This chicken is old.

No… it really is – we first ate is seven weeks ago, then again two weeks later. It was a meal that I threw together quickly for dinner one night loosely based on the crunchy honey chicken, which is one of our favorites.

I had zero intention of of sharing it, and especially no desire to photograph it, because after spending 8-10 hours nearly every single day in the kitchen covered in food and taking 200 photos just to get five good ones, the last thing I want to do it pick up a camera. More likely, I want to throw one out the window. Twice.

After sitting down with a plate and taking a bite, I decided it was way too good not to tell you about, so I hurried up and made the rice look pretty in a short and fat bowl and smashed it all on a ridiculously small plate. Hopefully you never have to come over and actually eat at meal time, because… it’s a hot mess and looks nothing like these photos.

I’d actually be horrified.


Hence the lack of pictures. It made the seven week waiting list because the General Tso’s chicken was absolutely incredible and had to come first. And… I must have a semblance of variety on this thing to keep my sanity. I get bored way too easily.


Speaking of chicken, last night when I finally arrived at the airport, I was hoping that maaaaybe someone would cook me dinner or something? Or spoon-feed me a bowl of cereal before I face-planted into it? I couldn’t even fathom making something after 12 hours of traveling + jet lag, and after not eating at home the last six days, it was really all I wanted. I wanted to pass out, wake up late, work out and not unpack. But somehow we ended up at Quaker Steak and Lube (guess who decided that?)… which means I won’t be making this chicken anytime soon. But you totally should.

Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken

serves 4-6

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces

1/4 cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons

3 tablespoons honey + more for dripping/drizzling

the juice of 2 large lemons

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest + 2 teaspoons

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup all-purpose (or whole wheat) flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons honey, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Whisk ingredients together, then add chicken pieces to a ziplock bag and pour marinade over top. Let sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours.

When ready to make, add flour, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and the remaining salt and pepper to a large bowl. Mix well. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, and once it is very hot, add 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Coat chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then add to the skillet and cook until each side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and set chicken on a paper-towel covered plate. Cook remaining batches, adding more/less oil if needed. I used 3 tablespoons, but depending on how coated your chicken pieces are you may need a bit more.

Serve with rice and a few tablespoons of honey mixed with lemon zest for dipping.

If someone could come live my life today while I sleep forever, that would be wonderful.

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111 Responses to “Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken.”

  1. #
    Katie — September 27, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

    I always put my food on miniature plates. Because ususally we’ve eaten half the recipe before I photograph it. We pretty much eat standing up in the kitchen, so it never ever resembles the effort that I (sometimes) put into my recipes and food photos.


  2. #
    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — September 27, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    I love love love this idea! Simple and perfect for a weeknight dinner.


  3. #
    Kiran @ — September 27, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    MMmmm.. I love simple chinese dishes as such. Don’t sleep forever. We need you :)


  4. #
    Hannah — September 27, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    wow, this is so good! I have been looking for this recipe for aaaages! thanks so much!


  5. #
    Shari @ The Daily Dish — September 27, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

    This looks awesome. :) Thanks for sharing.


  6. #
    mis-cakes — September 27, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

    i’m actually gonna make this for dinner. sometimes i say things like that but then i realize i don’t have all the ingredients so i just SAY i am gonna make something totally fabulous for dinner then we end up with something out of a box but this time i’m not even lying. i am gonna make this for dinner with roasted garlic potatoes. i would be lost without you.


    • mis-cakes — September 28th, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

      made these last night and they were awesome!!! thanks for the recipe :)


  7. #
    Karly — September 27, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

    You seriously spend all day in the kitchen? Like, for real? You’re my hero. My crazy, nutso hero.


  8. #
    Jennifer @ Somewhere In Between — September 27, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    I made this tonight and absolutely LOVED it!! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow :)


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

      So glad you liked it!


  9. #
    Carrie — September 27, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    Dinner tomorrow night! Cant wait for a new easy chicken recipe for a week night.


    • Carrie — September 28th, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

      Yep– Delish! Husband loved it too!!!!


  10. #
    Natalie — September 27, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    These look so tender and delicious! I must try this recipe out!


  11. #
    Nicki — September 27, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

    This looks soooo good! I’m definitely going to try this!


  12. #
    Laura — September 28, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    I’m making these as I type! I’m marinading the chicken now. I cannot wait to try the final product. Thanks again.


