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken. Add 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of fish sauce and 1 teaspoon of salt to a large bowl, or a container you have a lid for. Mix with a fork to combine, then add the chicken thighs. Toss the chicken through the yogurt marinade, then cover and pop it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes, if not overnight.
  2. Prepare the sandwich toppings. If you’re making the hot honey sauce, add 1/2 cup honey, 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a small pot over medium heat. Stir, and bring to a simmer. The honey will bubble up and loosen in consistency as you do this. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool, Slice your buns, then get your shredded lettuce, pickles and aioli ready to assemble the sandwiches.
  3. Coat the chicken. Add 1 1/2 cups of plain flour, 1/2 cup cornflour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric to a large bowl and give it a good mix to combine. Get a plate or oven tray ready to place the dredged chicken on. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Pick up a piece of chicken and let any excess yogurt marinade drip off, then place it in the bowl with the flour mix. Flip the chicken over a couple of times in the flour, pressing it into the mixture and scrunching the chicken up with your hands to create lots of craggy bits of flour (this will give you lots of texture and lovely crispy edges). Transfer to the prepared plate or tray and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  4. Heat the oil. Prepare a wire rack set over an oven tray lined with a paper towelPour your oil into a large, deep-sided saucepan. You want the oil to come about halfway up the sides. Set the pan over high heat, and if you have a thermometer (my recommended method), heat the oil to 180C/356F. If you don’t have a thermometer, place a chopstick upright in the oil. If you see lots of bubbles appearing around it, the oil is ready to use.
  5. Fry the chicken. Once the oil hits the right temperature, carefully lower a piece of coated chicken into the oil. Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to do this in batches. Use a fish slice to move the chicken around and rotate it in the oil occasionally as it cooks. Deep-fry for about 6 minutes, until the coating is looking super golden and crispy. Carefully transfer it to your wire rack and sprinkle each piece with 1/4 teaspoon salt. If you’re worried, you can always cut into the middle of the chicken to check it’s cooked through (no one will notice once you’ve put it in the sandwiches! PRO TIP: The key to super crispy fried chicken is both monitoring the temperature and not crowding the pot. Try to keep the oil temperature at 180C/356F and remember that when you add the chicken, the temperature will drop. You may need to turn the heat on and off to do this. If the oil is too cold, the coating will just go soggy, and if it’s too hot, the coating will burn before the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Assemble the sandwiches. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of gochujang aioli onto both cut sides of each bun. Pile on the shredded lettuce, then top with a piece of fried chicken. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of hot honey over each piece of chicken, then top with the pickles. Place the bun on top to finish the sandwich, and enjoy!

Notes

INGREDIENT NOTES: Chicken thighs are ideal for frying because they’re super juicy. You can use chicken breast if you prefer, but you’ll need to slice them into slightly smaller pieces (about 3 pieces) before marinating. Make sure you use an oil with a high smoke point, rather than something like olive oil when you’re deep-frying. I like to use sunflower/rapeseed oil but any similar vegetable oil will do.

SUBSTITUTIONS: Use regular mayo or aioli in place of the gochujang aioli if you like, and use any soft bun if you can’t find brioche. You can use more lemon juice if you don’t have fish sauce, and make it gluten-free by using gluten-free flour and a gluten-free bun.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: These sandwiches are best served right away – all that sauciness means they don’t store well when they’re assembled. However, if you want to, you can prep everything in advance and then reheat the chicken and assemble it when you’re ready. The chicken will keep well for 3 days in the fridge. The best way to reheat fried chicken so it stays crispy is either in the oven or in the air fryer. Place the chicken on a wire rack set over an oven tray, then place it in the oven preheated to 205C/400F fan. Cook for 10 minutes, until hot and crispy.  Or, place the chicken in your air fryer at  400F/205C for 5 minutes, giving the basket a little shake halfway through. You can also enjoy fried chicken cold, that’s equally delicious!

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: deep frying
  • Cuisine: american

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich
  • Calories: 893
  • Sugar: 28.8g
  • Sodium: 2351.3mg
  • Fat: 64.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 47g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 67.8g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Protein: 17.1g
  • Cholesterol: 44.9mg

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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