This Honey Chicken recipe has all the crispy and sweet goodness, but without the mess of deep frying.
If you’re like me and don’t enjoy deep-frying (the mess, the calories, what to do with the oil?), then this baked version of honey chicken gives you all the good bits. It’s crispy, it’s sweet, and it’s delicious.
The concept behind this version is that it still has a batter, but instead of cooking that batter in oil, we’ll cook it under the grill (broiler) with our chicken. The batter will not stay on the chicken as well as it does when we deep fry, but that’s okay, the batter will still puff up on the tray, and we’ll scrape those batter bits into the honey sauce along with the chicken.
Here’s how you make no-fry Honey Chicken
- Marinate chicken.
- Dip in batter.
- Place under a hot grill - this acts like an air fryer, and puffs up the batter. It doesn't cover each piece of chicken completely (like traditional batter does), but you still get those beautiful crispy edges that taste absolutely delicious covered in our honey sauce.
Important tips to remember when making Honey Chicken (no fry version)
- Line your grill tray with foil AND spray with oil. This will mean you can easily remove any batter that pools around the chicken when we turn at the halfway point.
- Use soda water in your batter, this will react with the baking powder and puff up the batter.
- Measure your batter using conventional tablespoons - 15 ml. Fluff the flour before measuring to make sure it's not compacted, and level off the measuring spoon.
- Don’t over stir your batter - that will make it runny, when we want it light and puffy.
- Don’t stress if the batter is slipping off your chicken and onto the grill tray. At the halfway point it will look like a bit of a soggy mess, but at the end those edges of batter will be crispy and crunchy and delicious covered in honey sauce.
What about the honey sauce - what is it made from?
Basically… honey! Soy sauce and Shaoxing wine also go in there, but only a small amount, because the goal is for the honey to become caramelised and almost like toffee. Simmer it for four minutes, bubbling away, and then set aside to cool a bit before you put the chicken in.
The reason it is important to let it cool a little before the chicken goes in, is that we want it to retain that toffee consistency, and adding hot, juicy chicken will dissolve that too much.
Should you use chicken thigh fillets or chicken breast?
Because we are going to have the chicken under a hot grill for 10 whole minutes to get that batter crispy, we want a fattier, juicer cut of chicken, so we’ll use chicken thigh.
What are the ingredients in Honey Chicken?
- Chicken - Use chicken thigh and cut into 1-2 cm cubes. Marinate in soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, cornflour and garlic powder.
- Batter - Plain flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt, soda water
- Honey sauce - Honey, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine
- Serve with brown rice and broccoli.
This recipe really must be served immediately. It doesn’t store or reheat well, because the batter that’s crispy when you first serve it, becomes gluggy in the honey sauce.
- Alternative proteins - Swap chicken thigh for tofu.
- Vegetarian - Use Future Chicken or firm tofu.
- Dairy Free - This recipe is dairy free.
- Gluten Free - Swap plain flour for gluten free plain flour. Don’t swap for cornflour as baking powder and cornflour don’t work together. Swap soy sauce for tamari.
- Skip sesame seeds and coriander.
You will need an oven (grill), a grill tray, foil, 2 saucepans, a stovetop, a microwave.
More Chicken Recipes
Crispy Honey Chicken (No Fry)
- Oven grill
- Grill tray
- 2 Saucepans
- 2 sprays olive oil spray 4 sprays total for the recipe
- 600 g chicken thigh fillet
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 30 ml soy sauce 40 ml total for the recipe
- 15 ml Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine) 20 ml total for the recipe
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 broccoli
- ¼ bunch coriander
- 4 tablespoon plain flour ¼ cup
- 6 tablespoon cornflour ⅓ cup
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 90 ml soda water cold
- 2 sprays olive oil spray 4 sprays total for the recipe
- 125 ml honey
- 10 ml soy sauce 40 ml total for the recipe
- 5 ml Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine) 20 ml total for the recipe
- 450 g microwave rice
- 2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- Preheat your oven grill (broiler) and line a large grill tray with foil, and spray with oil - all the way to the edge of the foil.TIP: This dinner is best served immediately.2 sprays olive oil spray
- Dice chicken into 1-2 cm cubes. Add to a bowl with garlic powder, soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine and cornflour. Mix and place in the fridge.600 g chicken thigh fillet, 2 teaspoon garlic powder, 30 ml soy sauce, 15 ml Shaoxing wine, 1 tablespoon cornflour
- Chop broccoli into florets and slice base. Finely slice coriander stems and pick leaves.1 broccoli, ¼ bunch coriander
- Whisk flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Remove the whisk, add cold soda water and then mix through gently.TIP: Do not over mix or batter will become runny.4 tablespoon plain flour, 6 tablespoon cornflour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, 90 ml soda water
- Add chicken to the batter, toss, then lay evenly spaced on tray. Spray with oil. Place under the top shelf of the oven grill for 5 minutes.TIP: The batter will pool around the chicken - that’s ok, it will crisp up.2 sprays olive oil spray
- Add honey, soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4 minutes, then set off the heat to cool. It will thicken as it cools.125 ml honey, 10 ml soy sauce, 5 ml Shaoxing wine
- Add water to a large saucepan. Once boiling, add broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes until bright green. Drain. Meanwhile, microwave rice.1 broccoli, 450 g microwave rice
- Remove tray of chicken from the grill. Turn chicken and batter (start from the middle) then return to the grill for 5 mins to crisp up.
- When ready, transfer chicken and batter into the saucepan of honey mixture and mix gently.
- Serve honey chicken immediately.Serve kids rice, broccoli and honey chicken.Add coriander and black sesame seeds to adult plates.¼ bunch coriander, 2 teaspoon black sesame seeds