Honey Butter Chicken is a quick, easy, and no-fuss recipe! Tender chicken thighs are seared and simmered in a sweet and savory sauce, then broiled until crispy. They’re juicy, rich, and downright addicting! Serve this healthy meal as one of those easy dinners on busy weeknights or as a centerpiece at family gatherings.
6chicken thighsbone-in, skin-on (But you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs, although they'll cook in half the time).
Salt and pepperto taste
¼cup4 tablespoons honey - Agave, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup also work. Use sugar-free honey or maple syrup for a low carb version!
1tablespoonminced garlicor 4 cloves garlic, minced - Garlic powder works in a pinch. Use ¼-teaspoon for every fresh clove.
2tablespoonsfresh squeezed lemon juiceLime works as well.
2-4tablespoonschicken brothOPTIONAL - This can be replaced with vegetable broth or water.
4Lemon wedgesto serve - Or try lime wedges.
2tablespoonsfresh chopped parsley - You can also try cilantro or basil. OPTIONAL
Position an oven shelf about 8-inches away from heat element of your oven broiler. Turn on the broiler!
SEASON: Pat chicken dry with paper towel, then season the thighs well with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat until sizzling hot. Then, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
SEAR the chicken thighs, skin side down first, until the skin is nice and crispy (about 5 minutes). Flip and sear again until golden and crisp (about another 5 minutes). Drain most of the excess grease from the pan, leaving 2 tablespoons of the pan juices for added flavor. Transfer chicken to a warm plate and reserve.
MAKE THE SAUCE: Melt the 4 remaining tablespoons of butter over medium heat in the same skillet you seared the chicken, scraping any bits left over from the chicken with a spatula.
Stir the butter and swirl the pan now and then for about 3 minutes or until the foam settles and the butter starts to become golden brown with a nutty aroma.
Stir in the honey and let it dissolve into the butter. Then add in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the lemon juice until combining all of the flavors together. Add the chicken back into to the browned butter/honey mixture in the skillet.
COOK SKIN SIDE UP for 5 minutes in the sauce, while basting the tops or chicken skin with the pan juices. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the skillet with a lid, and allow the chicken to cook until cooked through.
Just make sure to flip the thighs every 5 minutes or so until done (about extra 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the thighs). If needed, adjust the salt and pepper! Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of chicken broth if the sauce becomes to thick.
BROIL: Transfer the skillet to your oven to broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken skin is nicely charred.
ALTERNATIVELY FOR OVEN BAKED CHICKEN: Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C. Sear chicken in a cast-iron skillet, skin side down first, for 3 minutes. Flip and sear for additional 3 minutes until browned.
Transfer the chicken to a plate; make the sauce following the recipe instructions above, then add the chicken into the sauce. Transfer to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked through and no longer pink inside. Change oven settings to broil, until nicely charred on the tops (2-3 minutes).
SERVE with lemon wedges around the chicken and chopped parsley on top, drizzled with the pan juices. Steamed veggies such as asparagus go well with it!
FOR BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN THIGHS:
Sear boneless chicken thighs on both sides until golden brown. Transfer them to a plate and reserve.
Then, make the sauce following our recipe instructions.
Add the thighs back into the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes in the sauce, while basting the tops with the pan juices. Flip and keep cooking them in the sauce until cooked through. Adjust the salt and pepper, to your taste. It will take about half the time to cook compared to bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
STORAGE AND REHEATING
Fridge: Let the chicken cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Freezer: For longer storage periods, transfer the chicken to a freezer-safe bag or container. It will stay fresh for 2-3 months in the freezer.
Thaw: Thaw the chicken in the fridge overnight before you’re going to reheat it again.
Reheating: Once thawed, heat honey butter chicken over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway. Alternatively, heat it in the oven at 375 degrees F on a parchment-lined pan. Cook it for 15 minutes, or until warmed through.
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