Juicy, sweet, and savory Honey Turmeric Chicken makes for an exciting, yet simple weeknight dinner! This mouthwatering skillet filled with sticky chicken coated in a honey and soy glaze only takes 30 minutes to put together.
This Honey Turmeric Chicken will surely help you fall in love with turmeric. It’s an easy recipe that takes flour and turmeric-coated chicken thighs and pan-sears them to perfection. To finish, the chicken is dressed in a sweet and sticky umami-forward sauce made from honey and soy sauce.
Turmeric is an earthy and warm spice with peppery undertones. You only need a little to give your pan-seared chicken thighs bold flavors. It also adds a rich, golden pigment to whatever it’s in, like in this iced turmeric latte.
In the end, every bite of this healthy, 30-minute dinner is nicely balanced between sweet and savory, with a touch of warmth from the turmeric. It’s sure to be a hit!
- It’s an easy 30 minute dinner that’s prepared in one skillet.
- There’s no marinating required. Just bread the chicken thighs, coat them in the honey soy sauce, and enjoy!
- Just a small amount of turmeric is added to the chicken coating, allowing you to enjoy its rich flavors and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Chicken thighs - I prefer to make this recipe with chicken thighs because they’re fattier and more flavorful than breasts. Either use fresh boneless, skinless chicken thighs or frozen thighs thawed in the fridge overnight.
- Flour - Both regular all purpose flour or gluten free all purpose flour can be used.
- Turmeric - This Indian spice is stirred into the flour and instantly gives the breaded chicken a rich golden hue and earthy aromas. The end result is warm like a curry but not overpowering or spicy.
- Soy sauce - Or use tamari for a gluten free base in the honey soy sauce. If you want to use coconut aminos, reduce the amount of honey to 2 tablespoons.
- Honey - Honey provides this dish with sweetness to balance the savory, earthy notes. Agave syrup and maple syrup could be used as substitutes but the end result will taste quite different.
Step 1: Make the coating and sauce. Stir the flour, turmeric, and salt together in a shallow bowl. Whisk the water, soy sauce, and honey in another bowl.
Step 2: Coat in flour. Coat both sides of each chicken thigh in the seasoned flour mixture. Shake off the excess.
Step 3: Sear the chicken thighs. Carefully transfer the coated chicken thighs to an oiled skillet smooth side down. Cook it undisturbed for 3 minutes before flipping each piece. Add more oil and the garlic, and continue cooking for 1 minute.
Step 4: Add the sauce. Next, pour the honey soy sauce into the skillet. Cover and cook for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
Step 5: Finish cooking, then serve. Turn up the heat and let the sauce reduce by at least half. Continue until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!
Expert tips and FAQs
- Try not to overcrowd the skillet or else the chicken won’t sear as nicely. You may need to work in batches if your pan is too small.
- If the glaze is reducing too quickly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth to the pan. Add more as needed to keep it from overcooking before the chicken is finished.
- This turmeric chicken recipe is easy to adapt for baking, grilling, or cooking in the air fryer. Add the fresh garlic directly to the honey soy sauce, then brush the sauce over the chicken thighs as they cook.
Can they be made gluten free?
Yes, this recipe is easy to make gluten free. All you need to do is substitute gluten free all purpose flour in the breading and tamari, gluten free soy sauce, or coconut aminos in the sauce.
Do you have to use chicken thighs?
You can also make honey turmeric chicken wings, legs, or breasts by coating the pieces in the seasoned flour before baking or air frying. Once the chicken is cooked and crispy, brush on the honey soy sauce. Keep in mind that bone-in chicken will take longer to cook.
What goes with turmeric chicken?
The sweet and savory flavors in these sticky chicken thighs mean they pair well with simple sides. Serve them next to a variety of veggies and grains, such as sauteed asparagus, caramelized onion quinoa, coconut rice, or honey sriracha brussels sprouts.
Refrigerator: Let any extra chicken thighs cool to room temperature before storing them in a shallow airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
More healthy chicken thigh recipes
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Honey Turmeric Chicken
- 6 chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- cilantro for garnish optional
for the sauce:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoon water or more
- Pour the flour, turmeric and salt into a shallow bowl and stir to combine. Then, make the sauce: whisk the soy sauce, honey and water together in a glass measuring cup or bowl and set aside.
- Next, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- While the oil is heating up, dip each chicken thigh into the flour mixture, making sure it's completely coated, then transfer it to the skillet smooth side down.
- Cook the chicken for 3 minutes, then use kitchen tongs to flip it over, then add the remaining oil, along with the garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the sauce, place a lid on the skillet and continue cooking the chicken for 3 minutes. Then, remove the lid, increase the heat to high and cook the chicken for 2 minutes, or until it reaches and internal temperature of 165° and the sauce has reduced by at least half. If the sauce seems to be reducing too quickly, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
- Sprinkle with cilantro (optional) and enjoy!