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Hot Honey Fried Chicken with White Cheddar-Coconut Grits

Cook Time:
1 hr
Prep Time:
2 hrs

Chef notes

This spread has been a game-changer for entertaining at home. If I’m looking to host a soul food-inspired dinner, I make this incredible fried chicken and hot honey mustard dipping sauce recipe. Though, if I’m hosting an elaborate brunch, I lean on the white cheddar-coconut grits and roasted tomatoes to wow my guests. I'm convinced that I was powered off grits until the age of 16; I ate it at all times of the day. Grits are the first food that I remember my grandma preparing me before I went off to school, as I sat in her kitchen watching morning cooking shows. These creamy, decadent grits are prepared with coconut milk and white cheddar, then topped with fatty roasted tomatoes and crispy fried chicken to create a meal that's perfect for any weekend brunch or Sunday supper. I enjoy cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces, though feel free to keep the chicken thighs whole, for a more classic experience.


Hot Honey Fried Chicken
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper, divided
  • teaspoons granulated garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound air-chilled chicken thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • canola oil, for frying
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
Roasted Tomatoes
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta or bacon (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
White Cheddar-Coconut Grits
  • 1½-2 cups water
  • cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup yellow grits
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Hot Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayo


For the hot honey fried chicken:


In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, mustard powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add in the chicken pieces and toss them together until the chicken is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.


Heat 1/3-inch of oil in a large Dutch oven to 325 F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the flour, onion powder, remaining paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper.


Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and coat each piece into the seasoned flour. Place the chicken into the oil, leaving about an inch in between each piece. You may have to fry in batches, depending on the size of your pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Remove the chicken from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.


In a medium bowl, mix the honey and hot sauce. Add the chicken into the bowl and thoroughly coat with sauce.

For the roasted tomatoes:

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

In a medium-sized baking dish, mix the cherry tomatoes, pancetta, garlic, chili flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until the tomatoes cook down and the pancetta is crispy.

For the white cheddar-coconut grits:

Fill a large saucepan with water and coconut milk and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir in the grits. Reduce heat to low and cook the grits for 25-30 minutes or until thick and smooth. Gradually add more water if the grits become too thick before they are fully cooked. Once the grits are cooked, stir in heavy cream, white cheddar, salt and pepper.

For the hot honey mustard dipping sauce:

In a medium bowl, mix the honey, hot sauce, Dijon mustard and mayo. Serve on the side with fried chicken.