This Hot Honey Fried Chicken is my new favourite fried chicken recipe! Chicken drumsticks are marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce, before being coated in a great tasting spice blend and fried to crisp perfection. Coat in a sweet and spicy hot honey sauce and these bad boys will disappear in no time!
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Guys!! I’m BACK!!! If you’ve been keeping up, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted a NEW recipe since……..September. Yeah, crazy right? I just got so distracted with making video tutorials for my older recipes that I haven’t really spent much time working on developing new recipes.
But don’t worry, because Miss Queenslee has returned with a BANG!
My New Favourite Fried Chicken
I don’t think you can have enough fried chicken recipes in your repertoire. I shared my Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe a few years ago and thought “fried chicken doesn’t get any better than this”, then I discovered HOT HONEY flavoured chicken.
If you like a sweet and a heat, these Hot Honey Fried Chicken Drumsticks were made specially for you! There is some preparation required, but the steps are simple to follow and once you’ve tried this recipe you will keep coming back to it again and again.
Y’all come look at this:
Guys and Gals, this chicken is marinated in buttermilk, hot sauce and a spice mix for a minimum of 6 hours to get MAXIMUM flavour in each bite.
Then once it’s deep fried, it’s coated into a sweet and spicy sauce that can be made in a matter of minutes! Not only does this delicious sauce glaze the chicken, but leftovers can be served alongside the chicken for dipping (you can dip the chicken or your fingers. I won’t judge).
What Ingredients Go Into This Recipe?
- Chicken: Today we’re using chicken drumsticks for this recipe. However, you can use any part of the chicken as chicken thighs and chicken breasts work a treat too. You just need to adapt the frying times depending on what part of the chicken you’re cooking. I included the recommended times for dark meat and white meat in the notes below the recipe.
- Seasoning Blend: If you’ve made any chicken recipe of mine you know I do NOT play with my seasonings! Nothing worse than biting into a piece of chicken and not tasting any flavour. Yuck. This spice blend includes 9 simple seasonings that you can likely find in your local grocery store.
- Buttermilk Marinade: The buttermilk marinade will help to tenderize the pieces of chicken. Some of the seasoning blend is also added to the marinade, along with 2 large eggs and finally a cup of hot sauce to add real heat to the chicken! Do not skimp on the marinade time. The longer it soaks in the marinade, the better the chicken will taste!
- Honey Hot Sauce: I don’t mean to sound like the colonel, but this hot honey sauce is finger lickin’ good! It’s just as easy to make as my honey bbq sauce because we’re simply just combining the ingredients in a pan and letting it simmer for a few short minutes!
How to Make the BEST Hot Honey Fried Chicken
Cleaning the Chicken: let me make things clear, I don’t exactly wash my chicken as in running it under the cold water tap. However, I do like to CLEAN my chicken by soaking it in a cold water/vinegar/lemon mixture.
I just put it in an airtight container along with those three things. Then I cover it and let it soak in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This just gets rid of some debris that’s on the chicken and leaves it squeaky clean.
Tip: Washing chicken in the sink only leads to spreading germs. Any bacteria in the chicken will be killed while cooking. Instead ensure your hands and utensil are clean before handling raw chicken and wash immediately afterwards.
Drying the Chicken: We want to get rid of most of the moisture on the chicken, so place the chicken pieces onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Use another large sheet of paper towel and press onto the chicken. Fold the paper towel and pat both sides of the chicken until it’s almost completely dry.
Combine the Seasonings: Now it’s time to make the seasoning mix. Start by combining all the spices together in a small bowl. This recipe will make about 6 tablespoons because half of it will be seasoning the chicken directly in the marinade while the other half will be mixed into our coating mixture.
Marinating the Chicken: Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the seasoning mix onto the chicken in a large dish. Now add some beaten eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce. Use a wooden spoon or your clean hands (I wore food safe gloves) to really get in there and mix everything together.
Take time to ensure the chicken is completely submerged in the marinade. Then cover and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for 6 hours or overnight.
Coating the Chicken: Now it’s time to coat the chicken! I combined cornstarch, flour, baking powder and the rest of our seasoning mix in a shallow dish.
Now the reason why we add eggs to our marinade is because we aren’t following the traditional dip in egg then flour routine. We’ll simply be taking our chicken out of the marinade and dipping it into our flour mixture.
You’ll see in the video, I like to place my chicken in the flour, then grab handfuls of the flour to coat it nicely. Make sure to shake off the excess before placing it onto a baking sheet that’s been lined with a rack.
Tip: I recommend putting the oil on to heat, before you start coating the chicken, that way it will be ready to cook with as soon as the chicken has been coated.
How Much Oil do I Need for Deep Frying?
I use 2½ quarts (10 cups) of vegetable cooking oil, for deep frying chicken. It sounds like a lot of oil, but you want the pieces of chicken to be entirely submerged in oil so that you get a nice even cook. I use a 5-quart pot for frying the chicken as it’s deep enough to hold the oil and not spill over.
You can also pan fry the chicken (which my grandmothers like to do because they don’t like to “waste” a lot of oil), however I prefer to deep fry chicken as the results are more reliable.
When you pan fry chicken there’s an increased risk of the chicken cooking unevenly, the chicken can become too dry or even raw in places. Pan frying can also lead to chicken with an oily coating which nobody will thank you for. For these reasons I always deep fry my chicken to crisp perfection.
How to Deep Fry the Chicken
After pouring your oil into your pot, clip a candy thermometer to the side (don’t let it touch the bottom) then turn the heat to high. Heat it up until it reaches 350°F.
