Crispy Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken made from completely in the oven with chicken thighs and drumsticks, seasoned in two layers (both base + coating), coated with cornflakes and breadcrumbs for an extra crunch, and drenched in a deliciously sweet + spicy hot honey sauce makes for the perfect meal addition. You won’t believe how flavor-packed and CRISPY this chicken is! Gluten-free, Air Fryer, + Make Ahead options.
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I seriously can't get enough of this oven fried chicken recipe. It's such homage to my Southern roots and I've always been a chicken lover and so this recipe doesn't disappoint one bit. You've never had Crispy Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken like this one and I can guarantee that this recipe will be such a staple in your household and one that the entire family will love once you give it a try! Oh and I enjoy "frying" my chicken in the oven as opposed to in a frying pan and with this recipe, you won't be able to tell the difference. Don't believe me? Try this Crispy Oven Fried Chicken recipe for yourself!
There's just something so satisfying with a sweet-spicy combo and if you're a fan of hot honey, then this chicken is a real treat. I love how easy it is to make, the extra crunch factor involved by simple tweaks, and the versatility of getting to enjoy this chicken with almost any side possible. It's a win, win. Don't believe me? Try these Southern Hot Honey Cauliflower Bites for a meatless option!
Besides, if you're really looking to change things up, you can totally turn these into chicken tenders or make this delicious Spicy Gochujang Chicken Tenders. Of course, I also have these Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders which are really amazing as well!
Basically, this hot honey chicken sauce is made from honey plus a kick of heat created by cayenne pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, + salt. You can also use hot honey itself for an additional flavor of heat, but it's not necessary.
Literally, one of my favorite hot honey brands is Mike's! I love using it on everything from chicken to meat to sandwiches, you name it. It's so versatile and can be easily used in:
Cooking Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken is generally an easy process---in total of about 50-55 minutes. You first start by cleaning and washing your chicken pieces to ensure that they are clean and ready to be seasoned. I like to wash my chicken with both vinegar and lemon to help keep things clean and sanitized.
Once your chicken is clean, then it's seasoning time! I'm all about seasoning every "layer" of my food, therefore, the chicken gets direct seasoning and so does the coating. Let everything marinate for 5-10 minutes or overnight (preferably 1-2 days) tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for the best results.
Then you dust the chicken pieces and add them to the wet mixture of some kind, and bread them in a cornflake-breadcrumb crust before baking/roasting for crispness. Finish everything off with a sticky sweet-spicy sauce and serve them up!
Here’s what you need to prepare this Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken today:
To make sure your Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken get as crispy as possible with the use of a “coating”, follow these simple tips:
If you don't have any hot honey on hand or you simply just want to make your own hot honey, no worries! It's really simple and only requires a few ingredients. You'll need: 1 cup raw organic honey (or regular honey), 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
To create your own hot honey, just bring to a simmer all ingredients in a saucepan and then remove it from heat and let it cool before adding in with the remaining sauce ingredients. Feel free to store any remaining hot honey in an airtight glass jar (straining red pepper flakes) if desired and keep stored for up to 6 months at room temp.
To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.
Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container.
The baking time will vary depending on your oven. Check the chicken after 25-30 minutes, to make sure they’re nice and crunchy but not burning. If necessary, pop the chicken under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes for an extra crispy crust.
Making traditional Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken doesn't have to be left to only chicken. To get creative in the kitchen, you also use this delicious hot honey sauce for other types of meat and the possibility of switching things up with another meat or alternative is also a good idea:
Because I love spicy flavors and I use an entire 2 tsps of cayenne pepper, this recipe works for me! However, you can feel free to reduce the amount of cayenne pepper by half and create a much milder dish. It's all about preference, not necessity.
You can serve this oven fried chicken with your favorite side. Also, enjoy this Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken with a side of bread (for a simple lunch) or with your favorite side (i.e. rice, mashed potatoes, mac + cheese, cornbread, fries, veggies, salad, etc.). Here are a few great recipes to make this fried chicken with:
The top secret to a good fried chicken is in the marinade, which should be well seasoned and include a good amount of salt (which keeps your chicken moist). Also, I've learned the importance of adding your chicken to flour and then the egg mixture followed by the breadcrumb moisture to ensure that the crust stays on perfectly.
The calcium in milk is thought to kick-start a natural enzyme in the chicken that helps it tenderize. This is the same for using plant-based milk also.
Absolutely! If you'd like to keep things traditional by using buttermilk, you can always use regular milk and create an alternative to buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar per 1 cup to your milk.
Believe it or not, this has happened to me plenty of times. Moisture is the worst enemy in frying chicken. This is why dusting your chicken with flour as I've mentioned before should be enough to create a moisture barrier around the chicken; otherwise, the moisture created during the cooking process is going to create steam that will cause your breading to flake off.
Of course! All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep (up to 2 days prior) and assembled when ready to serve. Be sure to store crushed corn flakes + seasoning mixture in a nicely sealed zip loc bag, kept at room temp. Once chicken is cooked, you can easily store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You'll follow all of the steps to coating the chicken and place them in your air fryer for 20 minutes or so at 390 degrees and flipping them halfway through to ensure that they crisp perfectly on both sides.
Yup! To ensure that this chicken recipe is completely Gluten-Free, simply substitute the flour, breadcrumbs and cornflakes with GF-friendly ones. Also, you can substitute cornflakes with all-purpose flour for your favorite GF-friendly flour (i.e. GF All-purpose flour, 1-to-1 baking flour, etc.). Also, you can use arrowroot starch for a great GF-friendly option instead of regular cornstarch or flour.
The order of the steps makes the difference! First pat dry your chicken to remove excess moisture, then dredge in flour, dip in egg mixture, coat in breadcrumbs/cornflakes, and pace your chicken on the prepared baking sheet with a wire rack to let it rest.
As I've mentioned, adding a good amount of salt to your chicken helps to keep your chicken moist without adding extra moisture to the coating. However, if you don't want to add too much salt to your chicken, adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder to the flour before dredging helps to create a crispy coating and do the same thing as salt would!
Place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply add chicken to a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes until completely warmed through. Drizzle with additional hot honey, if needed.
If you love my Crispy Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken, then try some of my other favorites!
If you tried this Crispy Southern Hot Honey Fried Chicken or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.
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Oh my! This recipe is absolutely delicious! My family wants it on repeat! Thanks so much for a great recipe!
So crunchy! I loved the cornflakes and the spicy sweet SAUCE! OMG! Thank you for another amazing dinner.
Wow was this delicious. Made this for my husband and he is already requesting it again! Such a great recipe!
This looks so delicious! My family loves fried chicken, but I'm getting bored with the same old same old recipe. Looking forward to spicing it up!