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Honey Habanero Chicken with Green Chile Sauce and Rice

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
35 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it's simple, fun, quick and delicious. It's something kids and family will love as well, and you can get them involved in making it or preparing the ingredients. Most importantly, it's healthy and visually appealing.

Technique tip: Having everything prepped and ready before you start cooking will make your life easier.

Swap option: You can use different cuts of chicken, beef or pork. Swap avocado oil or clarified butter for the olive oil. Use hot honey instead of honey habanero.

Equipment needed: A grill, blender and rice cooker.


Honey Habanero Chicken
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon honey habanero, store-bought
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1½-inch pieces
Green Chile Sauce
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, seeded (if desired) and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Saffron-Citrus Rice
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon salt


For the honey habanero chicken:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with chicken. Let marinate at least 6 hours.

Preheat grill pan to medium-high heat or preheat oven to 350 F. If grilling, place chicken on the pan, starting at high heat, then reduce to medium, and grill, about 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway, until charred and cooked through. If baking, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes.

For the green chile sauce:

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

For the saffron-citrus rice:


Rinse rice until water is clear.


Put the rinsed in a rice cooker along with the lime zest and juice, saffron and salt. Add 2 cups water.


Stir and cook for 20 minutes.

To serve:

Plate the rice and serve with chicken and a desired amount of the sauce on top.