Easy, Quick Honey Chicken (with variations)

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img_2588O.K. I actually invented this recipe too, but it was based on a lemon caper chicken recipe I had found on allrecipe.com.  I was trying to duplicate a dish I had at Johnny Carinos called chicken piccata, but you can only eat capers so often.  What I noticed from that recipe wasthe method of coating chicken with corn starch, frying it briefly in oil/butter and then putting on some sort of sauce was very easy and tasty. 
      It is hard to confess this, but sometimes I’m in the middle of cooking a dish and I haven’t exactly decided what I’m making.  So I had the chicken cooking in the pan and all of the sudden I think of the Honey Chicken my kids like at Pei Wei’s diner.  What could be in that stuff?  Honey for one thing.  So I start pouring on some honey.  It starts to melt and become more like a sauce.  I taste it–that’s it!  Now for adults you might want to add some spices like ginger, sesame oil or even some pepper.   For kids, it is great just as it is.  Of course I couldn’t stop there, so I started trying the same recipe with maple syrup, various jams and then just garlic salt.  They all taste great.  Here it is–I’ve got some chicken cut up to make this right now.
Honey chicken
1. cut chicken pieces up into 1 inch cubes (I use about 1 lb)
2. coat them in cornstarch (can also use flour but cornstarch works better)
3. melt 1 TB butter (or oil) in skillet (or sesame oil for a more “chinesy taste”
Put the chicken in and cook stirring until they are slightly brown (cut open to see they are not pink any more)
Pour about 1/2 cup honey over the chicken–continue to stir as honey coats chicken and becomes a glaze.
 
Serve with rice (boil 2 cups water and 1 tea salt.  Add 1 cup rice and turn down heat to simmer.  Cover and cook for exactly 18 minutes)  or noodles  (You can boil chinese noodles or just use spagetti with a bit of soy sauce if you want–or just have the honey sauce on top of the noodles). 
 
Garlic Chicken
Cook the chicken exactly as above.  Instead of adding the honey, sprinkle on Garlic salt. 
 
Orange Chicken:
Cook chicken exactly as above.  Add orange marmalade instead of the honey.  You can add a bit of white cooking wine too.  Or instead of the marmalade, I’ve been using Ty Ling Orange Citus sauce that I found at HEB.
 
Maple chicken:
Don’t cut up the chicken, but cook it just like above.   Instead of Honey add a sprinkle of garlic salt and real (not imitation) maple syrup.  I also add a bit of wine (1/4 cup or so)
 
Apricot or Plum Chicken
You guessed it.  Cook as above in larger pieces (like tenders or breasts).  Add in aprocot or plum jam, a bit of garlic salt, maybe a 1/2 tea of curry and 1/4 cup of wine (optional).
 
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2 responses »

  1. I’m sure my kids will love the hone chicken. Thanks very much for sharing. And I love that you give so many variations too. Btw any idea why cornstarch works better than flour? I’ve never used it for coating. Anyway I’ll work on my own version of this for my blog, http://www.myquickdinnerrecipes.com

  2. Hi Lexi–hey, I like your blog. I’ll have to bookmark it. I’m not sure the chemistry of the corn starch, but I do know that it takes less corn starch to thicken something than it does flour. I use corn starch in all of my chinese recipes to thicken sauces and sometimes add a little dissolved in water to thicken a soup. It tends to be a thinner, crisper coating than flour. I’ve used it for pork and beef too. I have to confess that I’m a “variations” cook. I like recipes I can cook without thinking about them much. I also like to be creative in the kitchen. I find it relaxing. Thanks for commenting and I’ll enjoy looking at your site for easy dinner ideas.

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