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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
    My family loves this chicken. The honey drizzle makes this! I was wondering if you could freeze the popcorn chicken. I would love to make this for my daughter’s graduation party. Any ideas?

    1. Hey Noelle,
      Sure, I would freeze before baking, I think that would work well for you! Try flash freezing on a baking sheet and then popping them into an airtight container. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this more times than I can count during the last month – it is delicious and I am obsessed with it!

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! ?xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this! Made it twice for 2 different family groups and everyone loved it.
    Adult chicken nuggets at their finest. The sauce is amazing and love how it can be adjusted to taste for heat.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! ?xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    This. Was. So. Good!
    Highly recommend trying out this recipe. I can handle some heat but nothing crazy, and thought it was a great balance between sweet and hot. Love that you can adjust to your liking by adding more or less cayenne/chili flakes. Only thing I did differently was place a baking/cooling rack on top of the sheetpan to place the chicken on; in hopes of resulting in more air circulation and crispier chicken.

    I would only have one question –
    The recipe called for crushed cornflakes. I had a pre-crushed “Cornflake Crumbs” mixture I had already bought. However, I found they were a much more fine texture compared to your video. For your recipe, did you buy cornflakes and then crush them yourself? What would be best to achieve a crunchier/crispier breading texture?

    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe! It’ll be printed out and on rotation!

    1. Hey Brianna,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Yes, I always crush my own cornflakes, I think that makes for a fresher, crunchier breading! ?xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    This was seriously delicious! I love recipes like this that work well for a family–the chicken drizzled with some plain honey was perfect for my kids and my husband and I devoured the recipe as written. That sauce is addictive!

    1. Hey Stacy,
      Happy Wednesday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go! xx

  6. 5 stars
    This chicken is absolutely delicious! Simple to make and a real crowd pleaser. Even my little ones like it, and they are pretty picky. I like to double the sauce recipe (it’s so good, you will want extra).

    1. Hey Susie,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was a winner:) ?xx

  7. 5 stars
    These turned out so good! Followed the recipe exactly. Usually I don’t have success with “oven fried” things, but these turned out incredible. The sauce is so flavorful and you can adjust based on whether you like more sweet/spicy.

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try. Have the best week:)) xT

  8. 4 stars
    LOVED this recipe! First time trying anything from the site and I can confidently say this won’t be the last, as I’ll be looking for something to make tomorrow night as soon as I finish this post!!

    1. Hey Madeline,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try. Have the best week:)) xT

  9. Favorite recipe from the site so far, and my boyfriend said his new favorite chicken. Needed extra flour mixture for the chicken and doubled the sauce recipe but other than that followed the recipe and it turned out great!

    1. Hi Kam,
      Happy Sunday!! Love to hear that you have enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it!! xx

  10. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! My family has made it twice—the first time eating the chicken like nuggets with sides, and the second, we mixed it in with frozen stir fry veggies and ate with rice! Instant fave.

    1. Hi Andie,
      Happy Sunday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for trying it out!! xTieghan

  11. Question! My fiancé is sensitive to butter but LOVES spicy southern food – is there anything you would suggest as the best substitute to the butter in the sauce? I know there are a bunch of alternative options but wanted to ask if there was one you would suggest over the rest! Thank you so much! LOVE your recipes!

    1. Hey Brittany,
      I would use ghee or another dairy free butter than you enjoy! I hope you both love the recipe, let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    So, SO good!! I made it exactly as you described but substituted the cornflakes with panko breadcrumbs instead. 10/10, would make again and again. Worth every drop of that sinfully buttery but oh so flavorful sauce! Trying this again tonight with chicken tenders instead and hoping it turns out just as well!

  13. 5 stars
    Will make this chicken over and over again. The crunch of cornflakes is very good – like it so much better than panko?

    1. Hey Laurie,
      Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have the best weekend:) xT

    1. Hi Candace,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    This was delicious! My family really enjoyed it. I toned the spice down a bit and it was just the right amount of spicy. My girls say “this is a keeper”.

    1. Hey Hillary,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan