Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken
For the chicken
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1¼ pounds total)
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground thyme
1½ teaspoons sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 large egg
¼ cup water
Canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
For the sauce
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set an ovenproof wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Slice them in half horizontally, to create 6 cutlets of roughly equal thickness.
Heat about ½-inch of the canola or grapeseed oil in a medium skillet or saute pan over medium heat (its temperature on an instant-read thermometer should register no more than 350 degrees, so adjust the heat, as needed).
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, ground thyme, paprika and cayenne pepper in a wide, shallow bowl (like a pasta bowl). Whisk together the egg and water in a separate wide bowl.
Dip each cutlet in the flour mixture to coat it evenly, then into the egg-water and back again into the flour. The chicken should be completely coated; shake off any excess flour and place on a plate.
Once the oil shimmers, add half the coated chicken pieces or just enough to fit without crowding the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on the first side, then turn them over with tongs and cook for about 2 minutes, until crisped and golden. Use tongs to transfer to the wire rack. Repeat to fry all the chicken. Discard any remaining egg mixture and seasoned flour.
For the sauce: Heat the teaspoon of extra-virgin oil in a microwave-safe bowl for 15 seconds. Meanwhile, mince the garlic. Add to the heated oil; cover with a paper towel and microwave on HIGH in 15-second increments (about 1 minute ought to do it), until fragrant and softened. Stir in the honey, soy sauce and a pinch of cayenne, if using, until well incorporated.
Drizzle over the chicken, turning to catch both sides. Immediately transfer (on the rack/pan) to the oven; roast for 5 to 7 minutes, until heated through.
Adapted from a recipe at VanillaAndBean.com.