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.

honey garlic chicken on boiled rice in a bowl
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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.
8 image collage of how to make honey garlic chicken

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.

close up of honey garlic chicken on rice

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:

honey garlic chicken in a dark pan with sauce being spooned over

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

4.87 from 168 votes

Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe

Sticky tender boneless chicken thighs in a garlic, soy and honey sauce. Minimal ingredients, simple to prepare and ready in 20 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 110 g (1/3 cup) honey
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

To Serve:

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • boiled rice
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Instructions 

  • Place the chicken thighs in a bowl and add the cornflour (cornstarch), salt, and pepper. Toss the chicken in the cornflour until fully coated.
    8 chicken thighs, 2 tbsp cornflour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a high heat.
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 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.
    1 tbsp unsalted butter, 4 cloves minced garlic
  • To make the sauce, combine the honey, stock, rice vinegar, and light soy sauce in a bowl and stir together.
    110 g (1/3 cup) honey, 80 ml (1/3 cup) chicken stock, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 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.
    1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, boiled rice

Video

Notes

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.

Ingredient swaps:

  • If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can swap for apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar plus 1/4 tsp of sugar.
  • If you don’t have light soy sauce, you can swap for 3/4 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).
Nutritional Information is per serving, excluding rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 223mg | Sodium: 804mg | Potassium: 611mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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Comments

  1. Stephanie P says:

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! I did make a few changes based on my typical cooking ingredients. I added garlic pepper, onion powder and garlic salt to the cornstarch seasoning and I tripled the sauce since I had 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs. I also added 2 Tbls of chili garlic sauce instead of red pepper flakes, it def had a little kick, we like it a little spicy. When the chicken was done I removed it and I added the butter and a little more oil and a chopped red bell pepper and half a chopped white onion. Cooked those down a bit then added the garlic gave it a couple stirs then added the sauce. Once that heated up I put the chicken back in and let it simmer while the rice finished. I added a bunch of chopped green onions in at the end. I made a cup of rice and put the chicken and sauce over it and it was delicious! The whole family loved it and said it needs to be added to the rotation. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Vivian says:

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious! Even my picky eaters enjoy this!

  3. Cathy says:

    5 stars
    Very good! My husband, who doesn’t even like chicken, really liked it too.

  4. Gina says:

    5 stars
    Everyone loved this but next time I will double the sauce. we ate it over rice with broccoli and topped off with green onion 😋

    1. Casey says:

      5 stars
      I tried this with chicken breast and gluten free soy sauce. Amazing! All three very picky kids LOVED it. I do agree with some other comments, double the sauce so you can pour it over the rice. A+

  5. Andrew says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and very easy to make. We made this recipe two days running but used more garlic than specified in the recipe for the second attempt. I’ll stick to the extra garlic version for next time, which will be very soon.

  6. Dani says:

    5 stars
    Yum! Made this tonight and it was a hit! Super easy! We decided would be great as a sandwich too next time.

  7. Michelle says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing! I’ve tried so many honey garlic recipes that just didn’t get “sticky good” and this one does all of that. I made candied asparagus and jasmine rice to round the meal out and it will be in my rotation for future meals!! Thank for sharing 🙂

  8. Kiesha says:

    5 stars
    Very very good! My husband loved this and kept saying it was the best honey chicken he has ever had. I loved it as well! So easy to make.

    I did make some variations as i didnt have all of the ingredients, i used arrowroot instead of cornstarch (4 tbs) and i didn’t use any vinegar or parsley or chilli flakes. I would add sesame seeds if i had them. Had this with medium grain white rice it was absolutely fantastic. I did drizzle exta honey over the chicken and cooked it until the honey sauce was very thick and sticky dark brown. SO GOOD THANK YOU 😋

    1. Sarah says:

      5 stars
      I made this with chicken breast instead as not keen on thighs and it was delicious , I will definitely make again.

  9. Janet says:

    4 stars
    Really good and very easy to make

  10. Marisol says:

    Can you use an air fryer for this instead of pan frying in oil?

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Sorry Marisol, I don’t have an air fryer, so it hasn’t been tested that way.

    2. Al says:

      Yes! Cook the chicken in the air fryer, make the sauce on the stove and then pour the sauce over cooked chicken.
      This is what I do as I do not like frying in so much oil