Hot Honey Fried Chicken

September 29, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Test Kitchen Notes

For more Sweet Heat with Rick, check out all of the videos in the series here. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Hot Honey Fried Chicken
  • Fried Chicken
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds assorted bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, or one 3 1/2 to 4 pound whole chicken
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 8 cups)
  • Hot Honey
  • 1 to 2 chiles habaneros, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  1. Cut chicken into 10 pieces—wings, legs and thighs separated, breasts halved, backbone discarded. Mix 4 teaspoons salt, brown sugar, and baking powder in a small bowl until completely combined and no lumps of sugar reaming. Season chicken all over with salt mixture (use all of the mixture). Wrap with plastic and refrigerate on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet, at least 3 hours and up to 24. Overnight works best.
  2. Whisk flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and 1/4 cup salt in a large bowl until completely combined. Whisk eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce in another large bowl. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, turning to coat and packing into crevices. Shake to remove excess; return to rack. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  3. Pour 6 tablespoons buttermilk mixture into flour mixture and work in with your fingers; mixture should feel like wet sand and will have some clumps. These clumps will give the chicken a crispy, shaggy crust. Dip dredged chicken into remaining buttermilk mixture, allow excess to drip off, then pack moistened flour mixture firmly onto chicken. Very gently shake off excess; return to rack. Chill at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
  4. Pour oil into a large heavy pot fitted with thermometer to come halfway up sides. Heat over high until thermometer registers 300°F. Working in 3 batches, fry chicken, turning often and adjusting heat to maintain temperature, until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a wire rack set over paper towels to drain.
  5. Make the hot honey. Heat 1 tablespoon of the chicken frying oil in a small saucepan over medium. Cook habanero and garlic, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add honey, salt and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to allow flavors to come together. Remove from heat and add vinegar. Keep warm until ready to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Liz Summers
    Liz Summers
  • tori.ovel
  • Lanbriget
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

3 Reviews

tori.ovel October 27, 2022
This chicken is LIGHTS OUT. Watch your oil temp--We let it get too hot and some pieces got pretty dark. Still absolutely amazing, tho! Dreaming of making it again already. We served it with spaghetti squash mac n cheese and it was the stuff of miracles.
Lanbriget March 17, 2022
This sounds delightful! How long would the hot honey last in the fridge for?
Liz S. October 4, 2021
Watch the video, make the chicken ... they are both incredible!!