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This Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken is spicy, saucy, and so delicious. It’s an easier, yet still fun, twist on the famous Nashville Hot Chicken. Breaded popcorn chicken bites are oven baked until crispy. Then they’re finished with a beyond perfect sweet and spicy honey butter sauce with crisp garlic and chili flakes. Out of this world good. Great for dinner or served as a game day appetizer.

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

With the Olympics starting up on Thursday, and the Super Bowl to follow, I’m all about creating some fun recipes with sports in mind. That said, these have been on my “to-make recipe list” for a while now.

My brothers are big chicken guys, especially bite-sized chicken covered in sauce. They usually request some kind of buffalo chicken, but I thought I’d throw them a curveball and do something southern-inspired. If you’re not familiar with it, there is a Nashville hot honey chicken that people rave about. It’s deep-fried and covered in a spicy honey butter sauce.

I’ve only been to Nashville once, and it wasn’t a long trip, so I’ve never gotten to try this chicken. I’ve googled the recipe and everyone’s is slightly different. The biggest thing is lots of cayenne, honey, and butter.

I’ve made a version in the past, but wanted to do something bite-size.

What ended up happening was simple. I made my own hot honey sauce as I was cooking this chicken. It’s very different from the Nashville sauce, but it sure is delicious.

I did a little combo of chili crisp garlic oil and hot honey. It turned out so well, I’ve been excited to share this ever since I made it!

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

The details – the chicken

Like a lot of my “oven fried” chicken recipes, this doesn’t require much effort. I love to use finely crushed corn flakes for the breading. Then bake the chicken in a super hot oven until it’s crispy all around.

While I love using cornflakes, you could also use Panko or gluten-free bread crumbs.

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

The sauce – the most important part

I’m not sure there’s a better sauce for these, this sauce is extra special.

It starts with cooking butter and garlic together until the butter slowly browns around the garlic and the garlic turns golden crisp. Basically, I’ve been really into the chili garlic crisp sauce everyone also seems to be into right now. I love the slight crunch of the garlic and all the chili flakes. So I took the concept and applied it to the butter sauce.

When the sauce is off the stove, add the honey, cayenne, and spices. Then some chili flakes. Make sure to add the cayenne and chili flakes to your taste.

If you love sauce like we do, I would double the recipe. Never enough sauce.

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

As soon as the chicken comes out of the oven, drizzle that hot honey over the chicken and give it a little toss. It’s important to use most of the sauce right away. As the sauce cools, the butter separates from the honey, making it a little tricky to drizzle.

Serve the chicken warm. It doesn’t need any extra sauces or garnishes. Just the chicken and that honey sauce! So delicious.

If you want to make this into an easy dinner, I’d serve the chicken and sauce over rice. Then add a side of roasted vegetables and a nice big house-style salad.

Everyone really enjoyed this, my dad, brothers, mom, I even think Asher loved it. Though it may have been a little spicy for her…but she had rice, so all was good! Excited to make this for the Olympics this week!

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for more game day recipes? Here are a few to try:

Sheet Pan Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Soft Pretzels

Fried Buffalo Goat Cheese Balls

Baked Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Buffalo Cauliflower with Spicy Tahini Ranch

Lastly, if you make this , be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 541 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Hot Honey

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the chicken and toss well to coat. In a separate bowl combine the cornflake crumbs, flour, paprika, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
    3. Dredge the chicken through the crumbs, covering fully. Place on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
    4. Just before the chicken is done cooking, make the sauce. In a small skillet, melt together the butter and garlic over medium heat. Cook until the butter is browning and the garlic turns golden. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the honey, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and chili flakes.
    5. Drizzle or pour the warm sauce over the chicken, tossing to coat. The sauce thickens quickly, so be sure to use while still warm. Serve um up!

Notes

Sauce: if you like extra sauce for drizzling/dipping, double the hot honey recipe. 
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Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We LOVE this recipe and make it often. Our favorite is to make a hot honey chicken wrap, using chicken tenderloins, and putting it in a tortilla with some coleslaw. A delicious and easy dinner!

    1. Hey Anna,
      Wonderful!!🎄 I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review! xx

  2. 5 stars
    This is a repeat recipe in my house. I make it often and it is always yummy! Its perfect as is but sometimes I’ll add a little extra spice because we like a kick!

    1. Hey Katie,
      Love it!!🤩 So glad to hear that this recipe is always a hit, thanks so much for making it so often! xx

    1. Hi Sam,
      Sure, that would work for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  3. This recipe was amazing! My son wanted to know what take out restaurant we bought this from! Definately in our bi weekly rotation. So easy and it tastes delicious and can be apired with so many things or on a salad. Thank you so much for making me actually look/taste like a chef 🙂

    1. Hi Shelley,
      Happy Wednesday! I really appreciate you taking the time to make this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit! xxT

    1. Hi Erin,
      I’ve honestly never used a deep fryer before so I can’t say how the recipe will turn out, but let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hi Cree,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed. Have the best weekend! ?xxT

  4. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite dishes EVER. I probably make this dish once a week. I double the honey and add a little more butter. I also love to let the sauce bubble away on the stove and it becomes this delicious spicy caramel.

    1. Hey Kate,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed, we appreciate the feedback! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I cooked my chicken in the air fryer for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping halfway through and it turned out great! Loved the honey sauce! I used a lot less chili flakes and spices because I have a 3 year old! haha

    1. Hi Lacey,
      Awesome!! Thanks for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    This has quickly become a favorite in our house- the chicken is so crispy and the sauce is so delicious. The only changes I make are to use 2 eggs for the dredge versus one and I use a little Franks Red Hot in the sauce instead of the chili flakes. It’s one of the few meals my whole family agrees on and requests time and time again!

  7. 5 stars
    Made this Sunday night! We are somewhat wimps when it comes to spicy food so I left out the cayenne and went light on the chili powder and it worked out perfect for us.

    1. Hey Pam,
      Fantastic!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! ?Tieghan

  8. 5 stars
    This is so fantastic! First time I made it I happened to have some leftover Cole Slaw. We decided it was the perfect compliment. It moderates the heat of the chicken perfectly. It’ll be my go-to from now on — and I WILL be making this regularly!

  9. 5 stars
    We are still sitting around the table with full bellies and tingling tongues after eating this tonight. My husband’s first words when he took a bite was, “Where has this been all my life?!” This is the first time I’ve made one of your recipes, but it won’t be the last. I’m really bad about not reading the whole recipe before I start to make something, and I’m not going to lie – I didn’t read all the instructions, but I did actually make sure I had every ingredients BEFORE I started and followed the entire thing without my usual slapdash attitude. Probably one of the reasons it turned out so well ?

    1. Hey Dyanne,
      Happy Sunday!! Lol I am thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for trying it out!! ?xx

      1. Husband requests these weekly! And being baked in the oven, they’re super easy for me to throw tough with three kiddos running through the kitchen! Definitely one of our favorites and in our recipe rotation from now on!