Sticky Baked Chicken Bites in Honey Sriracha Sauce
Sticky baked chicken bites drizzled in a homemade honey sriracha sauce! These little chicken nuggets are crusted in a mixture of corn flakes and potato chips for that extra crunch. Serve the honey sriracha sauce on the side or toss the chicken bites in the sauce before serving!
Alright! First recipe of 2017 comin’ attcha.
But first! HAPPY NEW YEARS! ? What did you do?! How was the party? We had a low-key celebration this year with just our closest couple friends at home. I’m a grandma who really gets a ridiculous amount of joy staying in my PJs while the rest of the world parties it up BIG. No, seriously, I do. We went back and forth for a bit whether we should go out and ultimately decided staying in was a way better option. On a whim we made a ginormous pizookie (deep dish pizza sized cookie) to really make sure we put our best foot forward into 2017. And I tell you, this really needs to be a tradition. PJs and pizookies! YAS!
But let’s talk about what I’ve got for you today. Baked chicken bites that are tossed in a quick homemade honey sriracha sauce. I vow right now to make your 2017 even more flavorful than your ’16. And these also just happen to be completely perfect for the BIG GAME which is just around the corner, might I add. Chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, chicken bites, popcorn chicken. IT’S ALL GOOOD. Make these into whatever shape/size you like, just make ’em, will ya!
And speaking of the big game, Houston is hosting the Super Bowl this year. I don’t think i’m going to step out of my house starting the last week of January. It’s suppose to get super INSANE.
These baked chicken bites were dinner one Thursday evening when Anees got back in town. I kept it pretty simple with a colorful salad on the side and these tender bites all nestled in my homemade honey sriracha sauce. Good thing I made a large batch because these nuggets went flying off the table.
And what makes it one of my all time favorite chicken meals: they’re BAKED and not fried!
It also integrates seamlessly into the January mindset, doesn’t it? We all want to get back to our pre-holiday bodies or are just looking to make a LIFESTYLE change in general. Whatever it is that you’re doing allow me to bring you these homemade chicken bites that are full of FLAVOR. And when you think about it, these BAKED chicken bites are a no-brainer. Who doesn’t love warm chicken bites that are all crunchy coated and dipped in homemade spicy, sweet, garlicky goodness. Let me tell you a secret. The secret to the crunch is in that coating.
The best part? It’s impossible to tell that these crunchy chicken nuggets are actually hot, crispy, and fresh out of the oven instead of the deep fryer.
The biggest secret to the coating is: Corn flakes! Or potato chips! Either will do the trick, I like to use a 50-50 combo of the two for the best flavor and CRUNCH. It all starts with tossing the corn flakes and potato chips into the food processor and pulsing the ingredients until they breakdown into smaller pieces.
While all that is going on, allow the chicken bites to sit in a little buttermilk. Buttermilk and chicken nuggets are meant for each other. They add lots of tenderness and flavor to these baked chicken bites. Once the chicken has a chance to tenderize in the buttermilk remove the chicken piece to a bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of flour. Coating the chicken nuggets in a couple tablespoons of flour and tossing it in a bowl is a lot easier than coating each individual nugget, isn’t it? The flour soaks up the excess liquid without drying it out too much. Most recipes would call for the chicken bites to be dipped in eggs and then in breading.
By using less flour we:
- cut out extra calories
- save on time
- less work!
Once that’s done. Coat the chicken bites in the corn flakes mixture. Into the oven it goes!
Now let’s talk about the sauce! It’s composed of 5 simple ingredients: honey, sriracha, garlic powder, rice vinegar, and ketchup. All we’re doing it warming the ingredients together in a saucepan and letting it simmer for a bit while the chicken cooks through in the oven. Then, it’s as simple and tossing the baked chicken bites in with the honey sriracha sauce.
I’d say the sauce is about a medium on the spice scale. 1 to 5 I give it a 3.5. We like HEAT so it works well for us, you can play with the heat by adding less sriracha and more ketchup to cut the spice a bit if you’re serving young children or just don’t care too much for spicy food. You can also serve the honey sriracha sauce on the side. Keep in mind that this makes just enough to coat the chicken nuggets. If you want extra sauce, I highly suggest doubling the ingredients. I know the first time around I made just enough to coat the chicken bites and I was wishing for a little more sauce action on the side.
When in doubt, always double the sauce!
You can serve these baked chicken bites with french fries for the little ones or a salad for the big ones. I kinda want to tinker with these chicken bites and maybe make a salad with them next time? I see a green leafy based salad with lots of topping and chicken bites tossed in. Of course the honey sriracha sauce easily doubles as dressing too!
But regardless of how you serve these easy honey sriracha baked chicken bites, they’re sure to be a crowd pleaser!
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups of crushed potato chips or corn flakes (I use 50-50 and do this in the food processor)
Honey sriracha sauce:
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup sriracha
- 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place a piece of parchment paper on two baking sheets, set aside.
- Place the chicken in a medium bowl, add the buttermilk, grated garlic, and a large pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes and ideally for 1 hour, Drain well. Place the chicken back in the same bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the seasoning mixture to the chicken and stir to combine until all the chicken pieces are evenly coated; let sit 5 minutes.
- Place the crushed chips or corn flakes in a shallow dish. Working in batches, dredge chicken bites in mixture and press to coat. Place chicken on prepared baking sheets. Do not over crowd as the bites won't crisp up as well. Spray the chicken nuggets with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake for 18-24 minutes or until the chicken is firm to the touch and cooked through. You can prepare the sauce while the chicken is baking. Make sure to turn the chicken at the halfway point so it crisps up on both sides.
Honey sriracha sauce:
- Heat the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool. if the sauce is spicy, consider adding another tablespoon of ketchup and/or honey to adjust to personal preference.
- Coat the crispy chicken pieces with the honey sriracha sauce in a large bowl and toss. Alternately, you can serve the sauce on the side!
- This makes enough sauce to just coat the chicken pieces. If you usually prefer lots of sauce, consider doubling the recipe. Left over sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It also works well as salad dressing!