In this Hot Honey Chicken Recipe, thinly sliced chicken breasts are coated in a double layer of crispy panko breading, pan fried until golden brown and served with a super simple spicy honey.
This is a really great family dinner. It is ready in 30 minutes and perfect for a weeknight. The spicy hot honey is great for the adults, but it is added separately so that kids can also enjoy the crispy chicken with a little drizzle of regular honey.
The real trick is to double coat the chicken in the panko breading.
Panko with Parmesan
The breading for the hot honey chicken is super simple: panko, freshly grated parmesan and salt. No fuss. The parmesan adds a little bit of extra flavor. They key part: double bread each piece of chicken for an extra crispy crust.
Hot Honey Variations
I have experimented quite a bit with different variations of hot honey. I’ve made a variation with Frank’s Red hot, one with Sriracha, and others with different combinations of spices like smoked paprika and chili powder.
My favorite by far, however, is super simple: honey and red chili pepper flakes. I want the honey to be spicy, but not taste too strongly of any particular flavor. Using only red chili pepper flakes gives you heat without any added flavors. Just spicy and sweet.
It also makes things simple when you’re trying to cook a weeknight meal with a lot of other things going on.
You can drizzle the honey on top, or my preference is to spoon some on the side to dip. The flavor is more intense that way!
Pan fry vs Bake
I’ve made this both by pan frying the chicken and by baking it in the oven. If you bake the panko covered chicken in the oven it will not get very crispy and the bottom may even get soggy. So, I would not recommend baking it coated in panko. Pan frying gets both sides super crispy and goes pretty quickly.
Panko vs. Cornflakes
An alternative to using panko is to use cornflakes. If you use cornflakes, it’ll actually bake really nice and crispy on both sides in the oven. It’s a great alternative and takes a bit of the work of standing over the stove out of the process. It’s really a great option. I just prefer the taste of the panko breaded chicken over corn.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I highly recommend using extra virgin olive oil. The panko soaks up the oil as it crisps up in the pan. So the olive oil that you use will impact the final taste of the chicken.
Look for extra virgin olive oil that is sold in a dark green bottle. Olive oil degrades as it gets older (see the interview of a wine and olive oil producer here on the topic). Olive oil is better used sooner than later, unlike wine. Look for olive oil that came from one place, rather than a mixture of several locations or countries. Lastly, stick with one that you like, not necessarily something more expensive.
I am partial to olive oil from Spain, having lived there for two years, and meeting producers of olive oil and learning about their process. Often Spain has excellent olive oil, to the extent that it'll be exported it to Italy and marketed as Italian. Though there are plenty of great olive oil producers.
Great Family Meal
This is a really great family meal, and a really great weeknight meal ready in 30 minutes. It’s easy to put together and does not require too many ingredients. Is great for adults who want something with a little kick, but requires no extra effort to adjust it for kids who don’t want or like spicy honey.
I love to serve this with a basic green salad or green beans with toasted almonds to round out the meal with some good fresh veggies.
If you're looking for other great family dinner recipes, try these that we love at our house:
If you make this Crispy Hot Honey Chicken dish, I'd love to hear from you and learn how it went. Leave a rating and a comment down below and let me know how it turns out. Your feedback means a lot!
Crispy Hot Honey Chicken
- 3 cups panko bread crumbs
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 6 eggs
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 2+ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup honey
- ½ tbsp red pepper flakes
- In a shallow square baking dish combine the panko, salt, and parmesan.
- In a separate shallow baking dish whisk the eggs.
- Cut each chicken breast in half, and then in half lengthwise so that you have 4 thin pieces. Place on a cutting board and cover with a large sheet of parchment or wax paper. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the meat so that it is thin, but not too thin.
- Bring a large sauté pan to just below medium heat (think 4 out of 10). Add 2 tbsps olive oil and allow to warm through for 1 minute.
- Dip the chicken in the egg, then the panko, then BACK in the egg and the panko again so that you are double breading each piece of chicken. Press the panko firmly into the chicken with your fingers each time.
- Working in batches, place the chicken in the sauté pan and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Check to see that the bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side for 2 more minutes. Do not over crowd the pan. Add olive oil as you go so that the bottom of the pan is always covered in a thin layer of olive oil.
- Separately, while the chicken is cooking add the honey and red pepper flakes to a small sauce pan. Place on low heat. Leave the honey on low heat until ready to serve.
- Drizzle the hot honey over the chicken or have it on the side to dip.