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This sizzling air fryer Hot Honey Chicken recipe is fried to a golden crisp, made with tender chicken drizzled with a golden hot honey sauce that offers the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. But wait, it gets better.

Bonus- we use crushed cornflakes for an extra crunchy result without the heaviness of cooking in a deep fryer. Start the prep in the morning, and cook in a flash when ready to serve – it couldn’t be easier.

Don’t have an air fryer? We have you covered! Included are pan-fry or oven-baked instructions!

Two hot honey chicken cutlets on a white plate with a gold fork and knife.

If you are wondering why I coat the chicken in cornflakes, I am going to tell you. The crushed and seasoned cornflakes provide an ideal crunch for the fried chicken, without needing to immerse in oil. Not to mention, the color is gorgeously delicious, with the hot honey sauce drizzled over top. 

So, why settle for ordinary when you can dine on this irresistible Hot Chicken with tangy honey sauce recipe? It’s going to be the new favorite chicken recipe that’ll have everyone asking for seconds, I promise you!

I like to serve this crunchy hot honey chicken with Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes and a side of Kale Crunch Salad or my fresh Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad. Any way you serve this perfect crunch easy recipe, you can’t go wrong!

Simple Ingredient Notes

Labeled ingredients needed to make hot honey chicken.
  • Chicken Breast Cutlets- Cutlets fry up faster and more evenly. Yo can also get whole chicken breasts and slice them in half to make 2 pieces.
  • Buttermilk- Whole buttermilk holds the crumb mixture on the best.
  • Dill Pickle Juice- Marinating chicken in pickle juice gives it that amazing full flavor.
  • Mayonnaise- Dukes is the best, in my opinion, but you can use any brand for the chicken coating.
  • Cornflake Cereal- Choose your favorite brand of crunchy cereal for the coating.
  • Parmesan Cheese- Grated parmesan cheese helps hold the coating together and adds a salty, cheesy flavor. Use pre-grated or freshly grate your parmesan cheese.
  • Seasonings- I use smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to make this chicken zing!

Hot Honey Ingredients

  • Honey- I like to use organic honey, but any honey variety will do!
  • Louisianna Hot Sauce- Choose your favorite brand of sauce. I prefer Louisianna Hot Sauce.
  • Seasonings- For the honey sauce you will need chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder and garlic powder.

How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Breasts with Hot Honey Sauce Recipe 

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

  1. Mix the marinade and chill: Start by making the flavorful marinade for the chicken. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pickle juice, and mayonnaise.  Then, add in the chicken cutlets and toss each piece of chicken in the marinade.

    Cover the bowl with chicken and marinade in the fridge for 20 minutes or up to 6 hours. (I like to let mine marinate for about 2 hours for loads of flavor.)

    Mayo, buttermilk, and pickle juice in a bowl with a whisk. 
  2. Make the Crumb Coating for the Chicken: When it is time to get dinner ready, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Then take out a food processor or blender, add the cornflakes and parmesan cheese and pulse the mixture until you have fine crumbs.

    Add the crumb mixture into a separate bowl and mix in the garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and pepper until well combined.

    Corn flakes processed in a food processor and then spices added to the crumbs in a bowl.
  3. Cooking the Air Fryer Chicken with Hot Honey Drizzle: The next step is to take the chicken out of the refrigerator and drain the buttermilk mixture off the chicken. Then, one piece at a time, coat the chicken with the cornflake coating.

    To avoid sticking, spray the air fryer basket lightly with cooking oil. Then, place each piece of coated chicken in a single layer in the basket, being careful not to overcrowd the basket.

    Cook each batch for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. The internal temperature of the tender chicken should read 165 ℉.

    Chicken breast dipped into seasoned cornflakes crumbs and then placed in an airfryer.
  4. Mix the Hot Honey Sauce Recipe: Meanwhile, In a small saucepan, heat the honey over medium heat, stirring so as not to burn the sugars.

    When warmed, whisk in the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and hot sauce. Reduce heat and simmer on low until chicken is done (about 10 minutes).


    Honey in a saucepan and then spices added to the pan and reduced.
  5. When ready to plate, remove the chicken from the air fryer and coat each serving generously with the hot honey sauce. Serve right away and Enjoy!
Chicken cutlets with hot honey sauce being drizzled over them.

Tips

  • Make the marinade in the morning and allow the chicken to soak up the flavor all day.
  • Make in batches if you are cooking for a larger crowd. If you are making the chicken in batches, you will want to take out a sheet pan with a wire rack. Place the pieces in a warm oven on low heat as you go for the best results.
  • Always be sure to place the chicken pieces in a single layer and try not to overcrowd the air fryer.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Chicken strips: If you want to use chicken tenders, go right ahead! Adjust the temperature to 350 degrees and the cooking time to 12 minutes, and follow the rest of the instructions as written.
  • Spicy hot honey sauce: Kick up the spice level with the brine from a jar of pickled jalapenos, add in a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, and adjust spice level to your liking.
  • Tabasco Sauce: If you are out of Louisianna hot sauce, you can also use Tabasco.
  • Paprika: The smoked paprika adds a deeper flavor to the chicken, but you can use regular paprika as well. 
  • Chicken breasts and more: Want to use chicken thighs or chicken wings? No problem. Use chicken thigh cutlets, or make boneless chicken wings using chicken tenders! 

