Grilled Honey Chili Chicken

Grilled Honey Chili Chicken

Hailing from Peshawar, our idea of good food is meat with meat and some more meat. 

We love to grill at home and we grill a lot! 

Also, we dislike Shan Masala with a passion, so it’s never in the marinade. 

It’s not that I want to bad mouth the company. It was very revolutionary, and it has grown so much that desi women (mostly) rely on it in every corner of the world. People who never went into the kitchen all their lives can instantly start making dishes like nihari and Shahi korma. 

I also understand that it’s easy and saves time and takes the thinking out of cooking. You just need to follow the fool proof directions on the box. I’m sure for that reason it’s very convenient for people who work and have to prepare meals for the family. 


But having said all that, it has its down side as well. It has this very distinct… taste. And this smell… that hits you as soon as you take the first bite. And then there are the after effects later on. 

Let’s just say that it is not for the discerning palette. 

It has also taken away from individuality and creative thinking. Everywhere you go, you find Shan biryani, Shan haleem and Shan nihari staring at you. These dishes have lost their distinctive quality and grandeur. They have become so run of the mill. What should be treated as the crown jewels of our cuisine now grace every table at every event like the most ordinary and effortless items. Unfortunately, they taste like that too.

I have nothing against serving them together, but some pride can be taken in crafting and preparing them.


And it can be done. Believe it or not, these dishes are very easy to make, and almost everything can be made with just the few basic spices that you have lying around.

Moving on to grilled chicken and the visceral reaction I have when I see it marinated in Shan tikka masala with Red 40 and artificial flavors. You can make such great tandoori masala at home! That recipe will follow soon too ISA.

The thing is, I have been making that so much that the other day I was just tired of it. I couldn’t bring myself to put the same ingredients together one more time. I was bored of it. So, honey chili chicken was born. 

Now, we, as a family, do not eat too much spices. In fact, people from Peshawar in general are not big on spicy food. But if you are big on spices, then this chicken is great for you because it can get quite hot! But in this case, I love that combination with the honey.

Speaking of which, a little word about honey. 

I’m a little obsessed with finding the perfect honey. Honey is so unbelievably beneficial for your health. I am always on the lookout for raw, organic, local honey, and thankfully have come across some good options. Please stay away from processed honey. The best honey for you is the one that is made locally, because the bees are using local pollen, which will help you a lot with pollen allergies. 

And if you are thinking that it should have soy sauce, then, yes, I think that could have been a good addition, but because of allergies in the house, I did not want to add it. And after making it a few times, I would definitely say that I do not miss it. It’s a very simple recipe with very few ingredients, and sometimes less is more. It’s a great combination and a keeper! 

Grilled Honey Chili Chicken

Grilled Honey Chili Chicken


  • 1 skinless chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 heaped tsp minced ginger
  • A couple of pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp good quality honey
  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ½ tsp dried red chili flakes
  • ½ tsp red chili powder


  • Marinate the chicken in all of the above ingredients, and cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours for best results.
  • Fire up the grill! We have a charcoal grill, so my husband makes a little charcoal hill and lights it up. Spray some olive oil on the grill to make a non-stick surface. When the coal becomes white hot, put the chicken on.
  • Close the lid and then turn the chicken every 5 minutes until done, closing the lid after turning each time, about 20-25 minutes in all, .
  • Serve immediately!


I don't put too much garlic in food that is meant to be grilled, otherwise the after effects of garlic can be felt later.

You can add or subtract some of the heat according to your taste.

I have marinated the chicken for less than 6 hours too, in emergencies, but ideally, in 6-8 hours, the chicken really absorbs the flavors.

We like the chicken to be really juicy. I would rather eat rare chicken than dry, over done chicken. I really like how my husband makes it, the juices are running clear and the chicken has a nice glaze over it, very, tender and juicy and not pink at all from the inside!

I have used this marinade for whole chicken, as well as boneless, skinless thighs. You can also use it for chicken breasts or wings. Just make sure to adjust the quantity to make sure that all the chicken is well coated.


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