Hot Honey Chicken

5 from 4 votes
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This easy hot honey chicken recipe might just steal your heart. Tender chicken is coated in a tangy, spicy buttermilk mixture, breaded with crunchy seasoned cornflakes, baked to crispy perfection, and finished with spicy honey.

Hot honey chicken thighs arranged on a cutting board.


 

Juicy, flavorful chicken coated in a nostalgic breading of perfectly seasoned, wonderfully crunchy cornflakes? And then drizzled with sweet, gooey honey infused with just the right amount of heat? Sign me up! This hot honey chicken is one of those recipes your taste buds will be beckoning you to come back to over and over again.

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Recipe

  • Full of flavor. From the subtle tang of the buttermilk to the fiery kick of the hot honey, each bite of this tender, crunchy chicken is loaded with flavorful pizazz.
  • Texture. I am infatuated with the crunch that the cornflakes bring to the table here. They make for the perfect breading. Plus, the way the sticky sauce clings to every flake is incredibly good!
  • Quick and easy. While it might seem like a grand production to make breaded chicken with a delicious sauce, it really isn’t. Make this impressive, delicious chicken entree in just 40 minutes.
Image of all the ingredients for Hot Honey Chicken.

Ingredients For Hot Honey Chicken

  • Cornflakes: You can use Panko bread crumbs instead.
  • Seasonings: I used smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Feel free to play with other additions as well.
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk: Resist the temptation to use a different dairy product here. The thick texture of the buttermilk helps the breading stick to the chicken. It also lends a lovely tangy flavor.
  • Hot sauce: I like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, but feel free to use your favorite.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: You can use chicken breast tenders instead; just note that they will take a bit less time in the oven.
  • Honey: I suggest choosing a relatively neutral honey that isn’t overly floral.
  • Chili flakes
  • Apple cider vinegar: White wine vinegar will work in a pinch.

How to Make Hot Honey Chicken

Allow me to give you a basic rundown of how to make this spicy, crunchy hot honey chicken. For more thorough instructions, scroll on down to the recipe card below.

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Crush. Seal the cornflakes in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • Prepare to bread the chicken. In one bowl, mix together the crushed cornflakes and seasoning. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce.
  • Bread the chicken. Add the chicken to the bowl with the egg mixture and toss to coat. Then dredge each piece in the cornflake mixture and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake. Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Make the hot honey. Whisk together the honey and chili flakes in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a light boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the hot sauce and apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Serve. Drizzle the hot honey over the chicken and serve.
Hot honey chicken on a plate with pickle slices.

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Press the breading into the chicken. You want each piece of chicken to be thoroughly coated in the cornflake mixture. It can be helpful to lightly press the cornflakes into each chicken piece.
  • Use a meat thermometer. Because the size and thickness of chicken thighs can vary, it is best to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Adjust the spice levels. You can easily reduce or increase the amount of hot sauce and/or chili flakes to honor your personal spice tolerance. I’ve even made this recipe with no hot sauce at all.
  • Try a different sauce. If hot honey isn’t quite your thing, feel free to omit the sauce and dip slices of the cornflake chicken in ranch, BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, and/or another condiment of your choosing.
  • Try a different breading. Add about 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese to the cornflake mixture for a cheesy twist on the breading. You could also replace the cornflakes with a couple of cups of panko breadcrumbs or unseasoned breadcrumbs for a different texture.
Hot honey chicken in a sandwich with pickle slices.

Serving Suggestions

Hot honey chicken is a classic Southern entree that could be served with a slice of Cornbread Casserole and a serving of Garlic Butter Collard Greens. It also goes well with these Crispy Smashed Potatoes and Creamy Green Beans. We also like to slice a Butter Swim Biscuit in half and load it up with a piece of hot honey chicken and some pickle slices to make a crunchy chicken sandwich.

Drizzling the top of a chicken with hot honey.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • To store. Allow the chicken pieces to cool completely before sealing them in an airtight container. Store the hot honey in a separate airtight container, if possible. You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. The hot honey will keep at room temperature for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat. Allow the chicken to thaw (if applicable) before arranging the pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350°F and bake covered for 10 minutes and then uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

If you’re aiming to build your winner winner chicken dinner recipe repertoire, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few of my other favorite chicken recipes for you to try.

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5 from 4 votes

Hot Honey Chicken

Hot Honey Chicken is made with chicken thighs coated in a spicy buttermilk mixture, breaded in crunchy seasoned corn flakes, baked, and drizzled with spicy honey.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

For the chicken

For the hot honey

  • ¾ cup honey
  • tablespoons chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
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Instructions 

For the chicken

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Crush. Seal the cornflakes in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. You can crush them almost to a powder or, if you’d like larger flakes, crush less.
  • Prepare to bread the chicken. In one bowl, mix together the crushed cornflakes, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce.
  • Bread the chicken. Add the chicken to the bowl with the egg mixture and toss to coat. One at a time, dredge the chicken thighs in the cornflake mixture, making sure to coat each piece thoroughly. Arrange the breaded chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake. Bake for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the largest piece of chicken reads 165°F. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes.

For the hot honey

  • Heat. In a small saucepan, whisk together the honey and chili flakes and bring it just to a boil over medium heat.
  • Infuse. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the hot sauce and apple cider vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve. Drizzle the hot honey over the chicken and serve.

Notes

  • Coat the Chicken: Ensure each chicken piece is well-coated with the cornflake mixture, pressing the flakes onto the chicken to adhere properly.
  • Use a Thermometer: Given the varying sizes and thickness of chicken thighs, use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Customize: Change the quantities of the hot sauce and chili flakes to your spice preference.
  • Experiment with Sauces: If hot honey doesn’t suit your taste, try dipping the coated chicken in alternatives like ranch, BBQ, buffalo sauce, or another favorite condiment.
  • Variations in Breading: For a different take, mix in about 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese with the cornflake mixture, or replace the cornflakes with panko or unseasoned breadcrumbs for a unique texture

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken thigh | Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 1295mg | Potassium: 779mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 1780IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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1 Comment

  1. Corlen Michniuk says:

    Delicious!