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Restaurant-Worthy: Homemade Chinese Honey Chicken Recipe

If you love Chinese food, you must have tried Chinese honey chicken at least once. This delicious dish is a perfect blend of sweet and savoury flavours that will tantalize your taste buds. The crispy chicken is deep-fried on the stovetop and glazed in a sweet and savoury honey sauce. It's perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion.

A sizzling wok cooks diced chicken in a sticky honey sauce. Surrounding ingredients include garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and green onions

To make Chinese honey chicken, you will need a few key ingredients such as chicken, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger. You can also add your own twist to the recipe by adding seafood such as prawns or squid. If you're not a fan of seafood, you can substitute it with vegetables like broccoli or green beans.

Preparing Chinese honey chicken is easy and straightforward. All you need to do is marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger for a few hours. Then, coat the chicken in a mixture of cornflour, baking powder, and soda water to create a crispy coating. Finally, fry the chicken until it is golden brown and toss it in a sweet and savoury honey sauce. Serve it with steamed rice or vegetables, and you have a delicious Chinese meal that your family will love.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese honey chicken is a delicious blend of sweet and savoury flavours.
  • You can add seafood or vegetables to the recipe to make it your own.
  • The dish is easy to prepare and perfect for a family dinner or special occasion.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A bowl of sliced chicken, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and green onions. Possible substitutes: tofu, agave nectar, ground ginger, and shallots

Choosing the Chicken

When it comes to making Chinese honey chicken, you can use either chicken breast or chicken thighs. Chicken breast is leaner and has less fat, but chicken thighs are juicier and more flavourful. Choose whichever you prefer or use a combination of both.

Sauce Components

The sauce for Chinese honey chicken is made up of a few key ingredients, including honey, soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and sesame seeds. If you don't have shaoxing wine, you can substitute it with rice wine or dry sherry. For a gluten-free version, use tamari instead of soy sauce.

Flour and Breading Alternatives

To achieve the crispy texture of the chicken, it needs to be coated in a mixture of flour and cornstarch before frying. You can use all-purpose flour, rice flour, or a combination of both. If you need a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour blend instead. For a healthier alternative, you can bake the chicken instead of frying it.

If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use prawns or shrimp instead of chicken. Coat them in the same flour and cornstarch mixture and fry until crispy. Then, toss them in the honey sauce and serve with sesame seeds and green onions.

Chinese honey chicken is a delicious and easy dish to make at home. With a few simple substitutions, you can make it gluten-free or even add seafood for a tasty variation.

Preparation Before Cooking

Fresh ingredients laid out on a clean kitchen counter: chicken, honey, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and vegetables ready to be chopped

Before cooking Chinese honey chicken, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure that the dish turns out perfectly. Here are the three main things you need to do:

Marinating the Chicken

To make the chicken tender and flavourful, you need to marinate it for at least 30 minutes before cooking. You can use chicken breast, chicken thighs, or even seafood such as prawns or squid for this recipe. If you are using seafood, make sure to adjust the marinating time as seafood typically requires less time to marinate.

To marinate the chicken, mix together soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the chicken to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Mixing the Sauce

The sauce is what gives the Chinese honey chicken its signature sweet and tangy flavour. To make the sauce, you will need honey, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, garlic, and ginger. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Setting Up the Frying Station

To ensure that the chicken turns out crispy, you need to set up a frying station. You will need a deep frying pan or a wok, vegetable oil, and cornstarch. Heat the oil in the frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.

While the oil is heating up, coat the marinated chicken in cornstarch. Shake off any excess cornstarch and carefully add the chicken to the hot oil. Fry the chicken until it is golden brown and crispy, then remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

With these simple steps, you can prepare the chicken for cooking, mix the sauce, and set up the frying station for your Chinese honey chicken. With a prep time of less than an hour, this dish is perfect for a quick and easy meal that's sure to impress.

Cooking Method

A wok sizzles on a stovetop as chicken pieces are stir-fried with honey, soy sauce, and garlic, creating a glossy, caramelized glaze

Frying the Chicken

To achieve the perfect crispy and golden texture on your honey chicken, you'll need to fry it. Heat your oil to medium-high heat, and then add your chicken pieces to the pan. Make sure to fry the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Overcrowding the pan will result in uneven cooking and a less crispy coating.

If you're looking for a healthier alternative, you can try air frying the chicken. This method will give you a crispy coating without the need for deep frying.

Simmering the Sauce

While your chicken is frying, you can start preparing the honey sauce. In a small saucepan, combine honey, soy sauce, and any other desired seasonings. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for a few minutes until it thickens and becomes sticky.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can add some seafood to the sauce. Shrimp or prawns would be a great addition to the sauce, adding a nice seafood flavour to the dish.

Combining Chicken and Sauce

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel to remove any excess oil. Then, add the chicken to the sauce and toss to coat evenly. Make sure the chicken is fully coated in the sauce for maximum flavour.