Don’t have a candy thermometer? Well, after you’ve dipped your chicken, you’ll find that there’s clumps of flours in the flour mixture. Grab some of the clumps and add it to the oil after a couple of minutes (once you think it’s hot enough), if the clumps immediately begin to fry gently and sounds like heavy rain, you can add the chicken.
Fry the chicken in batches (around 3-5 at a time) until it’s golden brown, then place onto a clean cooling rack (or onto paper towels) that’s on a baking sheet and let the chicken drain. Heat the oil back to 350°F and repeat until all chicken is cooked.
Tip: The internal temperature of the chicken should read 160 degrees F. If it's not, do not return to oil, just preheat your oven to 350°F and bake the chicken until it reaches the correct internal temperature. A kitchen thermometer is the easiest way to check if meat is cooked properly as the probe can be inserted right into the middle of the chicken. You can also cut the chicken open to make sure it's no longer pink.
Easy Hot Honey Sauce
Alright, so you can totally just eat those crispy chicken drumsticks on their own, but we’re making hot honey fried chicken today, therefore we need some hot honey SAUCE!
You only need 3 ingredients: butter, hot sauce and honey. For the hot sauce I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend using Frank’s red hot. It’s the ultimate sauce base!
Melt the butter, add the hot sauce and honey, simmer and whisk. Boom, easy as pie! I poured the sauce over the chicken for some fancy schmancy video shots, but I recommend you dip each piece of chicken into the sauce to coat them. Then pour the remaining sauce into a small bowl or ramekin for dipping!
Now all that’s left to do is serve and enjoy!
Well I’ve Made the Chicken, Where’s the Sides?
With this recipe for my best honey fried chicken, you will get crispy, juicy chicken drumsticks that have been seasoned to perfection. Perfect for watching the Superbowl or for any other party with friends and family.
It can also make a great tasting dinner main, served with a simple dressed salad and my Fluffy and Soft Dinner Rolls.
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Let’s get frying!
To Clean Chicken:
- 16 chicken drumsticks (can use other parts of chicken, if desired)
- Cold Water
- White Vinegar
- Lemon slices
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons hot chili powder
- 1 and ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 and ½ teaspoons Cayenne pepper
- 1 and ½ teaspoons White pepper
- 1 and ½ teaspoons ground mustard
- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ of the seasoning mix
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup hot sauce
- 2 and ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ½ of the seasoning mix (above)
- 2 and ½ quarts (10 cups) cooking oil, for frying
Hot Honey Sauce:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup hot sauce (I used Franks Red Hot)
Cleaning the Chicken:
- Add your chicken into a large airtight container.
- Place the slices of one lemon onto the chicken, then pour equal amounts of cold water and white vinegar into the container. I used 4 cups of each, but if you have a bigger or smaller container, the amount may change. Just make sure it’s an equal amount of each.
- Cover the container and allow the chicken to soak in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the liquid and discard the lemon slices.
- Place the chicken pieces onto a paper towel lined baking sheet. Use another large sheet of paper towel and press onto the chicken. Fold the paper towel and pat both sides of the chicken until it’s almost completely dry.
- Place chicken into a clean large dish or airtight container. Set aside.
For the Seasoning Mix:
- Combine all the spices together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Marinading the Chicken:
- Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the seasoning mix onto the chicken in the dish.
- Add the beaten eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce. Using a wooden spoon or your clean hands (I wore food safe gloves) mix everything together. Make sure the chicken is completely submerged in the marinade.
- Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for 6 hours or overnight.
Coating the Chicken:
- Pour your oil into a deep pot, clipping a frying/candy thermometer to the side of your pot (making sure it's not touching the bottom) and heat until the oil reaches 350°F. If you don't have a thermometer, test a piece of the flour and if it begins to fry gently, the oil is ready.
- Line one baking sheet with a wire rack. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels, if you have another clean rack, place it on top. Set the second one aside.
- While the oil is heating, in a large dish, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and the remaining seasoning mix. Whisk until completely combined.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Working one at a time, take a piece of chicken out of the marinade and place into the seasoned flour mixture.
- Completely coat the chicken in the flour, shake off the excess, then place onto the baking sheet lined with a rack. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Once the oil has reached 350°F, add the chicken to the oil, working in batches (if using different types of chicken, fry dark meat together and white meat together).
- Fry the chicken for 13-16 minutes (16-20 minutes for dark meat) The internal temperature should read 160 degrees F. If it's not, do not return to oil, just preheat your oven to 350°F and bake the chicken until it reaches the correct internal temperature. You can also cut the chicken open to make sure it's no longer pink.
- When the chicken is done frying, place onto the cooling rack (or onto paper towels) and let the chicken drain. Heat the oil back to 350°F and repeat until all chicken is cooked.
For the Hot Honey Sauce:
- Add the unsalted butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat until melted.
- Once butter has melted, add the hot sauce and honey. Stir until completely combined, then allow to come to a simmer.
- Turn off the heat and whisk until smooth. To coat the chicken, I recommend dipping each piece into the sauce, turning to coat completely. If there’s any sauce remaining, set it aside for dipping!
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Tools I Used: Airtight Container | Baking Sheets with Wire Rack | Large Rectangular Dish | Deep-Fry Thermometer | Tongs | A good Deep Frying Pot
- Coating the Chicken Alternative: instead of dipping the chicken individually, you can add the flour mixture to a large paper or ziplock bag, then add a few pieces at a time. Seal the bag and shake until the chicken is coated.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 358mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 25g
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