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Make Chef Nina Compton’s Hot Honey Butter Chicken for Your Family and Friends

A whole roasted chicken is the NOLA chef’s go-to big family meal

When it comes to cooking for small and big groups alike, few things can please a crowd like a whole roasted chicken. It doesn’t hurt that the humble chicken can be endlessly interpreted and adapted in the kitchen with marinades and seasonings, plus the options for side dishes are limitless.

Whether it’s for her home or for the team at one of her beloved New Orlean’s restaurants, local chef and treasure Nina Compton likes to tackle roast chicken with heat, spices, and touches of sweetness.

As part of our Eater at Home series, Compton is joining Eater’s Instagram Live to give us an in-depth rundown of her hot honey butter roasted chicken recipe, which she serves with a corn and tomato salad topped with ranch breadcrumbs. Check out the recipe below for yourself.

Hot Honey Butter Roasted Chicken

Serves 4

Photo by Nina Compton


For the chicken:
1 whole chicken
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt
5 sprigs rosemary, chop half and reserve rest for roasting
1 lemon, cut into 6 rounds

For the spiced butter:
1/2 pound butter, softened
1 tablespoon garlic, roasted and chopped
5 tablespoons Tabasco Sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the corn and tomato salad:
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1/8 cup basil, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1/8 cup sherry vinegar
6 – 8 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup onion, finely sliced (smoke the onion before for more flavor)
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup toasted panko bread crumbs
¼ cup ranch powder (seasoning mix)
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste

Step 1: Start by making the chicken. Vigorously whisk butter, honey, Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce, rosemary, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

Step 2: Rub some of the butter underneath the chicken skin and place lemon rounds on the base of the roasting pan. Place chicken on top and rub the skin with more butter. Roast at 375 degrees until golden brown and has an internal temp of 165 degrees.

Step 3: Make the dressing for the corn and tomato salad by placing egg yolks and sliced onion in a bowl. Add mustard and lemon juice until well combined, then add oil in a slow, steady stream (mixture should become thick and emulsified). Add buttermilk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 4: Make the ranch breadcrumbs by combining the toasted panko bread crumbs and ranch powder in a bowl; set aside.

Step 5: Make the spiced butter in a large bowl by combining all dry ingredients and then folding in the softened butter.

Step 6: Remove the corn from the cob and sauté corn in 4 tablespoons of spiced butter. Place on a sheet tray and let cool. Add the corn to a large mixing bowl and combine with whole cherry tomatoes. Toss onion dressing and top with ranch breadcrumbs. Serve with roast chicken.

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