Hot Honey Chicken

Hello, friends. Welcome to Djalali Cooks. Today we have a Hot Honey Chicken that gets me a little closer in my quest for recreating my favorite Honey Chili Chicken; a dish that I have been missing for several years. Chef Gia’s was a Hunan restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. I frequented Gia’s for 17 years. Every time I moved from The City, I missed Gia’s most of all. And every time I moved back to SF, it was the first place I went. This dish is similar only in flavor, but for me it’s a step closer to my beloved Honey Chili Chicken. So let’s make Hot Honey Chicken!

Hot Honey Chicken

The original recipe, by Cooks Country does not call for dredging the chicken pieces in flour, but I am doing that today because I am using skinless, boneless thighs and I want the outside of the chicken to get a golden crust. Opt out of this step if you like, but I think it gives the chicken a nice crunch that holds up to the sauce nicely. You can use any combination of bone-in chicken pieces you like best; skin-on, or skinless. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, we will finish the chicken in the sauce, in the oven.

Chicken prep

Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with a mix of cumin and salt. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour and shake off the excess, set the dredged pieces on a wire rack placed in a sheet pan. Set the finished pieces aside and we can make the hot honey.

Hot Honey

Honey, Franks Red Hot Sauce and minced garlic are the only three ingredients for the hot honey. The Franks Red Hot is not super spicy and the vinegar in the sauce is a really nice compliment to the honey, a very well-balanced hot honey sauce. Mix these three ingredients to together very well, to fully emulsify the honey.

Pro Tip

An Adjustable Measuring Cup is such a handy tool for measuring sticky ingredients like honey. It’s also great for ingredients like mayonnaise and other sauces that are hard to scrape out of a traditional measuring cup. It features plunger-style bottom piece that you use to push the ingredient out; with a silicone coated base to cleanly sweep all of the measured ingredient from the sides of the cylinder.

Brown the Chicken

In a 12-inch, oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of grapeseed or vegetable oil over medium-high heat until the oil just begins to smoke. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and brown both sides. I had to work in two batches to get all 8 thighs browned initially. Once all your chicken is browned, transfer the chicken to a plate momentarily and drain off the fat in the pan. Then, return chicken to the empty skillet.

Pour the hot honey sauce evenly over the chicken pieces and place in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until the thighs register an internal temperature of 170 degrees. If you’re cooking breasts, those are ready when the internal temperature reads 160 degrees.

pouring hot honey sauce on chicken before the oven

When the chicken is cooked to temp, remove from the oven and let the chicken rest in the skillet for about 10 minutes. Transfer pieces to a platter and return the skillet to the stovetop. Over medium-high heat, bring the pan juices up to a boil and let thicken slightly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter and lime juice. Whisk until butter is melted. Remove from heat.

Hot Honey Chicken

Spoon sauce evenly over the chicken pieces.

pouring finished hot honey sauce on chicken

Top with sliced scallions.

Hot Honey Chicken with scallions

This dish is so delicious! It’s spicy and sweet; the chicken has a nice crispy exterior and the interior is moist and juicy. The fresh scallions give a little crunch and pop of fresh onion flavor.

Hot Honey Chicken

As I mentioned at the top, flavor-wise, this dish comes very close to the Honey Chili Chicken in my memory. Gia’s Honey Chili Chicken is fried in small pieces – Gia’s is much spicier, but all the right notes are here. This is a step closer for me, as I try to reconstruct Gia’s dish from memory; I will get there eventually, and when I do, I will be so excited to share the recipe here, with you!

Recently, I did another dish that reminded me, once again, of the power of certain foods and recipes to transport us to times past: Not So Sloppy Joe’s, check out that recipe if you’d like a delicious trip down memory lane!

Hot Honey Chicken

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Definitely make this recipe for Hot Honey Chicken, it’s outstanding – a sure winner! Pin it on Pinterest, because this recipe is one you will want to repeat. Take care and be well, xo Kelly

Kitchen Tools Used in This Recipe

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Hot Honey Chicken

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (17 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5)
Dinner, Main Course American
By Cooks Country Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cooking Time: ~45 Minutes Total Time: ~1 Hour

Juicy, tender chicken is browned and finished in the oven with a hot honey sauce; the sauce is then transformed into a silky hot sweet sauce with butter and a slight reduction.


  • ¼ cup Honey
  • ¼ cup Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 3 lbs. Bone-in Chicken Pieces (any combination you prefer), trimmed
  • If using skinless chicken pieces, optional step: 1/3 cup flour for dredging the chicken
  • 1 tbsp. Grapeseed or Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • 2 tsp. Lime Juice
  • 2 Scallions, sliced thin



Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.


If opting for the flour dredging step, combine salt and cumin in a small bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with salt mixture.


Then dredge the chicken pieces in the flour shaking off the excess and set dredged pieces on a wire rack set in a sheet tray.


Combine honey, hot sauce, and garlic in bowl; set aside.


Heat oil in 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate, skin side up (if using skin-on chicken pieces).


Pour off fat from skillet. Return chicken to now-empty skillet, skin side up; pour honey mixture evenly over chicken.


Transfer skillet to oven and roast until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register at least 170 degrees, 17 to 20 minutes.


Let chicken rest in skillet for 10 minutes.


Transfer chicken to shallow platter. Bring juices in skillet to boil over medium-high heat (skillet handle will be hot).


Cook until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk butter and lime juice into juices in skillet until butter is melted.


Spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

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  • Terry
    April 28, 2021 at 10:10 am

    This sounds so good. Going shopping today we will have this for dinner this weekend gram will love it ❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 28, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      Sounds great, Mom! I know you will love this recipe. xo Kelly

  • Terry
    May 1, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Wow this was really good thought it might be too hot for gram, heck no she loved it!!!! We will definitely have this again ❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      May 2, 2021 at 9:13 am

      It’s definitely a keeper, Mom! Happy Birthday, today! xo Kelly

  • Sylvia+Espinoza
    April 2, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Congratulations! Two years ago on the first Saturday in April, you began delighting us with your recipes through Kelly’s Kitchen. Very happy that today you remain in our lives through Djalali Cooks and now Style, too! It just so happens I made an omelet yesterday…not French, but that first Kelly’s Kitchen post remains my favorite because it launched your superb blog! Thanks for bringing back the Hot Honey Chicken recipe. Mouth watering! Appreciate you, Kelly, and wish you continued success! Hugs~

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 2, 2022 at 9:33 am

      Good morning Sylvia, You are my number one omelet fan! Thank you so much for being such a great supporter of this blog, Kelly’s Kitchen and SaaCA! I hope you have a beautiful day, xo Kelly

  • Mari
    April 2, 2022 at 9:06 am

    I love hot and I love scallions and I love making ordinary things extraordinary. This chicken firs the bill. Yowza! It is so pretty. And I have some honey I need to use, so this will take care of some of it. Why do I think Hot Honey Chicken sounds like an Indiana Jones movie? Hot Honey Chicken And The Temple Of Doom. Hot Honey Chicken And The Lost Ark. Okay, maybe not the second one, but the first one almost, kinda, sorta sounds plausible, no? Happy Saturday and sunshine to Kelly, Alex, Terry, Dante and the ladies. Have a wonderful weekend with lots of love and sunshine. ❤️?☀️ Tell Alex we’re hoping for another post! Maybe a grilling 101 post would be good as we head into barbecue season.

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 2, 2022 at 9:35 am

      Hi Mari, yes I think this will be hit in your house! I have conveyed your request to Alex and he will get back out to the grill just as soon as the pollen clams down a bit, Lol! Have a great weekend, see you tomorrow! xo Kelly

  • Julie Greene
    April 2, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Hi Kelly,

    This sounds so delicious; it is on the menu for this week. It has all the things my husband loves, honey, Frank’s, vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic. Also, ordered the adjustable measuring cup. Can’t wait to try it.

    Thanks, Julie

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 2, 2022 at 9:37 am

      Hello Julie, well it sounds like this recipe ticks all the boxes for your husband! I am sure you will love that adjustable measuring cup. I use it all the time for measuring honey, mayo and nut butters, it has become a go-to cooking utensil. Thanks so much, and be sure to let me know how you like the measuring cup once you’ve given it a go! xo Kelly

  • Celine Stanasolovich
    April 2, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Thanks Kelly. This looks easy and delicious. I love recipes with just a few ingredients and I love Franks. Congratulations on joining Beth’s blog…I found you through her. Enjoy you both ?

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 2, 2022 at 11:56 am

      Thank you so much, Celine! I bet you will enjoy this dish, let me know how it goes for you! xo Kelly

  • Terry
    April 2, 2022 at 10:56 am

    This just so happens to be one of my favorite chicken recipes. I make this at least once a month. Thanks for bringing it back. Happy Saturday ?❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 2, 2022 at 11:56 am

      Hi Mom, it is a keeper on repeat for sure! xo Kelly

  • Kenzie
    April 2, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Sounds delicious. Will have to try it out this week.

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 3, 2022 at 8:07 am

      Let me know how you like this recipe, Kenzie. Have a great day, xo Kelly

  • Sally+Burke
    April 2, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Good morning Kelly, as it happens I have some chicken thighs in the freezer, and your recipe looks so yum, I will give this a try out. We don’t have Franks hot sauce so I will perhaps use some Sirracha, or perhaps a dash of Harissa. Anyway I will let you know how it turned out. The weather has cooled down quite suddenly over the past few days and as my cousin is coming over for lunch today thought it would be good to have a lamb roast, as usual I will over cater with the vegetables and my favourite way of doing the potatoes lately has been smashed and re-roasted, nice and crispy!!
    Happy cooking ?‍?
    Sally ?

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 3, 2022 at 8:11 am

      Hi Sally, Sounds like you had a wonderful luncheon planned for your cousin’s visit. I love smashed potatoes, they get such delicious, crispy edges! For substituting the Franks, if you can, try to use a hot sauce that has a vinegar base, or maybe thin out the sriracha with a little vinegar. I look forward to hearing how it goes! xo Kelly

  • JoAnne
    April 5, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    Hi, Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. Because I usually order a mild spice level at restaurants, I chose to make the recipe with Frank’s Mild Wing Sauce. It was perfect mild spicy!

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 6, 2022 at 8:08 am

      Hi JoAnne, what a perfect substitution! I am so happy it worked out so well! Thank you so much for writing in, have a great day! xo Kelly

  • Sally+Burke
    April 6, 2022 at 2:59 am

    Hi Kelly, our boned lamb was super delicious, I did have to turn off the oven as it was cooking faster than expected, but covered with foil and reheated gently about 30 minutes before serving, the potatoes were as you described lovely and crispy, my cousin hadn’t had them done like that before so he was quite impressed. roasted Pumpkin with skin on, roasted carrots and parsnips, minted peas, mint sauce (homemade) and lots of gravy. Now who doesn’t love a Sunday Roast, or any day for that matter lol!
    Hope you are having a wonderful day ?‍?
    Sally ?

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 6, 2022 at 8:14 am

      Good Morning, Sally. Your lamb roast sounds wonderful. I haven’t made a lamb roast before, I will have to add it to my list since Alex loves it so much! Your accompaniments sound perfect too! Have a great day, xo Kelly