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Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken Recipe

Bite-sized chicken thigh pieces coated in flour and deep-fried and topped with hot honey, coleslaw, and pickles. Delicious!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk + 3 Tbsp
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Hot Honey Sauce


  • In a large bowl mix 2 cups of buttermilk and 1 ½ tablespoon of salt. Add the chicken thighs and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight.
  • Remove chicken from the buttermilk and pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  • In a shallow bowl add the flour, baking powder, black pepper, thyme, and 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Using your hands, rub your fingers in the flour until the mixture looks like coarse wet sand.
  • Working with a few pieces at a time, dredge the chicken into the flour mixture while lightly pressing to make sure the flour sticks. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Use a deep pot or dutch oven filled with 2 inches of oil (about 4 cups). Preheat the oil to 350 degrees. When the oil is ready, fry in batches and cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a paper towel to drain. Continue with the remaining chicken pieces.
  • Dip into the hot honey sauce and enjoy.


  • Marinating the chicken in buttermilk will keep it moist, adds flavor, and tenderize the meat.
  • Adding buttermilk to the flour mixture will help create extra bits of crispiness when you fry the chicken.
  • You want to start out frying about 6-8 pieces of chicken at a time. You don’t want to crowd the pan or the chicken won’t get golden brown and crispy.
  • You can add any additional garnishes. We added a classic coleslaw on top and dill pickles.
  • Reheat in the air fryer at 375 degrees for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Freeze the cooked chicken for up to 4 months.
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