Sticky tender boneless chicken thighs in a garlic, soy, and honey sauce. This honey garlic chicken is so simple to make and it's ready in 20 minutes. Serve with rice for an easy Friday night fakeaway.
A classic combination of honey, soy sauce and garlic working together to produce a sticky, sweet sauce to coat golden tender chicken pieces.
I love to whip this up to serve over boiled rice for dinner, or as an easy addition to a homemade Chinese banquet. Check out my list further down the post for ideas to include in your homemade Chinese banquet!
How to make it
- First we dredge the chicken in cornflour (cornstarch), salt and pepper. Then we fry in oil over a hot pan until golden brown.
- Add a little butter to the pan (this will enrich the sauce later) along with some minced garlic.
- Add honey, stock, rice vinegar and light soy sauce to a bowl and stir together. Add to the pan with the chicken and bring to the boil. Let it simmer and reduce until thick and sticky.
- Top the chicken with chopped parsley and chilli flakes.
I sometimes shy away from using chicken thighs in recipes, as they're more fiddly and usually require more trimming to remove the fat than chicken breasts.
However for this recipe, you can leave some of the fat on, as the chicken is fried over a high heat, so that fat will crisp up nicely. The thigh meat is also more tender than breast meat, and it can handle the short burst of high heat without drying out.
Then serve over boiled rice. Mmmmm look at the golden brown crispy chicken......
Why not make this as part of a homemade Chinese banquet - including:
- Special fried rice (full masterclass recipe)
- Spicy Ginger Beef
- Sticky Chinese Pork Belly - melt-in-the-mouth tender
- Baked Cauliflower Wings in a delicious Asian sauce
- Oven-Baked Ribs with Crispy Onions
- Pulled Crispy Duck - tastes authentic, but super easy to make
Check out our Honey Garlic Chicken Web Story!
More Delicious Chicken Recipes:
If you're looking for more chicken recipes then why not try one of these:
The Honey Garlic Chicken Video
Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe
- 8 chicken thighs - (skinless and boneless)
- 2 tbsp cornflour - (cornstarch)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- ⅓ cup (110g) honey
- ⅓ cup (80ml) chicken stock
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- boiled rice
- Place the chicken thighs in a bowl and add the cornflour (cornstarch), salt and pepper. Toss the chicken in the cornflour until fully coated.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a high heat.
- Add the chicken thighs, and cook on one side until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes), then turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the butter to the pan, let it melt, then add the garlic and stir together. Turn the heat down to medium so the garlic doesn't burn, then make the sauce.
- To make the sauce, combine the honey, stock, rice vinegar and light soy sauce in a bowl and stir together.
- Add the sauce to the pan. Turn the heat up and bring the sauce to the boil, then simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens, and the chicken is cooked through (and no longer pink in the middle).
- Sprinkle on the chopped parsley and chilli flakes and serve over boiled rice.
Can I replace the chicken thighs with chicken breast?Yes, you can do this. Chicken thighs are a little more tender, and stand up well to cooking over a high heat without drying out, but you can replace with chicken breast if you prefer. I would suggest slicing the chicken breast into thick strips, or flattening the chicken using a rolling pin to ensure it cooks through quickly and evenly in the pan.
Can I make this gluten free?Yes, replace the soy sauce with tamari and use gluten free chicken stock. Ensure you brand of rice vinegar is gluten free too.
Can I freeze it?Yes, although the chicken won't be quite as tender (it'll still taste great through). Cook, quickly cool and cover the chicken, then freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat in the oven at 180C/350f on a baking tray. Cover the chicken with foil before placing in the oven to help prevent it drying out. Cook for 12-15 minutes until piping hot throughout.
Can I make ahead or save leftovers and reheat?Yes, although the chicken won't be quite as tender when reheated (it'll still taste great through). Cook, quickly cool and cover the chicken, then refrigerate. Reheat in the oven at 180C/350f on a baking tray. Cover the chicken with foil before placing in the oven to help prevent it drying out. Cook for 12-15 minutes until piping hot throughout.
- If you don't have rice vinegar, you can swap for apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar plus ¼ tsp of sugar.
- If you don't have light soy sauce, you can swap for ¾ tbsp of dark soy sauce.
- The vegetable oil can be swapped for any neutral tasting oil that can be cooked at high temperatures (such as rapeseed, sunflower and ghee).
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In this recipe you called for cornflour and in parenthesis you put cornstarch to coat chicken so which is it or did you use both ? And how much of each? Please clarify
Nicky Corbishley says
Hi Reba, it's called cornflour in the UK and cornstarch in the US. So I say the UK version, then put parenthesis around the US naming. It's 2 tbsps that's required.
Hi, do you think these could be grilled? Thinking of doing bite size pieces kabob style.
Delicious! I had lots of chicken breasts to use up . I doubled the stock . It worked perfectly. Was very tender
It’s a HIT!
Delicious! Only thing was my sauce did not turn out as dark as yours. Still delicious! But yours looks better!!
Sarah Carr says
Emi Anderson says
Do you add the garlic and butter in the same pan with the chicken?
Do you have to use cornstarch? Could bake these in the oven instead and then pour the sauce over?
This looks amazing! Do you think I Could grill the chicken, make the sauce separately then add the grilled chicken into pan?
I absolutely love this recipe. The flavor of the chicken lasts throughout the eating process. With some recipes the flavor disappears after the first few chews.