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Tangy Honey Garlic Chicken
Perfect pan-fried chicken breast with a golden-brown crust, and honey garlic sauce that packs a punch. You will swear you are eating a restaurant quality dish.
This tangy honey garlic chicken is all about getting delicious food to the table ASAP. I seriously don’t know if there is anything faster than this. I can cook this dish in one pan, and boil a pot of pasta in another, and have both be ready at the same time.
What’s more, I use only all basic pantry ingredients for this chicken dish. This is the kind of recipe that is good for midweek when everyone is busy and you don’t have time for grocery shopping but need a satisfying meal.
Ingredients for honey garlic chicken
There are two parts to this dish, the pan-fried chicken breasts, and the tangy honey garlic sauce.
The ingredients and the step-by-step for the fried chicken is exactly the same as the one for my honey lemon pan-fried chicken recipe.
For this super basic pan-fried chicken recipe, and you will only need skinless boneless chicken breasts, salt, pepper, all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, and olive oil.
The tangy honey garlic sauce is also exceedingly simple, requiring basic pantry ingredients garlic, soy sauce, Japanese rice vinegar( or apple cider vinegar), and honey (or maple syrup).
If you don’t wish to garnish the final dish, you won’t need anything else.
First step: fry the chicken
Here is my guide to perfect pan-fried chicken breasts:
- Sprinkle breasts with salt and pepper, then LIGHTLY dust with all-purpose flour. You will get the crispiest crust with a light dust.
- Fry with an equal amount of unsalted butter and olive oil for the best flavored fried chicken.
- Fry on medium-high heat.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan, fry in batches if you must.
- Let the breast fillets release themselves from the pan.
Initially the breasts will stick to the pan, but once the surface is cooked and turn golden brown, they will self release.
Wait until you see the edges are golden brown, then give it a nudge. If the fillets can be easily moved, then it’s time to flip and cook the other side.
Again, once the other side also self-release, the chicken is done and should be remove from the frying pan. Set them aside while we prepare the sauce.
Second step: prepare honey garlic sauce for the chicken
On the same frying pan, without cleaning, we will prepare the honey garlic sauce.
- Turn the heat to a medium, and add another 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
- Once the butter melts, add minced garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add soy sauce, Japanese rice vinegar, and honey.
- Once sauce is thick, return fried chicken to the pan and stir gently to coat.
And our tangy honey garlic chicken dish is done!
Last step: garnish and serve
To be honest, this dish is so good it doesn’t really require any garnish. If you wish, you can add some thinly sliced scallions, or roughly chopped fresh parsley. This is pretty much for decoration purpose.
Most of the time, I serve this with steamed white rice. In fact, often my rice cooker was cooking the rice while I cook this dish, and they will both finish at around the same time.
Other than rice, you can try crusty bread to mop up the sauce. Or even serve over some boiled noodles or pasta.
Tangy Honey Garlic Chicken
- Pan-fried chicken
- a pair of chicken breasts, cut each into two halves (Note 1)
- all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Honey garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon Japanese rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey, or maple syrup
- fresh parsley leaves/scallions for garnish (optional)
- Pan-fried chicken breasts. Sprinkle each side of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. LIGHTLY dust the chicken with all-purpose flour. Trust me, the “lightly” part is super important if you want a crispy crust.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter melts, add chicken breasts to the hot pan. Cook each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer cooked chicken breasts to a plate.
- Honey garlic sauce. Turn the heat to medium, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter melts, add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add soy sauce, Japanese rice vinegar, and honey. Once the sauce is thick, return fried chicken to the pan and stir gently to coat.
- Garnish and serve. Turn off heat. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with fresh parsley/scallions. Serve immediately with steamed white rice, boiled noodles/pasta, or crusty bread.
- (1) Chicken breasts in the US are getting bigger, hence it makes sense to cut each pair into two halves. If your chicken breasts are on the thinner size, feel free to use two pairs of chicken breast and skip cutting them into halves.
Hi, salam from indonesia (: I relly really love your recipes! I have tried some of your recipes and my mom really loved them, and of course i did too! They are really awsome, simple yet very delicious! But i am wondering why did my honey garlic sauce toughen up like sticked onto the plate like some cooled off caramel, yeah it got hard, do you know why it turnedout like that? In your picture it seems like a smooth yet sticky sauce (liquid), i also wanna make it like that. Thanks for sharin your wonderful recipes with us!
Thanks for the kind words Yrsa. I think you may have cooked the sauce too long with heat that is too high and it started to caramelize, which can indeed turn into candy like state. The only thing I can think of is to stop cooking the sauce much earlier, we just want to make sure the sauce is slightly thick, and not super thick. The sauce will usually thicken some more once it cools off. Hope this helps. :)
Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life says:
I love how simple this recipe is to make, but so full of yummy flavor!
Such a great sauce, and it's delicious on chicken wings, too! Thanks for posting!
Making this tonight to serve with some roasted Brussels Spouts - smells so good already!
What a simple but delicious way to enjoy chicken! I love that the ingredients are simple making it a great weeknight meal.
I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken, and this recipe looks amazing! I cannot wait to try it, it looks so juicy and delicious. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Simple and delicious, thank you! Making for dinner again this weekend :)
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry says:
What a flavourful and tasty dish! I love honey garlic chicken so will certainly be giving this a try.
Sara Welch says:
What an incredible meal! Adding this to my dinner line up; looks worthy of a restaurant, indeed!
So quick and so delicious! Thanks for sharing, Anita
Hi Anita! Your easy-to-cook recipes have been my favourites! I just wanna ask is it alright to use just common vinegar here? I am afraid it will ruin the taste of the whole meal
Hi Farah, you can substitute rice vinegar with white vinegar if you wish. Instead of 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, use 2 tablespoons white vinegar + 1/2 teaspoon sugar. The sugar is added to counter the more acidic nature of white vinegar.
Laura Adams says:
Hi, Anita... I feel stooopid asking this, but I'm confused about the chicken: are you saying 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced in half horizontally, to make 4 thin breasts? The ones pictured look larger than that to me - thus the confusion. Thanks for the clarification. ❤️
Yes, that is correct, cut 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts in half horizontally to get 4 thin breasts. Chicken breasts in the US are getting really large, so I guess it can be quite confusing if you are not used to this. :)
If you think your chicken breasts are on the thin side, feel free to use 4 breasts and no need to cut them in halves. :)
Laura Adams says:
Nevermind, Anita. I read your recipe for Honey-Lemon Chicken & saw where you explained about chicken breasts getting so big, now. Maybe, (for doobs like me) you could put that in the recipe instructions. It's a great idea! Some of the chicken breasts we get weigh more than a pound! Thanks!
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