Get ready to have your mind blown.
(Unless you don’t love Chili’s as much as I do. In which case, we cannot be friends any longer.)
Back when the husband & I just had the one kid, we used to drop him off at my parents once a week and we would go out to eat. And we’d always go to Chili’s because we’re kind of obsessed with Chili’s. I know, I know, it’s not cool to love a chain restaurant this much but I can’t help it! I love it!
But anyway, we would both order their Chipotle-Honey Chicken Crispers which are these awesomely fried chicken pieces that are covered in a sticky sauce that’s sweet and spicy and just plain delicious. Then, I don’t know if my tastes changed or if their recipe changed but one day, I couldn’t handle how spicy it was. This was back in the days before everyone and their mother had a food blog so as much as I searched, I couldn’t find a recipe for the chicken we loved so much.
When I found this recipe, I knew I had to make it. Immediately.
Y’all, it is spot on. And the best part? I didn’t add the full amount of chipotle powder the recipe calls for so I was actually able to eat some! I’m not a fan of frying (because omg, the mess, the smell, all of it annoys me!) but this was worth it. The husband said that he’s never going to Chili’s again after tasting my version! That’s a definite winner!
(The batter & breading is a lot of prep – I really think you could get away with a lot less, but I’m including the recipe as I made it. Next time, I’m going to do something similar to the Bang Bang Shrimp I posted but with paprika in the breading mixture. That one was a lot quicker and easier. Let me know if you make this using a different batter/breading and how it turns out!)
- 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken breasts)
- 6 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
- ⅔ cup honey
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg (beaten)
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
To make sauce:
- Combine all sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To cook chicken:
- Heat oil in fryer or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the batter, excluding flour, in a shallow bowl. Whisk in the flour until smooth.
- Make the breading by combining all ingredients in another shallow bowl or pie pan.
- Cut the chicken into bite size nuggets. Dip each piece of chicken into the batter, allowing the excess to drip off. Toss the chicken into the dry breading and coat completely.
- Carefully drop the breaded chicken (5 or 6 pieces at a time) into the hot oil and fry for 4 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove chicken from oil and allow to drain on paper towels.
- Repeat until all chicken has been cooked.
- Place chicken into a bowl and pour the sauce over top, toss gently to coat. Serve nice and hot with ranch, if desired.