Honey Garlic Chicken
Honey garlic chicken is a great combination of just a little sweetness with plenty of savory flavor from chicken thighs, garlic and bell pepper.

One of the most popular questions I get from people when they find out I write a recipe column is whether I have had any food fails when trying new dishes.

The answer is a resounding yes.

And if you were to ask me what the biggest fail of all time was, I would, without hesitation, tell you about a honey lime crockpot chicken I made nearly a decade ago. It still haunts me.

It was so disgusting that Joey and I begrudgingly threw it out. There was no saving it. It tasted like somebody tried to combine candy and chicken into one dish. It was positively awful.

Since that experience, any time I see a recipe that has “honey” and “chicken” in the title, I get a little flashback and wonder if I will be making another huge mistake if I give it a try.

This week, I decided to take the plunge anyway. Thankfully, no chicken ended up in the garbage, and we ended up with a tasty dinner and some leftovers, to boot.

This comes from the blog “Kitchen Sanctuary” by Nicky Corbishley. You can find her original post at https://www.kitchensanctuary.com/honey-garlic-chicken/. I added vegetables and a ton of extra garlic to my version.

Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey garlic chicken is a great combination of just a little sweetness with plenty of savory flavor from chicken thighs, garlic and bell pepper.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: bell pepper, chicken thighs, garlic, honey, minced garlic, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, yellow onion


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • 1 large bell pepper diced (any color)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion diced
  • 6 to 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced into one-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 to 10 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Cooked rice for serving
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes optional


  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onions, and saute until they are cooked through.
  • Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet and place them in a bowl to the side.
  • While the vegetables cook, prepare the chicken thighs. Mix the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl, and then add the chicken thighs, tossing until the cornstarch mixture is well distributed.
  • When the veggies are done, add the other two tablespoons of oil to the pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken to the skillet, and saute until it is browned on all sides and fully cooked through (165 degrees internal temperature).
  • Turn the heat back to medium and prepare the sauce.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, chicken stock, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.
  • Next, toss the butter and garlic into the skillet, stirring to melt the butter and saute the garlic. Once the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant, stir in the sauce and the peppers and onions. Let the sauce come to a low boil and then simmer for several minutes until the sauce reduces.
  • Serve over rice and sprinkled with sesame seeds and chili flakes.

This had a good savory sweetness that we really enjoyed. If you leave out the chili flakes, it has no spice whatsoever and should be a good crowd pleaser.

I made my white rice with chicken stock instead of water to add a little more flavor, and I even threw in both regular and black sesame seeds and sliced green onions to try to make it look fancy.

I was so glad this wasn’t a horrible sequel to my honey lime chicken experiment. I’m sure I’ll have a major kitchen fail again sometime in the future, but luckily, this wasn’t the time.

This piece first appeared in print April 25, 2024.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.