Not your ordinary fried chicken, this recipe is a cut above thanks to its lip-smacking sauce. Though you go through the usual step of browning the chicken to make it a little crisp, it’s the sauce which coats the succulent meat and crisp skin of the chicken legs and thighs that elevates it. Imagine the sour sweetness of pineapple juice mellowed out by generous amounts of honey and a dash of cinnamon and star anise to add an element of spice without overpowering the natural taste of the chicken. The minced garlic adds a subtle aromatic bite that keeps you looking for extra sauce to spoon onto your rice, and the cornstarch keeps it thick without compromising the taste of the added spices. It’s a good thing to prep for evenings when you feel like throwing off your usual dinner recipes, but want to ease people into a new dish in your repertoire.
Honey Chicken Recipe
- 1.5 kg chicken legs and thighs
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- Half a head of garlic, minced
- 1 240ml can pineapple juice
- 5 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons white cane vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too)
- A dash of cinnamon
- 2 pieces star anise
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup honey (or more, to taste)
- Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Sear the chicken on both sides, until it begins to brown, around 5 – 10 minutes on each side. You might need to do this in batches.
- Make the sauce: Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large sauce pan (large enough to hold the chicken pieces as well) over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and allow to fry until fragrant but not burnt. Add the pineapple juice and the cornstarch mixture. Mix well.
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir everything together over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Adjust the seasoning to your preference.
- Lower the heat and add in the chicken and cook, covered, for 30 – 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked tender.
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking, increase the heat to high and cook until the sauce has reduced, thickened and is slightly sticky. Frequently stir everything together to stop it from burning. When done remove from heat and serve warm. Enjoy!