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plate of juicy chili chicken

Best Chili Chicken Recipe

Juicy salted white meat chicken breaded and fried till golden and crisp. Dipped in a spicy red chili glaze.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Course chicken
Cuisine Hawaiian


  • 4-6 chicken thighs,skin on or your choice of bone-in chicken
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • 2 TBSP white sugar
  • 2 eggs

Dry Mix

  • 1 cup white or spelt flour, sifted
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Chili Paste

  • 5-7 dried hot red peppers with seeds
  • water to cover
  • 4 1/2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 7-9 TBSP chili water

Spicy Chili Glaze

  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 5 TBSP white sugar
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 heaping TBSP chili paste
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger sub 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 2-3 TBSP chili water



  • Add water, sugar, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Add chicken pieces and submerge in the brine. Cover and place in the fridge for one hour. (in the meantine make the chili glaze).


  • Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • In a third bowl, add flour, cornstarch and seasonings( 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp onion powder).Whisk to combine.
  • Remove the chicken from brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Dip each piece in egg and then in seasoned flour mix, making sure to coat all the edges and nooks.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan/pot until it shimmers. You will know it is hot enough to fry in when you place the end of a wooden spatula into the oil and bubbles appear on the wood.
  • Taking care not to crowd the oil, add chicken pieces and fry for 6-8 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Remove to a plate or metal cooling rack, if you have one.

Chili Paste

  • Do this step while the chicken is brining.
  • Re-hydrate peppers by adding them to a measuring cup and covering with hot water. Let steep for. 10-15 minutes, or until softened. Remove stems and discard. Transfer chilies to a food processor fitted with the "S" blade. RESERVE THE CHILI WATER.
    Add 7 Tablespoons of the chili water to the food processor along with rice vinegar, salt, and garlic cloves. Process until smooth. If you are using more chilies, you may need to add 1-2 Tablespoons of the chili water to achive a paste consistency. It should be thick but blend easily.

Chili Glaze

  • Get out a small- medium sized pot. Add 2 heaping Tablespons of the homemade chili paste, along with the honey, sugar, soy sauce, ginger and chili water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the glaze starts to bubble. Stir to comine with a spoon.


  • Dip each piece of crispy fried chicken in the chili glaze by adding it to the pot and tossing or brushing the glaze on with a pastry brush. Serve hot and garnish with sliced green onion.