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Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, this air fryer Hot Honey Chicken is a mouthwatering dish that perfectly balances the fiery kick of hot sauce with the delightful sweetness of honey! It’s a magical combination that creates an addictively good explosion of flavor!
What Is Hot Honey Chicken
Meet hot honey chicken! This tasty dish brings together the irresistible combination of spicy and sweet flavors with crispy fried chicken. It’s incredible with its crunchy exterior and juicy interior, but the real star here is the hot honey sauce! Made with a blend of hot sauce, honey, and butter, it’s like buffalo sauce met honey and took things to a whole new level of deliciousness.
But even better, this recipe uses the air fryer to fry the chicken to perfection. This means it achieves that coveted crispy texture without using any oil, resulting in less mess and less fat. So, if you love spicy chicken, it’s time to break out your air fryer and give this hot honey chicken recipe a go!
Why You’ll Love This Hot Honey Chicken
- Easy Fried Chicken! This recipe is simple! Thanks to the air fryer, the chicken cooks to perfection without the need for any messy oil, making cleanup a breeze.
- Flavor Explosion! The spicy honey sauce takes the crispy air fried chicken breasts to another level! With the perfect balance of spiciness and sweetness, it’s unbelievably good.
- Healthier Option! You can indulge guilt-free in this hot honey chicken! Because the air fryer requires no oil, it reduces the calories and fat content significantly.
- Chicken – I am using boneless skinless chicken breasts, but boneless skinless chicken thighs will also work well if you prefer.
- Buttermilk – Acts as a natural tenderizer and gives the chicken a delightful tangy flavor. You can make a substitute for buttermilk by mixing 1 cup of regular milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and letting it sit for about 5 minutes.
- All-Purpose Flour – Used to coat the chicken to form a crispy breading. You can use a gluten-free flour blend if you like.
- Garlic Powder – Adds a delightful kick of garlic to the breading of the chicken.
- Smoked Paprika – Just a pinch infuses the dish with a little smoky flavor.
- Seasonings – Salt and black pepper perfectly season the flour mixture.
- Hot Sauce – Infuses the chicken with a spicy kick. Feel free to use store-bought hot sauce like Frank’s RedHot or homemade hot sauce.
- Honey – Balances the spiciness of the hot sauce with the perfect touch of sweetness.
- Butter – Adds richness and depth to the hot honey sauce. Always use unsalted butter to control the amount of added salt.
- Chili Powder – Adds an extra layer of heat. Feel free to omit it if you prefer a milder flavor, or add even more spice with the addition of some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
- Garlic Powder – Makes the sauce nice and garlicky. I used garlic powder because it incorporates better with the other ingredients.
- Fresh Parsley – Adds a nice finishing touch and layer of fresh herby goodness.
This recipe is the epitome of easy! With simple steps and the help of an air fryer, you can have crispy and tender chicken coated in a yummy sauce in less than an hour!
The first step is to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with tangy goodness! Start by putting the chicken breasts in a large bowl and pouring the buttermilk over them. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Right before you’re ready to cook, prepare the flour mixture. Simply place the all-purpose flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper in a shallow bowl. Then whisk the mixture together to ensure all the spices are evenly distributed.
Next, remove the marinated breasts from the buttermilk, allowing any excess to drip off. Then dredge each piece in the flour mixture, making sure to coat every surface of the chicken and gently shake off any excess flour.
After you’re done dredging the chicken, preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) if needed. Time to let the air fryer work its magic! Lay the coated chicken breasts in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Then spray the chicken with nonstick cooking spray on both sides. Now, put the chicken into the air fryer and let it cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until it’s golden brown and fully cooked.
While the chicken is cooking away in the air fryer, start making the hot honey sauce. First, place the hot sauce, honey, unsalted butter, chili powder, and garlic powder in a small saucepan. Then heat the mixture over low heat, while stirring occasionally. When it’s ready, the butter will be completely melted and the sauce will be smooth.
Once the chicken is cooked, drizzle the hot honey sauce over the breasts in the air fryer basket. Use a spoon to spread the sauce evenly. Then put the chicken back into the air fryer and let it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes so that the sauce can get bubbly and caramelize.
When the chicken is ready, remove it from the air fryer basket and garnish it with fresh chopped parsley. Then serve your hot honey chicken immediately with some sides such as sweet potatoes and coleslaw. Or, turn it into a chicken sandwich topped with some pickles and ranch dressing. The serving options are endless!
Frequently Asked Questions
How spicy is hot honey?
The spiciness of hot honey can vary depending on the amount of hot sauce and chili powder used. By making homemade hot honey sauce you can adjust the spiciness to your liking.
Can I bake the chicken?
Absolutely! If you don’t have an air fryer, you can still achieve a similar result by baking the chicken in the oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and place the coated chicken breasts on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Then bake them for about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Drizzle the hot honey sauce over the chicken during the last few minutes of baking.
Can I fry the chicken?
Yes! Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350°F (175°C). Then carefully add the chicken breasts and fry them until they are golden brown and cooked through. Now, remove the chicken from the oil and let it drain on paper towels or a wire rack before drizzling it with the hot honey sauce.
- Adjust the spice level. Tailor the hot honey sauce to your preferences by increasing or decreasing the amount of hot sauce and chili powder used.
- Don’t crowd the air fryer. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You can cook the chicken in batches if needed.
- Test the chicken for doneness. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165°F (74°C).
- Double the sauce. Make extra hot honey sauce to serve some on the side for dipping or drizzling.
- Perfect for parties. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and serve them with a toothpick to create a simple appetizer.
You can store leftover air fryer hot honey chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag.
To reheat, simply place it in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for about 7 minutes to regain its crispy texture, or microwave it on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes. However, if your chicken is frozen, an oven is the best option. Just place it on a baking sheet and warm it at 350°F (177°C) for around 20 minutes or until it’s heated through.
Discover More Chicken Recipes
- Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken
- Beer And Honey Chicken Skewers
- Baked Honey Garlic Chicken
- Spicy Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Honey Garlic Chicken Bites
- Honey BBQ Chicken Tenders
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (for garnish)
- Place the chicken breasts in a large bowl and cover them with the buttermilk. Make sure the chicken is fully coated in the buttermilk, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the buttermilk, shaking off any excess. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
- Preheat your air fryer to 375°F.
- Place the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Spray the chicken with cooking spray on both sides.
- Cook the chicken for 12-15 minutes, or until it is golden brown and cooked through.
- In a small saucepan, combine the hot sauce, honey, butter, chili powder, and garlic powder. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Drizzle the hot honey mixture over the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket. Use a spoon to spread the sauce evenly over the chicken.
- Return the air fryer basket to the air fryer and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and caramelized.
- Garnish the hot honey chicken with chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!
- Marinating Time: Allow the chicken to marinate in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes; overnight for the best flavor.
- Hot Sauce Choice: The hot sauce used can greatly affect the heat level of the dish; choose according to your spice preference.
- Air Fryer Size: Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the chicken in batches to ensure proper cooking.
- Sauce Thickness: For a thicker sauce, you can simmer it for a few more minutes, but keep an eye on it to prevent burning.
- Serving Suggestion: Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and your favorite sides like mashed potatoes or a fresh salad.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.