Easy Sweet and Spicy Chicken — Perfectly spicy with just the right amount of sweetness in this EASY, super flavorful recipe that leave you wanting more!! Crispy skin on the outside, juicy and tender inside, and so GOOD!!
Quick Sweet and Spicy Chicken Recipe
I am a fan of salty-and-sweet recipes as well as spicy-and-sweet. There is something about adding a touch of sweetness to salty or spicy recipes that I love. The flavor contrast gets me every time.
This is a simple nine-ingredient recipe that comes together in about 30 minutes. The chicken is first seared on the stovetop for both color and flavor, and then it’s finished in the oven.
Pair the honey Sriracha chicken with rice, cauliflower rice, steamed or roasted veggies, or an Asian-inspired side salad. This is an easy meal to throw together during the week and everyone loves it!
What’s in the Sweet and Spicy Chicken?
To make the sweet and spicy sauce for the chicken, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Boneless chicken thighs
- Cayenne pepper
- Green onions
- Salt and pepper
- Sesame seeds (optional)
Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead?
For this recipe, I used chicken thighs without the skin. Normally my chicken recipes all use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but I figured it was time I mixed it up.
You could probably use bone-in chicken thighs or breasts, or with the skin still on, but I haven’t tried those variations. The thighs were juicy, tender, and had so much flavor from that spicy and sweet glaze.
How to Make Sweet and Spicy Chicken
This recipe is so easy and ready in about 30 minutes. Simply brown chicken on the stove until it’s nicely golden browned and crispy.
While chicken is browning, mix up the glaze which consists of honey, sriracha, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Brush it on and then bake the chicken for about 20 minutes. So easy.
Tips for Making the Sweet and Spicy Sauce
This is a spicier recipe as written, although you can make it as hot or not as you like by adjusting the sriracha and the cayenne levels.
If you want it less spicy, omit the cayenne and use half the sriracha. If you want it spicier and like to breathe fire like I do — and you know who you are — you can adjust things upwards as you desire.
Like with any spicy food, it may seem a little strong at first, but then you find yourself wanting more. And more. Hurts so good. This recipe isn’t to that extreme but you get the point. The exterior where the glaze is brushed on is definitely spicier than the interior.
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Easy Sweet and Spicy Chicken
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, about 6; either with or without skin is fine
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sriracha, or to taste
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- green onions sliced into thin rounds, for garnishing
- sesame seeds, optional for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- To a large oven-proof skillet, add the oil and chicken with the skin down (or the side down where the skin would have been if you're using skinless), and evenly season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is golden browned, about 7 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, to a small bowl, add the honey, sriracha, garlic, optional cayenne, and stir to combine.
- Flip chicken over and evenly spoon the honey mixture over the browned side of all chicken pieces.
- Place skillet in oven and bake for about 16 to 22 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and done (165F). Exact cooking time will vary on the size of the pieces and exactly how browned/done they were going into the oven.
- Garnish with green onions, optional sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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