Recipe FAQs

What supplies will I need to make this hot chicken recipe with honey sauce? 

You don’t need much! Here are my suggestions for the best fried chicken. Use a food processor or blender, an Air fryer, mixing bowls, tongs, and a whisk. 

Can I make Nashville Hot Chicken in the Oven?

You sure can. Bake the chicken at 425° F on a large baking sheet in the oven on a wire rack for optimal circulation around the chicken pieses, flipping half way through the cooking time.

Can I make Hot Honey Chicken on the stove?

If you would like to deep fry this chicken recipe on the stove, you will need a dutch oven or a large skillet and oil.  Add the oil preferably to a dutch oven, filling the pan no more than halfway to allow room for the chicken and keep the splash down. Heat the oil on medium-high heat to 350-375° F and fry the chicken in batches to avoid over crowding. Cook on each side about 4 minutes then remove the pieces with tongs and transfer to cooling racks.

I don’t have cornflakes, what else can I use? 

No worries; if you don’t have cornflakes, plain panko breadcrumbs will work just as well!

Hot honey chicken breasts with one of the pieces sliced.

Storage

Store chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Then reheat it in the oven to heat and crisp the leftover chicken.

Keep the homemade hot honey sauce in an airtight container, such as a mason jar with a lid, for up to two weeks. 

What to Serve with Crispy Southern Hot Honey Chicken

More Air Fryer Recipes:

Hot honey chicken on a white plate with a pan of vegetables in the background.

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Hot honey chicken with the hot honey sauce being spooned over the top.
Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

(click stars to rate)

Hot Honey Chicken Recipe

Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
This sizzling air fryer Hot Honey Chicken recipe is fried to a golden crisp, made with tender chicken drizzled with a golden hot honey sauce that offers the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. 
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Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds chicken breast cutlets
  • 3 cups whole buttermilk
  • ¼ cup dill pickle juice
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, (I use Dukes)
  • 7 cups cornflake cereal
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Hot Honey Ingredients

  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons Louisianna Hot Sauce, (or your favorite brand)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

 Air Fryer Chicken Directions 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, pickle juice, and mayonnaise. Add in chicken and toss to coat each piece. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. You can do this for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours. 
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400℉ for at least 5 minutes. 
  • Add cornflakes and parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Add crumb mixture into a separate bowl and add in 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix thoroughly. 
  • Drain the buttermilk mixture off the chicken. One piece at a time, coat chicken in breading mixture. 
  • Spray the air fryer basket lightly with oil. Place chicken in a basket, being careful not to overcrowd the basket. 
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes and flip halfway through. Depending on the size and thickness of the chicken, timing will vary. Internal temperature should read 165℉ when done. 
  • Remove the chicken from the air fryer (while the chicken is cooking, make hot honey sauce) and coat it generously with the hot honey mixture. 

Hot Honey Sauce Directions

  • In a small saucepan, heat honey over medium heat. 
  • Whisk in paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and hot sauce. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer on low until chicken is done. 
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

Oven-Baked Hot Honey Chicken Directions:Place chicken on a large baking sheet in the oven on a wire rack for optimal circulation around the chicken pieces. Bake the chicken at 425°F for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.
Cook time will vary based on thickness and size of chicken. Cook until the internal temperature of the center of the chicken reads 165℉ on a meat thermometer.
Deep Fry in Oil: In a dutch oven or a large skillet and oil, add the oil, filling the pan no more than halfway to allow room for the chicken and keep the splash down. Heat the oil on medium-high heat to 350-375°F and fry the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding. Cook on each side about 4 minutes then remove the pieces with tongs and transfer to cooling racks to drain excess oil.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 605kcal (30%) Carbohydrates: 59g (20%) Protein: 41g (82%) Fat: 23g (35%) Saturated Fat: 6g (38%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g Monounsaturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 121mg (40%) Sodium: 1246mg (54%) Potassium: 849mg (24%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 33g (37%) Vitamin A: 1310IU (26%) Vitamin C: 14mg (17%) Calcium: 207mg (21%) Iron: 11mg (61%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

©️Soulfully Made

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10 Comments

  1. Hi from California! I love that this recipe is called hot chicken and it looks delicious. So I will have to try making your recipe until I have a chance to visit Florida!

  2. I’ve been trying to think of a way to use the cornflakes in my pantry and found this recipe! Thank you. I’m going to try this!

  3. 5 stars
    The combination of spice and sweetness was perfect. The chicken was juicy and flavorful, and the hot honey glaze added a delicious kick. This recipe is a definite keeper!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this hot honey chicken for dinner last night and OMG was it delicious! Definitely a new favorite!