Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken is marinated in lemon and spices, then breaded and fried on the stovetop to golden, crispy perfection.
This Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken is super easy to prep with simple seasonings, and a cornstarch and flour coating. Then you just fry the meat in oil on your stovetop for perfectly juicy meat and crispy skin. Lemon Pepper Fried Chicken is delicious enough after that, but then you also get the addition of sticky, honey lemon sauce. The sauce adds the perfect balance of tangy and sweet flavor to the fried chicken recipe.
Fried chicken dinners are the perfect time to bust out your favorite southern comfort food side dishes. This Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken would taste amazing with classics like Buttermilk Biscuits, Collard Greens, and Corn Pudding.
If you have leftovers, Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken also makes a delicious chicken sandwich. Just cut the cold chicken into smaller chicken strips, and add it to your bread or a toasted bun. Add mayo and a little hot sauce if you want, and finish the sandwich with your favorite vegetables like lettuce, tomato, and pickle.
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Key Ingredients in Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken
- Chicken: This recipe is used to prepare an entire chicken. Just carve the bird into pieces before starting.
- Seasoning: Before you cook the chicken, you need to marinate it in the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper, and fresh lemon juice mixture. The pepper seasoning soaks into and flavors the chicken. The really special ingredient is the lemon. It adds a nice zesty flavor to the chicken and tenderizes the meat.
- Coating: You only need a few minimal ingredients for the crispy chicken coating. Start by mixing the chicken pieces with the egg and buttermilk. The wet mixture will help the flour and cornstarch to stick to the outside of the chicken.
- Honey Glaze: Finally, the chicken is finished off with an amazing honey and lemon sauce. Its sweet and tangy flavor gives the Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken a unique and irresistible taste.
How to Make Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken
- Prep Time: Start by slicing the whole chicken into more manageable chicken pieces.
- Marinade: Season the chicken with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and lemon zest. Leave the chicken at room temperature in a medium-sized bowl to marinate in the spices for at least a half-hour before continuing the recipe.
- Heat: Add vegetable oil or canola oil to a large skillet or pot. Put it on the stove and heat it to 365 degrees F while you prep the chicken.
- Chicken Coating: Combine the flour and cornstarch in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk and egg, and pour it over the chicken. Stir until the chicken is coated in the egg mixture. Then dredge each piece of chicken in the flour. Tap it against the side of the bowl to remove any excess flour.
- Cooking Time: Add each piece of chicken to the heated oil. Fry for 6-8 minutes until golden brown on the outside with an internal temperature of 165 degrees. You’ll want to do this in batches and remove the cooked chicken with tongs. Let the fried chicken drain on a wire rack to remove extra oil.
- Honey Lemon Coating: Add honey, lemon juice, sliced lemons, and 1 teaspoon black pepper to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Pour the lemon honey over chicken to serve.
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Frequently Asked Questions
You can add a lot of other flavors to the spice blend that you use to season the chicken. Try mixing oregano, rosemary, celery salt, sage, or cumin with the lemon pepper seasoning. For extra heat, you could also add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
If you don’t have 1 whole chicken, you can use the same marinade and breading recipe for different cuts of meat. Try making lemon pepper chicken wings, chicken thighs, chicken breast, or drumsticks.
It is best to use vegetable oil or canola oil for frying chicken. These oils have a high smoke point and that means they won’t easily burn while frying your chicken.
Variations on Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken
- Garlic Lemon Pepper: For a bolder, garlicky flavor, you can mix extra garlic powder with the marinade or add 3-4 minced garlic cloves to the mixture.
- Spicy Lemon Pepper: If you like things spicy, add some cayenne pepper to the marinade. You can also add a red pepper flakes to the sauce, or set your dinner out with a side of hot sauce for people to top their chicken pieces with.
- Lemon Pepper Tenders: You can convert this recipe to a chicken tenders recipe. Just marinate the tenders, dunk them in the buttermilk and egg mixture, and dredge in the flour mixture the same way you would bone-in chicken. They may take less time to fry so watch them and check the temperature.
- Crispy Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad: Use Crispy Fried Lemon Pepper Chicken in your favorite salad. You can fry it fresh for your salad or use the leftovers. Just cut the crispy meat off the bone, chop it into chunky pieces, and top your fresh salad with the lemony chicken.
Amazing Sides for Chicken Dinners
How to Store Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken
- Serve: Don’t leave Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Let the chicken cool to room temperature before you seal it in an airtight container to store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: You could also freeze leftover chicken for up to 4 months.
- 1 whole chicken , cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 1/2 teaspoons course ground black pepper
- 2 lemons , juiced and zested
- 1 lemon , sliced
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups cornstarch
- vegetable oil , for frying
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup honey
- Season the chicken with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and lemon zest.
- Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Combine flour and cornstarch in a large bowl.
- Add the oil to a skillet or a deep pot and heat until it reaches about 365 degrees.
- In the same bowl as the chicken, add the egg and buttermilk, and combine well.
- Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture and shake off the excess.
- Add each piece of chicken into the oil and fry for 6-8 minutes until golden brown and the chicken's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Drain on a wire rack to remove excess oil.
- In a large pot on medium-high heat, add the honey, lemon juice, sliced lemons, and 1 teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil.
- Pour over the cooked chicken.