This is one of those easy backup entrées to keep in mind for those weeknights when you’re craving some sweet and savory fried chicken goodness but don’t feel like getting out the fryer. It only requires a handful of ingredients and about 10 minutes of your time. Your reward is an addictively good chicken that’s glazed with caramelized honey and smoked paprika, and just a hint of refreshing tartness from the lemon juice.
While I love the meaty aroma of smoked paprika, if you don’t have any, this recipe works equally well with other seasonings such as lemon zest, garlic, or ginger, allowing you the flexibility season with whatever you have on hand. If you want to go with a more Asian flavor profile, try marinating the chicken in soy sauce instead of salt.
The potato starch renders the edges of the chicken crispy, while also allowing it to hold onto the sweet honey and paprika sauce, giving each piece a stunning lacquer coating. If you can’t find potato starch, you can substitute all-purpose flour, though it won’t achieve the same level of crispness.
Honey Paprika Chicken
- 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons potato starch
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons mild honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and generously salt and pepper to taste. Dust with the potato starch.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and then add the vegetable oil. If you are using skinless chicken, you may need to add a little extra oil. Swirl to coat the pan and then add the chicken in a single layer.
- Fry the chicken until browned and crispy on one side and then flip and then brown the other side. The goal is to cook the chicken through by the time the second side is golden brown. If it's going too fast, turn down the heat a little.
- While the chicken browns, make the sauce by whisking together the honey, lemon juice and smoked paprika until combined.
- When the chicken is cooked through, use a paper towel and tongs to soak up as much of the oil in the pan as possible. You can first tip the pan to one side to make the oil pool, and then once you've soaked that up, move around the pan with another paper towel to soak up the rest of the oil.
- Give the sauce a stir and add it in, tossing the chicken to coat it evenly with the sauce. It's done when there is very little liquid left and the chicken is glossy and well coated.
Yield: 2-3 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marcs been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.