Serve the dish immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy your delicious crispy honey chicken with your family and friends!

Serving and Presentation

A plate of Chinese honey chicken garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, surrounded by steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables

After cooking your Chinese honey chicken, it is important to present it in an appealing and appetizing way. Here are some tips on how to serve and present your dish.

Plating the Dish

To plate your Chinese honey chicken, start by arranging your cooked chicken on a bed of steamed rice or fried rice. You can also serve it with chow mein for a more filling meal. Arrange some green onions on top of the chicken to add color and flavor to the dish.

If you want to add more variety to your meal, you can also add some seafood to your Chinese honey chicken recipe. Shrimp or prawns can be a great addition to this dish. Simply add them to the marinade and cook them together with the chicken.

Garnishing for Flavour and Aesthetics

Garnishing your Chinese honey chicken can also add to its overall appeal. Toasted sesame seeds can be sprinkled on top of the chicken to add a nutty flavor and a bit of crunch. You can also add orange slices or lemon wedges on the side of the plate to add a refreshing citrus flavor to the dish.

For a more aesthetically pleasing presentation, you can use a small bowl or ramekin to serve your sauce on the side. This will prevent the sauce from spreading all over the plate and make it easier for your guests to dip their chicken into the sauce.

Serving and presenting your Chinese honey chicken is just as important as cooking it. By following these tips, you can make your dish look and taste amazing.

Nutritional Information and Storage

A bowl of Chinese honey chicken with a side of steamed vegetables. Nutritional information and storage details displayed on the packaging

Health Considerations

When it comes to Chinese Honey Chicken, it is important to consider the nutritional information and health benefits. The dish is high in calories, with an average serving containing around 619 kcal. However, it is also high in protein, with 31g per serving.

It is important to note that this dish is also high in sugar due to the use of honey, which can be a concern for those with diabetes or other health conditions. Additionally, the dish may contain high levels of sodium, depending on the recipe used.

If you are looking to make this dish healthier, consider using lean protein sources such as chicken breast and reducing the amount of honey used. You can also add vegetables such as broccoli or peppers to increase the nutrient content of the dish.

Storing Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, it is important to store them properly to ensure they remain fresh and safe to eat. Transfer the chicken to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to three days.

If you want to store the chicken for longer, consider freezing it. Place the chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to three months. When you are ready to eat it, thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it in the oven or microwave until it is hot throughout.

If you want to add some seafood to your Chinese Honey Chicken recipe, consider using prawns or shrimp. These can be added to the recipe in the same way as chicken and will provide a delicious and healthy addition to the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chef preparing Chinese honey chicken with ingredients laid out on a wooden cutting board, a wok sizzling on a stovetop, and a steaming bowl of rice nearby

What's the secret to a perfectly crispy honey chicken?

The secret to a perfectly crispy honey chicken is to use a combination of cornstarch and flour in the batter. You can also add a pinch of baking powder to the batter to make it even crispier. Another important tip is to ensure that the oil is hot enough before frying the chicken. The ideal temperature for frying is 325°F to 350°F.

How can I make a simple and tasty honey chicken at home?

To make a simple and tasty honey chicken at home, you will need boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cornstarch, flour, salt, pepper, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and vegetable oil. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and coat them in a mixture of cornstarch, flour, salt, and pepper. Fry the chicken in hot oil until crispy and golden brown. In a separate pan, mix soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger and cook until the sauce thickens. Toss the chicken in the sauce and serve with steamed rice and vegetables.

What ingredients go into a classic Chinese honey sauce?

A classic Chinese honey sauce typically includes honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. You can adjust the sweetness and saltiness of the sauce to your liking by adding more or less honey and soy sauce.

Can I cook honey chicken in an air fryer and still get that crispy texture?

Yes, you can cook honey chicken in an air fryer and still get that crispy texture. To do so, coat the chicken in a mixture of cornstarch and flour, then spray it with oil before air frying it at 375°F for 15-20 minutes. Turn the chicken over halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.

What are the techniques to ensure the chicken stays tender in the recipe?

To ensure the chicken stays tender in the recipe, you can marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch before cooking. Another technique is to cook the chicken in small batches to prevent overcrowding in the pan, which can cause the chicken to steam instead of fry.

Is honey chicken considered a traditional dish in Chinese cuisine?

Honey chicken is not considered a traditional dish in Chinese cuisine. It is a popular Chinese-American dish that has become a staple in many Chinese restaurants around the world. However, you can still find variations of honey chicken in some regions of China, where it may be made with different ingredients or cooking methods.

If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use prawns or shrimp. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and coat them in the same batter as the chicken. Fry them in hot oil until crispy and golden brown, then toss them in the honey sauce. The sweetness of the honey sauce pairs well with the savoury flavour of the prawns or shrimp.