Ultra crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and full of spices throughout. This chicken breast is then smothered with a thick drizzle of homemade jalapeño hot honey and sandwiched between two toasted sesame buns and creamy mayo and cheese. If you’re a lover of all things sweet and spicy, this addictive hot honey crispy chicken sandwich you are guaranteed to love!
How do you make homemade hot honey?
This recipe starts with making a batch of homemade hot honey and this could not be easier! If I am planning ahead properly, I like to make this the day before and have it ready. It helps to ease the steps since deep frying can be a pain and anything to lessen my to-do list when I am hungry, is good by me.
Step 1: Slice up three peppers into thin slices. I used two jalapeños and one red chili. You could get super creative here and use whatever peppers you prefer. You can use habaneros, scotch bonnets, etc. Keep the seeds in tact.
Step 2: Get out a small saucepan and pour in about one cup of honey. You don’t need to dirty up a measuring cup with sticky honey. Just eyeball it.
Step 3: Add the peppers and loose seeds. Heat the honey to a low boil and then continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until the peppers begin to slightly wilt. Allow the mixture to cool then store in a sealable container like a bottle or lidded mason jar.
What is on a hot honey crispy chicken sandwich?
When it comes to this hot honey chicken sandwich I don’t like to overdo the fillings. You want the chicken to shine and the hot honey to be the star ingredient. Everything inside the sandwich should just compliment it. Here’s what I recommend:
FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH FILLINGS
- Sesame Bun – Lightly buttered then toasted in a dry pan until the edges are crisp and the middle is soft.
- Mayo – Leave it original and creamy or add a splash of pickle juice to add a bit of a tang to balance out the sweet and spicy.
- Cheese – Now this ingredient may be highly debated. I am all about cheese on my chicken sandwiches. And it can’t be fancy good cheese, it’s gotta be cheap, American singles. Don’t question it – it’s just my thing! Feel free to skip, but I’d highly suggest trying it before you knock it.
- Chicken – duh.
- Hot Honey – you can’t forget this most important step! It’s smothered right on top of the crispy chicken breast.
Other options are: tomato, lettuce, bacon, pickles, green onion slices, coleslaw, and red onion. But again, for this recipe I recommend not over-doing it.
Tips for making incredible crispy fried chicken
In my experience, if you want tooth-shatteringly crunchy chicken, it’s gotta be deep fried. Yes it can be a hassle, but totally worth while. Here are some tips to make it less of pain and ensure you are set up for success:
- Oil – You’ll want to use an oil with a high smoking point like vegetable or sunflower oil. Olive oil is not suitable for deep frying. If you are looking for a more flavorful oil, choose peanut oil (like Chick Fil A uses). It can be quite pricy, but if possible, that imparts lots of flavor into your chicken.
- Ventilation – Make sure to use your built-in vent/fan and let it run throughout the cooking process.
- Space – Fry in batches to ensure you don’t overcrowd the pot. If you are using a smaller pot, just cook one breast at a time.
- Temp – use a thermometer and monitor your temperature at all times. It will prevent your oil from smoking which is what causes that lingering icky smell that stays in your house, clothes, and hair for the days that follow. If you accidentally overheat the oil, cool down the oil quickly by adding a little more oil to the pot. In between batches you’ll want to give the oil time to come back up to the optimal temp.
- Make extra! – make the effort worth the trouble and make extra to freeze in food-saver bags or tightly wrapped/sealed in freezer-safe containers.
While You Have Hot Oil, Consider Making…
Consider grabbing some spices out of your pantry and trying out some Nashville hot chicken. I have a very popular recipe on my blog for my copycat version of Prince’s Nashville Hot Chicken. After spending time in Nashville I have perfected an authentic Nashville hot chicken that is, dare if say, better than the iconic restaurants (and I have the extra 15 pounds to prove my expertise and extensive research!!).
Looking for 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.
Hot Honey Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/4 inch thick for tenderness and even cooking. Pat dry
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt divided among chicken pieces
- 1-2 quarts peanut or vegetable/canola oil for deep frying
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika regular paprika works as a substitute
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 00 flour if available (double zero flour is ultra-fine)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce I use Louisiana
- 1 cup whole milk buttermilk can be substituted but it makes the crunch a little softer
- 2 large egg whites egg yolks soften breading
- 2 tablespoons vodka this adds extra crisp to the breading
- 1 cup honey
- 2 jalapenos thinly sliced
- 1 red chili pepper thinly sliced
Prep and dry brine
- Place the prepared chicken breasts on a lined baking sheet or cutting board and sprinkle front and back sides with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, dividing among the chicken. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight). Prepare chicken coating while you wait.
- In a large bowl, combine the paprika, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder. Use about half of the spice mixture and sprinkle directly onto the chicken pieces, patting into the chicken as you go.
- Add the flour and cornstarch to the remaining spice mixture in the bowl and whisk well to combine. In a separate medium bowl, place the buttermilk, egg whites, hot sauce, and alcohol and whisk thoroughly to combine.
- Take 1/4 cup of the wet mixture and add it to the dry mixture, stir to combine. This helps create chunks of breading that stick to your chicken ("crags"). Use one hand for the wet mixture and one hand for the dry, take 1 piece of chicken at a time, toss in the flour mixture, shaking off excess, dip chicken in the milk mixture to completely coat, then bury it back in the flour mixture, bringing the excess drippy wet mixture back into the dry. Tightly pack on the breading, pressing it on with your fingers. Shake off excess flour and repeat with remaining chicken.
Set up for frying and heat the oil
- Place the oil in a large Dutch oven or deep, heavy-bottom pan, attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer, and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is 350°F, about 10 minutes. The oil will drop to 325°F once chicken is added. This is the optimal fry temperature range 325-350.
- Prepare a landing station for the chicken to cool once it's done cooking. I like to use a baking sheet lined with paper towels or foil and a cooling rack placed on top. Don't set chicken directly on paper towels as it traps in the moisture and creates sogginess.
Frying the Chicken
- Working in batches, place 2-3 chicken pieces at a time in the oil and fry, using tongs to rotate the pieces every 3 to 4 minutes and adjusting the heat as needed to keep heat around 325°F-350°F, until golden-brown with an internal temperature of 165°F (check by inserting a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken). About 8 minutes for chicken breasts. Place onto cooling rack. For extra crispy chicken, once chicken is removed from oil, allow to rest for a moment on the cooling rack, then place back into the oil for 1-2 minutes. This double fry method with create extra crisp chicken.
Hot Honey (make ahead)
- In a small saucepan, add the honey and sliced peppers (seeds included). Turn heat to medium low until it begins to lightly boil. Reduce heat to simmer and keep on a low boil for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then transfer to an bottle, mason jar, or similar container.