This Crispy Baked Honey Chili Chicken is Delicious and Absolutely Healthy!
Who else out there is always on the hunt for great chicken recipes? I mean, chicken is so boring by itself, but that’s what makes it such an amazing blank canvas. This possibilities are endless.
I use chicken legs for this crispy baked honey chili chicken (go dark meat!), but thighs would also be quite delicious (again, dark meat is the best). You can use chicken breasts if you are going for extreme healthy, but it won’t be as good.
Don’t get me wrong…it will still be good, just not AS good. Mainly because the skin is the best part. And the dark meat is so deliciously juicy, and difficult to overcook. Now, the skin is not healthy, just in case you were wondering. But it’s delicious. Seriously delicious. Totally worth the extra splurge ( I feel like I say this too often….).
Related Recipe: Red Curry Chicken
The best part of cooking is experimenting with different flavor profiles. Normally, when I think of honey, I think of sweet. Which is true, honey is sweet. But when you combine it with spicy Thai chilies, garlic, lime and salt, you’ve got a whole different level of flavor.
The sweet of the honey with the savory, spicy chilies adds such an amazing dimension to the flavors. I love it. I think you will too, but there’s only one way to find out.
Real quick, note that I use jarred garlic in this recipe, which I would not normally recommend. I prefer fresh chopped garlic. However, for this recipe, it is the water from the jarred garlic that we want in our marinade. We want that briny garlic flavor.
Related Recipe: Garlic Butter Salt and Pepper Chicken Thighs
So let’s make this crispy baked honey chili chicken!
Combine marinade ingredients with chicken and place in the fridge for 6-8 hours. An hour before cooking, add the juice of a lime in the marinade. We don’t add it before because the citrus will cook the chicken if it’s left on too long.
Place the chicken on a rack over a foil line baking sheet. Sprinkle both sides with salt to taste. I’m typically generous with salt. Sometimes too generous. Be careful not to over salt.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes per side. Remove, baste with honey, and cook another 5 minutes per side, basting again when you flip the chicken. Skin should be crisp when chicken is done. If it isn’t, pop it under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp it up.
Be careful not to burn it as the sugar in the honey will speed up the burning process and likely set off the fire alarm to your building if you leave it too long. So I’ve heard. Lesson here? When you are using the broiler, DON’T EVER WALK AWAY from it. My intentions have always been good, but it’s amazing how quickly the brain forgets sometimes. Until you turn around and see smoke…or flames. Possibly both. Again, so I’ve heard.
Did you make this recipe? Rate it and leave me a comment below to let me know how it turned out!
- 2 lbs. chicken legs or thighs
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic with juice, jarred
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Combine marinade ingredients with chicken and place in the fridge for 6-8 hours. An hour before cooking, add the juice of a lime in the marinade. Let sit for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the chicken on a rack over a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle both sides with salt and baked for 30 minutes per side.
- Remove, baste with honey, and cook another 5 minutes per side, re-basting when you flip the chicken.
- This recipe calls for jarred garlic instead of fresh because I want the juices from the jarred garlic as part of the marinade. The briny flavor of that garlic juice is what we're after.
- Skin should be crisp when chicken is done. If it isn't, pop it under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp it up. Be careful not the burn it as the sugar in the honey will speed up the burning process.
- The internal temperature of the chicken when done should be 165 degrees and juices should run clear.
If you like this Crispy Baked Honey Chili Chicken, you will love these other great chicken recipes: