When I first stumbled upon the idea of merging honey and chilli in a chicken dish, I was taken aback by the sheer audacity of the combination. The sweet allure of honey, dancing in tandem with the fiery kick of chilli, was a culinary romance waiting to blossom.
As I ventured into the kitchen, the aroma of freshly grated orange zest beckoned me, hinting at an unexpected twist. Each step I took in crafting this recipe was a journey of discovery. From the sizzle of the chicken in the wok to the vibrant hues of bell peppers, every element converged into a symphony of flavors.
And as I whisked the sauce, blending in the honey and chillies, I realized that sometimes, the most unexpected pairings lead to the most delightful experiences. Join me on this flavorful adventure, and let's explore the magic that is Honey Chilli Chicken together.
Side Dishes for Honey Chilli Chicken
The brilliance of Honey Chilli Chicken doesn't just lie in its standalone flavors, but also in its versatility to pair with a plethora of side dishes. Whether you're looking for something light and refreshing or a hearty accompaniment, there's a side dish for every palate. Here's a curated list of sides to complement the sweet and spicy notes of our main dish:
Steamed Jasmine Rice: The delicate fragrance of jasmine rice not only absorbs the sauce well but also balances the robust flavors of the chicken.
Garlic Green Beans: Quickly sautéed with minced garlic and a touch of soy sauce, these beans add a crisp and flavorful contrast.
Asian Slaw: A refreshing mix of shredded cabbage, carrots, and a light sesame vinaigrette can cleanse the palate between bites of the spicy chicken.
Stir-Fried Noodles: Whether it's soba, udon, or rice noodles, a quick stir fry with some veggies and soy sauce makes for a hearty side.
Bok Choy with Garlic: Lightly stir-fried in garlic and finished with a splash of sesame oil, bok choy offers a tender and mild flavor profile that pairs seamlessly.
Sweet Potato Fries: The natural sweetness of these fries will resonate with the honey in the chicken, while the crispy exterior contrasts the saucy texture.
Coconut Rice: The creamy and fragrant coconut rice acts as a buffer to the spicy notes of the chicken, providing a luscious mouthfeel.
Wonton Soup: A light broth with delicate wontons can be a comforting addition, making the meal wholesome and soul-satisfying.
Edamame: Simply steamed and lightly salted, edamame beans are a protein-rich, bite-sized delight that can be enjoyed alongside or even before the main dish.
Substitutions for Honey Chilli Chicken Recipe
Chicken: While the recipe calls for chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs for a juicier texture. For vegetarians, firm tofu or tempeh can be a protein replacement.
Honey: Agave nectar or maple syrup can serve as a sweet alternative. However, note that maple syrup will impart a unique flavor.
Soy Sauce: For a gluten-free version, tamari or coconut aminos can be used. If you're avoiding soy altogether, opt for coconut aminos.
Rice Vinegar: Don't have rice vinegar? Apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar can work, though they might slightly change the taste.
Fresh Red Chillies: Depending on your spice tolerance and availability, you can use dried chilli flakes, chilli paste, or even green chillies. Adjust the quantity based on the heat level you prefer.
Cornstarch: Arrowroot powder is a fantastic alternative to cornstarch, and it's typically used in the same ratio.
Orange Zest: If you don't have oranges for zesting, a splash of orange juice or even lemon zest can add that citrusy touch.
Bell Peppers: Feel free to add or substitute with vegetables like snap peas, broccoli, baby corn, or zucchini. This can make the dish more colorful and nutritious.
Honey Chilli Chicken
- Wok or large frying pan
- Kitchen knife and cutting board
- Cooking thermometer (optional)
For the Marinade:
- 500 g chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Salt to taste
For the Sauce:
- 4 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoon water
- 2 fresh red chillies finely sliced
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1- inch ginger grated
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
- 4 green onions sliced
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Marinate the Chicken: In a bowl, combine the chicken with soy sauce, cornstarch, and salt. Marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Prepare the Sauce: In a separate bowl, whisk honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch-water mixture, chillies, orange zest, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.
- Cook the Chicken: Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken pieces until they turn golden brown and are cooked through (165°F or 75°C if using a thermometer). Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Sauté the Vegetables: In the same wok, sauté the bell peppers for 2-3 minutes.
- Combine Everything: Add the chicken back to the wok, pour the sauce over, and stir well to combine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Garnish and Serve: Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot with steamed rice or noodles.
Honey Chilli Chicken - FAQ
Absolutely! Chicken thighs can be juicier and more flavorful. Just ensure they are cooked thoroughly before proceeding.
The orange zest adds a unique flavor. If you don't have it or prefer without, the dish will still be delicious.
Yes, you can. However, adjust the quantity based on the heat level you prefer. Dried chilli flakes or paste can be more concentrated in flavor.
You can opt for a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari to make the recipe gluten-free.
This dish pairs well with quinoa, couscous, or even a side of stir-fried or steamed veggies.
It's best consumed within 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Yes, you can substitute rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. The taste might vary slightly, but it'll still be delicious.
The spice level can be adjusted according to your preference. Reduce the number of chillies if you prefer a milder dish.
es, you can freeze it in a freezer-safe container. However, the texture of the chicken and bell peppers may change slightly upon reheating.