This Spicy Honey Chicken is covered in a rub of spices, grilled and then brushed with a sweet honey glaze for a perfect combination of sweet and heat.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe!
This recipe is quick and easy and is a perfect weeknight meal. It uses ingredients you probably have on hand and it cooks quickly on the grill. We can grill pretty much year round here in Portland, Oregon but sometimes we have to stand under an umbrella to do it! But, if you don’t have a grill, no worries, it can be done in the oven or it’s just too cold, wet or snowy outside to grill.
- Chicken. For this recipe I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs but you could also use chicken breasts.
- Garlic Powder
- Chili Powder
- Ground Cumin
- Cayenne Pepper depending on how hot you like it. You can also use red pepper flakes to give it some heat.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
How to Make Spicy Honey Chicken
- Mix together a spice rub of paprika, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne. The cayenne gives it some heat so if you don’t want heat, leave it out or reduce the amount you use.
- Toss chicken with rub and make sure chicken is coated on both sides.
- Mix together honey and vinegar for glazing.
- Heat grill and brush with oil to prevent chicken from sticking.
- Grill chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side or until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
- Brush both sides of the meat after 1-2 minutes of grilling with honey and vinegar mixture.
Note: If you are grilling your meat, reduce the temperature of the grill so that the sugar in the glaze doesn’t burn. You want it to thicken and caramelize and create a delicious coating on the chicken. If you are baking the chicken in the oven, place the chicken with the glaze on it, under the broiler until the glaze bubbles and caramelizes, watch it carefully!
- Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes after removing from the grill so that it reaches 165 degrees F.
Tips from Leigh Anne
- I always use my Thermoworks Thermapen to check the temperature of my meat. Don’t cut into it with a knife to see if it is done as you release all those yummy juices that keep the meat moist and give it flavor. Use a meat thermometer
Frequently Asked Questions
I use both chicken breasts and chicken thighs. If you use a chicken breast, pound the chicken to make it make it more even in thickness. It will cook more evenly this way.
Thigh meat will cook quicker than breast meat and it dries out less easily. Not only is thigh meat nice and moist it is also inexpensive!
Yes, you can! You just won’t get those charred edges and grill marks but it will still be delicious.
You can bake the chicken in the oven at 425 degrees F. Baste the chicken with the honey and vinegar mixture several times.
Bake 4-5 minutes on each side.
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Spicy Honey Chicken
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper depending on how hot you like it
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 6 Tbsp Honey
- 2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
- Combine first 6 ingredients (all the spices) in bowl and mix well.
- Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces.
- Toss chicken with spice rub to coat all sides well.
- Brush grill surface lightly with oil.
- Grill chicken a few minutes on each side, until cooked through. Or bake in a 450 degree oven.
- Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well until combined.
- Brush mixture on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.
- Now because the glaze is sugar-based, you’ll want to turn the heat down so it doesn’t burn, but let it cook for a few minutes to caramelize. If you are using an oven, place the glazed chicken under the broiler for a minute or so.