One of my all-time favorite takeout dishes is the Crispy Honey Chicken from PF Changs. It’s also one of the most popular dishes on their menu. But here is the downside to the popularity – if you go at a time that’s busy (so, basically anytime :)) it seems they make it ahead and keep it warm. This could be an unfair conclusion, but what’s fact is that 9/10 times I order it, all crispiness has evaporated into oblivion and all that’s left it a gummy, goopy chicken dish. No bueño! So, I have created a, dare I say, even BETTER version with my Crispy Honey Chicken PF Changs Copycat recipe. But for those of you who still enjoy getting this menu item from PF Changs, I also have a great hack for you to ensure the dish is crispy!
What is Crispy Honey Chicken from PF Changs?
Crispy Honey Chicken is wildly popular, and an extremely tasty dish served at PF Changs. The chicken is nice and crisp with a golden colored sauce that is equally tangy as it is sweet, with a honey-forward taste. It’s the type of delicious where you will keep eating it long after you’re stuffed because it’s the perfect balance of impeccable crisp texture, punchy tang and honey sweetness that is complimented by jasmine rice.
Secret to Keeping the Chicken Crispy (even if you order it at the restaurant)?
Life Changing Hack for Ordering Crispy Honey Chicken at PF Changs:
OK, so full credit to my dad here. We, in our family, are food-obsessed. So a natural conversation would consist of (him to me) “hey, baby! You know the best thing to do when you go to PF Changs? Ask them for the sauce on the side for our favorite chicken dish, and that way it stays crispy. And make sure when you drive home with your order that you open the container of the chicken slightly so the condensation doesn’t drip water back onto the food making it soggy.” Yes, this is a part of a normal conversation. We do THE MOST when it comes to pretty much everything, but certainly when it comes to food.
It’s really great advice. Next time you order this, or any saucy crispy chicken dish (wings at B-dubs, general Tso chicken from your local chinese restaurant, opt for sauce on the side. That way, you can reheat your chicken in the oven and then toss it in the sauce when you’re ready to serve. The best life hack!
Best Hack for Keeping Crispy Honey Chicken Crispy at Home:
If you are going to make this recipe at home, the best way to keep the chicken crispy also lines up with the advice above. Make your fried chicken in batches and place freshly fried chicken onto a cooling rack, set up with paper towels under the rack to catch the grease drippings (never put your food directly onto paper towels). Once you finish frying, only sauce the chicken you are serving.
When ready to serve, I like to take a metal mixing bowl, add a few spoonfuls of warmed sauce to the bottom of the bowl. Then add a few handfuls of chicken pieces, followed by another few spoonfuls of sauce. Shake the bowl to toss the chicken in the sauce, flipping the chicken up and around to thoroughly and evenly coat the chicken. Serve and enjoy immediately.
For leftovers, store the un-sauced chicken in an airtight container. When reheating leftovers, place the chicken on a baking sheet and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the chicken for just 10 minutes, enough to reheat and crisp it up but not too much time to re-cook the chicken, otherwise you’ll have chewy unpleasant overcooked chicken. Heat the sauce on the stove or in the microwave and repeat steps above for coating the chicken in the sauce.
Looking for other delish copycat recipes?
I look forward to your questions and feedback below. Please be sure to tag me @BadBatchBaking using hashtag #badbatchbaking if you made this recipe and I will feature you on my story! Plus, I LOVE to see your baking accomplishments.
Crispy Honey Chicken PF Changs Copycat Recipe
- Heavy bottom pan for frying
- Candy thermometer highly recommended for safe frying
- vegetable/canola oil for frying
- 4 chicken breasts sliced into chunks
- 1/2 cup self rising flour
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 egg, white only
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey good quality honey preferred
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chicken stock/broth
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 garlic cloves in garlic press or grated fine on microplane, so it disappears into sauce and no chunks remain
- Serve with jasmine rice
- 3 green onions, sliced for serving/topping
Prepare for Frying
- Heat your oil to 350 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to monitor and adjust the heat as needed, throughout the process as the oil temp will constantly fluctuate.
- Set up a "landing station" by placing a cooling rack close nearby the frying pan. Place layers of paper towels on top the counter, underneath the cooling rack, to catch the dripping oil.
Batter & Fry to Crispy
- Make the batter by mixing together all batter ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Batter will be very liquidy, this is normal. Keep wet cloth nearby to clean up batter drips which are inevitable while transferring batches of chicken to fry oil.
- Working in batches, dip a handful of chicken chunks in the batter, ensuring full coverage, then carefully place into the hot oil. Work quickly so chicken cooks evenly. Don't overcrowd the pan. Using a spider skimmer or similar tool to break up chicken once it hits the oil to prevent it from sticking together.
- Fry for 5-6 minutes, making sure to get even browning on all sides of the chicken. I use a spider/skimmer to flip and move the chicken around, preventing them from sticking together as they cook.
- Place batches of fried chicken chunks onto cooling rack. Once you are finished, keep oven in a 200 degree oven to keep warm until ready to serve.
Prepare Honey Sauce
- In a medium-sized sauce pan/pot, add all ingredients except water & cornstarch. Whisk together to incorporate and cook over medium low until the sauce comes to a low boil. Reduce to low and allow it to cook until it starts to thicken and some of the liquid has reduced slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Make a slurry with water and cornstarch and add it to the sauce. Mix well and continue to cook until the sauce is nice and thick. Add a little more cornstarch/water to reach desired consistency, keeping in mind it thickens more as it cools.
- When ready to serve and the rice is plated, place a few spoonfulls of warm sauce into a mixing bowl. Add a few handfuls of hot, crisp chicken, then top with a few more spoonfuls of sauce. Toss chicken, flipping the chicken up and around until it's throroughly coated. Spoon saucy chicken ontop the rice and finish with a few slices of green onions.