Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli

Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli

This recipe is inspired by a similar one published by the NY Times which was one of their most popular dishes of the year. Upon reading the article it was a dish that stood out, and one that we absolutely had to try. This Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli recipe had a very strange combination of ingredients, so we wanted to see for ourselves how it tasted. It looked very much like a one pot dinner, which of course is right up our alley

So, we went ahead and followed their recipe, which has some quite strange flavor combinations. The ‘sauce’ that you add to the dish along with the Chicken is quite a bizarre combination of Olive Oil, Honey, Salt, and the juice from pickled Jalapenos. Yep! That briny, spicy juice that you typically discard is used as a base ingredient for the dish

I love that about this recipe, because this is generally a biproduct of a common ingredient (pickled Jalapenos) that is generally discarded after use. It’s a great way to utilize less commonly used ingredients. So, we added it to the dish along with all the other ingredients

Now, for some even stranger combination of flavors

Once the Chicken is cooked and gets a nice, charred color to it, you add the Broccoli. Ok; so far so good. Nothing weird about that. Cover the dish and allow the Broccoli to steam / fry for a few minutes until just cooked. You want the Broccoli still crispy. This is a typical way of cooking Broccoli and again, not too weird – only the Jalapeno brine stands out as a bit odd

Once the Broccoli is cooked, the dish is complete. However, to finish off the dish you add a combination of the Pickled Jalapenos and Feta Cheese to the dish. That’s right! Feta Cheese! A weird combination which you generally don’t add to stir fry recipes such as this

Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli close up
Don’t be put off by the strange combination of ingredients, the Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli dish tastes amazing

So, what was the verdict on first try

In all honesty, I was expecting a huge burst of intense flavors in the meal. Sweetness from the Honey, intense spiciness from the Jalapenos and Brine. And sharp, creaminess from the Feta Cheese. Unfortunately, for the NY Times recipe the overall dish just lacked flavor

I was quite surprised given the combination of ingredients. I double checked the quantities, and they were correct. However, I wasn’t done yet. I had to try this dish again, with some of my own adjustments to significantly ramp up the flavor department, and let me tell you, round two was a completely different result, and for all the right reasons!

Additional ingredients we added to our version of the Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli

First of all, when you read a dish that is labeled ‘Spicy Honey Chicken’, I expect the most forefront flavors to be Sweet and Spicy. So, the first port of call for round two was to ramp up the quantities of both. The original dish asks for 1 tbsp. of Jalapeno Juice and 1 tbsp. of Honey. For our version we double the Jalapeno Juice, and more than double the Honey quantities

To add even more sweetness to the dish we added a Sweet Onion (or Spanish Onion). Dice it up and give it a pan fry and set aside before the Chicken is then added to the same Pot. Of course, what pan-fried Onion dish is complete without copious amounts of Garlic! So, we added Garlic to the dish which, to our surprise, was not in the original NY Times recipe. This added so much flavor to the dish, as the original felt a little thin without a baseline of Onion and Garlic in it

Honey Garlic Chicken
To ramp up this dish we added Garlic, Onion, Lemon Juice, and Peanuts for more flavor and texture

The original Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli dish lacked a little in both texture, and balanced flavors. It tasted a little one-note with only sweetness and spiciness. It needed acidity. So, right before the dish is ready to be served we added the Juice of 1 Lemon. This completely opened up the flavor in the dish, making every flavor profile more pronounced and delicious. It was a much-needed addition

Our final addition to the recipe was a sprinkling of lightly crushed Peanuts. Other than the Broccoli, the original dish didn’t have much else in the way of texture. The crunchy Peanuts add that much needed texture, and of course, add their own beautiful flavor as well

Other than our additional ingredients, we slightly altered the cooking technique

Not by a lot, but we adjusted it slightly. In the original Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli recipe the sauce combination of Olive Oil, Honey, and Jalapeno brine is simply mixed in with the Chicken and then added to the pan

To concentrate the flavors more, we combine the sauce with the Chicken and use it as a marinade. Cut the Chicken up into bite-sized pieces and then place into a Ziploc bag along with the sauce mixture. Place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before it’s time to cook. We’d also recommend leaving the Chicken out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. The Chicken doesn’t need to be cooked at room temperature, but it’ll cook a little more evenly if it’s at least not ice-cold

Chicken marinating in Oil and Brine
For the best result we recommend marinating the Chicken in the Brine and Honey for at least 2 hours before cooking

The final result: Amazing!

With all the tweaks we made and additional ingredients we can assure you that our version of this Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli is amazing. The rich flavors of Sweet and Spicy are pronounced in the dish. The texture is beautiful with the addition of the Peanuts, and the Lemon Juice just brings the whole thing together

Surprisingly, the addition of Feta Cheese to the dish is a very welcome addition. It adds a lovely sharpness which helps to cut through the sweetness of the Honey and it’s creaminess acts almost like a binding agent to the dish once the Feta starts to melt a little bit

All in all, a very good dish and worthy of inclusion in the One Pot Dinners repertoire. We recommend serving the Chicken with a side of freshly steamed Jasmine Rice or Noodles. You’ll want some kind of carb to round out the dish to make it a full meal

Spicy Honey Chicken with Broccoli

Course: DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Note: The recipes requires the Chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours


  • 2 lbs. Chicken Thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

  • 1 head of Broccoli, cut into florets

  • 1 medium Sweet or Spanish Onion, diced

  • 5 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

  • Juice of 1 Lemon

  • ½ cup Feta Cheese

  • 2 tbsp. Brine from Pickled Jalapenos

  • 2 tbsp. Jalapenos

  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil

  • ½ tsp. Vegetable Oil

  • 2 ½ tbsp. Honey

  • ½ cup Peanuts, roughly chopped

  • 2 tsp. Salt


  • Add the Olive Oil, Jalapeno Brine, Honey, and Salt into a small bowl and mix well to combine to create the marinade
  • Place the Chicken pieces in a large Ziploc bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the Chicken. Refrigerate for 2 hours
  • Heat the Vegetable Oil in a large frying pan over medium / high heat. Once hot, add the Onions and fry for 7 – 8 minutes until golden brown. Add the Garlic and fry for a further 1 minute. Set the Onions aside in a small bowl and return the frying pan to the heat
  • Add the Chicken into the pan, spreading it all out so the Chicken covers the entire pan in a single layer. Leave to fry for 7 minutes so the Chicken is caramelized. After 7 minutes, add the Broccoli and mix everything through in the pan. Season with a pinch of Salt
  • Cover the pan and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the Broccoli is just cooked. Remove the lid, then add the Onions back to the pan to heat through
  • Turn off heat and finish with Lemon Juice, Jalapenos, and Peanuts and mix through. Crumble over the Feta Cheese and serve immediately


  • Remove the Chicken from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking

Nothing beats the classic Frying Pan for making a delicious One Pot Dinner. For more recipes featuring the Frying Pan, click here!

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