  13. #
    arlana — September 28, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

    gonna marinate it now so that it will be ready for dinner! can’t wait to see my partner’s reaction! fingers crossed, i will do this recipe justice! gonna replace lemon with lime instead as i ran out of lemon! hope it works just as well!


  14. #
    Tessa — September 29, 2011 @ 12:10 am

    Ha, ha. I have recipes that I’ve been holding onto for way to long too, and it also usually has nothing to do with how good they were. Just need to keep it different :) Nonetheless, this chicken does look good!


  15. #
    Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen — September 29, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    I’ve been dying to find time to make French onion soup…you have just inspired me to reorganize my priorities!


  16. #
    becca — October 4, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    Usually my husband is the adventurous cooker in our house. I make the soups, pastas, and homey stuff. But tonight….this is on the menu and it’s already marinating! Here’s to hoping it’s good!


    • Jessica — October 4th, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

      Let me know how it turns out!


      • becca — October 6th, 2011 @ 10:39 am

        It turned out great! Thanks for pepping up our boring menu! :)

  17. #
    Nikki — October 5, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

    I made this recipe and love it! My meat loving man thought it was great too. Thanks so much for sharing.


  18. #
    Kelsey — October 7, 2011 @ 1:42 am

    Yummy!!! This sounds amazing! Definitely going to try it next week.


  19. #
    Genelle — October 10, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    Tried this recipe tonight….it was great! I added some chopped green onions to the rice and as a garnish for the chicken and honey. YUMMY!


  20. #
    Encore — October 13, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    This turned out fantastic, except for my utter lack of cooking skills. It’s all a work in progress right? ;) Thanks so much for the recipe and I linked back to you so my 2 readers could figure out how a real cook does it!


  21. #
    janice — October 19, 2011 @ 10:07 am

    Just wanted to say I made this recipe last night and it was good — so good, in fact, that my husband and I really enjoyed it despite the fact that I dredged it in copious amounts of POWDERED SUGAR instead of flour by accident! I didn’t even realize it at first, I just thought maybe I used a little too much honey in the marinade. So, kudos to you for a recipe that is so good that a moron like me can royally screw it up and still end up with a tasty dinner!


  22. #
    Sami Oakley — October 27, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

    We had this tonight. It was really yummy! I made enough to freeze and reheat in a few weeks and I think it’ll be tasty from the oven too :) Thanks!


  23. #
    Lori S. — November 9, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    This recipe is awesome! I made it twice this week and can’t wait to make it again…everyone in my family loved it! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!


  24. #
    Alyssa B — April 26, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    I was looking for a crispy sweet chicken recipe that involved lemon. This is exactly what I wanted. Made it right away and it was seriously so good. Thanks!


  25. #
    Claire — October 27, 2012 @ 5:29 am

    I LOVE this recipe!! Totally gonna try tomorrow. it’s not difficult but it surely tastes fantastic! :)


  26. #
    Darcy — September 26, 2013 @ 7:29 am

    Just made a variation of this for dinner. Used fish coz It was on the menu for tonight but didn’t have all my normal fish dish ingredients. Turned out awesome, family loved it. It’s my new go to fish recipe from now on. Will defnately use this for chicken next time as well.


  27. #
    sumaiya — January 6, 2014 @ 11:13 am

    easy nd just what i needed…all the ingredients r at home so thanks :)


  28. #
    dave — March 13, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

    Hilarious article. We are going to try this tonight, thank you!


  29. #
    Anonymous — April 18, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    shredded_academy on Instagram is stealing your pictures and claiming them as his own.


  30. #
    Siobhan — April 18, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    I almost never cook. Cooked this today – was a big hit! Delicious and my mum (who eats like a bird) devoured a whole plate. Thanks!


  31. #
    Honeybee — October 26, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

    Sorry all I thought this was the worst dinner Ive made in a long time. Very little flavor..,and I used premium quality chicken. I love to cook, but I thought this recipe was time -consuming and it made a mess in the kitchen. Definitely would not make this again.


  32. #
    amanda — June 10, 2015 @ 6:41 pm

    Absolutely beautiful and so easy thank you for sharing


  33. #
    heather — July 8, 2015 @ 7:58 pm

    I’m marinading this now as im leaving this comment. im super excited to try it and judging by all the comments we will love this dish!! thanks so so much!!



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